As with most things in life, we often return to the tried-and-true. The same can be said about the flowers we plant in our gardens. I’m sure my parents planted the same thing (geraniums) pretty much every year for decades. The most that changed was the colour. I found myself falling into the same trap. Begonias and Mandavilla vines had become my fail safe plants of choice. This year I went with some new options and I couldn’t be happier. That got me thinking about what are some of the new ‘hits’ in the flower world. Just like home decor, things do change and evolve. Plants come in and go out of style. Why not break up your routine a bit and incorporate some of these new winners?
Heucheras (or their common name of Coral Bells) are found in most gardens. However, why not try some of the bright, happy colours they now come in to bring an instant shot of perennial colour to your shady beds?
Just like the Pantone Colour of the year (Emerald Green by the way), plants also have their ‘Plant of the Year’. The Perennial Plant of the Year™ (POY™) program began in 1990 to showcase a perennial that is a standout among its competitors. Perennials chosen are suitable for a wide range of growing climates, require low maintenance, have multiple-season interest, and are relatively pest/disease-free. This year’s winner is:
This all-season perennial has greenish-white flowers in late spring and variegated foliage throughout the growing season. The foliage turns yellow in the fall and grows well in moist soil in partial to full shade. Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’ grows 18 to 24 inches tall and will spread by rhizomes to form colonies. It is a great companion plant to other shade lovers including hostas, ferns, and astilbes. The sweet fragrance will enhance that walk along a pathway on a spring morning.
Linai Lime Green Verbena: Verbena are usually trailing plants in pink, white, even blue and purple but never lime green! Every flower head on this vigorous plant is smothered in pale chartreuse petals. Use Lanai Lime Green verbena by itself in a basket or container, or use it as a complement to annuals that bloom in brighter colours.
Think all Petunias are boring? Think again! The ‘Blue A Fuse’ Petunia is anything but boring. Like snowflakes, no two petals are alike. Each bloom sports stripes and blotches of violet, yellow, and white with purple centers. The plants have a mounded habit that makes them a good choice for containers or the landscape. Like other petunias, ‘Blue A Fuse’ blooms from spring till frost.
As for me, I went with mini roses in dual tones for my balcony box. While I have lots of roses in my garden beds, I pretty much only thought of the miniature variety as indoor plants. Was I wrong! And Bougainvillea now replace Mandevilla vines. While neither are cutting edge, new-to-the-market species, they’re new to me and that’s all that matters