What’s new? What’s popular? What else can I plant? These are typical questions that go through my mind, especially in the off-season. Sometimes I think the dreaming, searching and planning are the most fun.
Recently I was doing just that, and found a few fresh garden ideas that I wanted to share with you.
Fresh Garden Ideas
Plants of the Year
One of the first things I like to investigate is the perennial plant of the year award. The perennial plant of the year is chosen by The Perennial Plant Association. They typically choose plants that grow well in a wide range of climates, have multiple seasonal interest, and are easy to grow. So basically they are a no-brainer.
This year’s winner is Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’, a beautiful delicate white flower that blooms in late summer. I do not have this particular anemone, but I do have September Charm, which grows well for me and is quite beautiful.
There are many other associations which have plants of the year, like the National Garden Bureau. Each year they choose one edible, one bulb, one annual and one perennial to highlight. They are also chosen for their wide range and easy to grow nature. This year they have chosen, carrot, allium, begonia, and delphinium.
Color of the Year
If you like to be up-to-date with the latest fashions, you can look to Pantone’s color of the year, which you will soon see everywhere from fashion to plants. Last year’s color was Marsala, which I liked because I love wine colored blooms and foliage. This year’s pick however, is quite the opposite, and for the first time is actually a blend of two colors. Rose Quartz and Serenity which simply described, is a pastel pink and sky blue color. I’m sure many people, including myself may already have these colors in their garden. So hey, we’re in style. 🙂
Technology is constantly adding new gadgets, many in the form of water detectors. I’m not sold on these tools just yet. I think I’ll wait a bit and save my money.
However, I have a smart phone and I wondered if I would be able to take advantage of a gardening app. I did try Leaf Snap and was not impressed. Recently I read about an app called My Garden Answers with some promising reviews. One that piqued my curiosity was the idea of being able to point at a plant while you were vacationing, hiking, or visiting another garden and receiving instant identification. I tried it. After all it was free. However, out of the 6 houseplants in my office it only recognized three. 🙁 There was an additional form that you can fill out which will go to your local extension unit to further identify the plant, but since I already knew the answer, I did not want to waste their time. I’ll keep it for now but I’m still on the lookout for a better app.
I also like the idea of handy seed planning apps like Burpees Time Planner which tells you when to start seeds, when to transplant, and when to expect to harvest.
New Plant Introductions
Finally, I love to check out what’s “new” with every garden catalog I receive. One that caught my eye was a second generation of Proven Winner’s Hydrangea arborescens ‘Incredibelle Spirit.’ I have this shrub (see pic above) and it has performed really well, even through the coldest of winters. Apparently they have made this plant even better.
Invincibelle Spirit II Larger flowers, darker foliage and sturdier stems.
Hydrangea arborescens Invincibelle® Ruby – Two-toned burgundy and pink flowers.
I’m sold. The question is; which one should I get? Maybe both?