Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sarah Martinez

Sarah Martinez is the Managing Editor of Garden Center magazine.


A place for everything


Give your installations a new look with these project-specific introductions.

March 23, 2012

A single new and noteworthy plant can jazz up even the most run-of-the-mill projects. Before you submit your next bid and spec list, cruise through this list of introductions and consider substituting an old standby with a new offering.

Perennial borders

Darwin Perennials Double Scoop series includes varieties with large, double flowers sporting eye-catching colors. With clean foliage and brilliant blossoms, they make a great addition to perennial borders. The series include Bubble Gum (pink), Raspberry (dark pink) and Orangeberry.

‘Sweet 16’ from Walters Gardens produces large stems of vibrant rose-purple buds, which open to larger, brighter lavender-pink flowers with a purple lip. It reaches 18- 24 inches tall, and 24-28 inches wide.

Skagit Gardens’ new Scabiosa Mariposa Violet has large, deep-violet, pincushion flowers that are fully double on sturdy stems. This compact perennial produces loads of blossoms above bushy foliage from June to October.

Annual Beds

Proven Winners has added several new varieties to its Superbells calibrachoa series, including Cherry Star. Cherry Star has petals that are a rich cherry color with minimal fading. A breeding breakthrough is the new star pattern that stays consistent, even in the heat.

Euphoric White from Syngenta Flowers/GoldFisch is a vigorous, well-branched plant that fills pots and baskets quickly. Plants are early to bloom, with an abundance of large, white bracts even under stressful summer conditions.

The newest addition to the Fortunia series from Fides North America is Silver Vein. This variety has large flowers with a beautiful dark-purple heart and clear veins. It is very vigorous, with great garden performance.

Foundation plantings

Conard-Pyle Co.’s Buxus ‘Highlander’ is easily one of the fastest-growing boxwoods on the market, putting on as much as 24-30 inches of new growth per year. It has a distinct, upright, pyramidal habit.

Southern Living Plant Collection’s Nandina domestica Obsession (‘Seika’) is an upright, compact, dense grower with brilliant-red new foliage – much richer than ordinary nandinas. Foliage matures to a deep green.

The Southern Living Plant Collection now includes a series of rhododendrons bred to perform well in the Deep South. The Southgate series from Plant Development Services also performs equally well in traditional rhododendron-growing areas. Plants grow roughly 3-4 feet high and wide.

Stand-out specimens

McCorkle Nurseries’ Pinwheel gardenia is 4 by 4 feet in size and is ideal as a specimen or patio container plant.

Everlasting Flame (‘Bokratorch’) from Plants Nouveau produces creamy white panicles earlier than other H. paniculata varieties. The panicles change to burgundy red at the onset of cool weather and maintain their ornamental appeal until frost.

Virginia sweetspire
Itea virginica Scarlet Beauty is a new introduction from Chicagoland Grows. It’s a summer flowering shrub with excellent fall color. Grow as a specimen plant or mass on moist banks for soil stabilization. Mature plants are broad-rounded and measure about 3-4 feet tall and 4 feet wide in five years.

Tropicals for containers

Chocolate Sunrise from PlantHaven produces warm, sunshine-yellow flowers. Plants exhibit a tight clumping habit, measuring 48 inches tall by 36 inches wide. It’s hardy to USDA Zone 7b.

‘Black Coral’ is part of the Royal Hawaiian series from PlantHaven. It features deep-black glossy foliage with electric-blue veins. The Royal Hawaiian colocasias have been bred to be sturdy garden performers and container specimens.

Cranberry Crush from Walters Gardens features near-black buds that open to glossy, deep scarlet-red 7-8 inch wide flowers with heavily overlapping petals. It’s an ideal border or container plant, growing 3-4 feet tall and 4-5 feet wide.

Rose garden selections

Lady of Shallot
Lady of Shallot is one of the hardiest introductions from David Austin Roses. The young buds are a rich orange-red and open to a salmon-pink upper side. It grows up to 4 feet tall and 3 ½ feet wide.

Gold Medallion
Gold Medallion is the newest introduction in Greenheart Farms’ Garden Treasures micro-miniature collection. These disease-resistant roses are self cleaning and low maintenance. Garden Treasures can be used as annuals or perennials.

Cape Diamond
Cape Diamond from Weeks Roses is ideal for Northern climates; it’s hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone 3. Plants are vigorous and can be grown as a large, spreading shrub or trained as a climber. It features old-fashioned, pure-pink flowers.

Screens and hedges

Monrovia’s Camellia sasanqua Pink Yuletide (‘MonDel’) features pink flowers, centered with bright-yellow stamens. It’s fragrant and a beautiful addition to a winter garden. It’s ideal as a hedge, screen or border shrub.

LCN Selections’ Myrica pensylvanica Bobbee (‘Bobzam’) is a compact variety selected for its habit and dense, rounded form. It grows 6 feet tall and 6-8 feet wide. Foliage is darker, wavier glossier and larger than the species.

Trees for structure

J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.’s Northern Glow maple (A. pseudosieboldianum x palmatum ‘Hasselkus’) has deeply-cut leaves that emerge bronze-green and mature to medium green. The autumn foliage glows bright orange-red to deep red.

Greenleaf Nurseries introduced Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’ from PlantHaven. It’s the first weeping redbud variety on the market with purple leaves. It will eventually reach 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide.


Vines for arbors and pergolas

The new clematis Double Rose (‘Cleminov29’) from Conard-Pyle Co. produces dark-purple buds that open to medium-light-lavender flowers with flashes magenta along the center of each petal. Mature size (in three years) is 3 feet high and wide.


Ball Ornamentals’ Lonicera periclymenum Peaches and Cream (‘Caprilia Imperial’) is a new honeysuckle with big, tropical-looking flowers on a cold-hardy plant. It blooms throughout the summer and is evergreen in milder climates.