Simply put, I love new plants. Whether it’s a different flower color, dwarf version of a classic favorite or a hybrid that’s produced some other interesting characteristic, new plants are just fun. With spring weather upon us (it may not be all sun, but it is spring!), it’s time to get outside. And what’s more fun to look forward to in the garden than new plants? As you get started in your yard, here are a few of my favorite plants this spring.
In recent years, hydrangea growers have debuted dozens of great new varieties, and while they all have unique characteristics, none is quite like ‘Pistachio.’ This new dwarf hydrangea tops out at three to four feet tall and about as wide, so it’s much more compact than older varieties.
‘Pistachio’ is a re-blooming variety, so you don’t have to worry about when to prune it. But most interesting is the flower color: mottled lime green and hot pink. Had I not seen one last summer at a nursery trade show, I wouldn’t have believed the pictures I saw—the color combination is simply stunning. Plant it where it receives morning sun and afternoon shade and you’ll enjoy attention-grabbing flowers for years to come.
A second great new plant—and one already in bloom if you’re eager for color—is ‘Snow Fever’ hellebore. Breeding breakthroughs in recent years have produced hellebores with upright (rather than drooping) flowers. ‘Ivory Prince’ is a great example of one such variety. But what makes ‘Snow Fever’ so great is its unique variegated foliage to complement the greenish-white flowers. Each leaf is speckled with cream coloring on a green background like paint splattered on a canvas. Hellebores are great for shade, so bring more year-round color to a dark spot in your yard with this great new introduction.
|‘Ketchup & Mustard’ floribunda rose
My third pick this spring is not a single plant but rather an entire category: roses. With the demise of Jackson & Perkins a couple of years ago, the entire rose industry has changed, so if you haven’t looked at roses recently, look again! One great new introduction this year is ‘Twilight Zone,’ a fragrant deep purple grandiflora variety. Another relatively new rose sure to be popular again this year is ‘Ketchup & Mustard,’ a floribunda boasting bold red flowers with a distinct mustard-yellow reverse.
Whether you’re planting roses or fruit trees, now is a great time to plant them bareroot. Not only will you save money buying bareroot at your local nursery, your new plants will make the move into your yard with nearly zero transplant stress.
As you gear up for a new season of gardening this month, don’t forget to take care of the basics, either. Now is the time to kill moss with ferrous sulfate as well as spread lime on your lawn to discourage moss re-growth. Additionally, when you finish up your spring pruning, spread a fresh layer of bark mulch throughout your flowerbeds. Not only will it create a perfect backdrop to set off your shrubs and trees, it will keep moisture in the ground and weeds out all year long.
Finally, take some time this month to fertilize the plants in your yard. While most shrubs and trees aren’t as nutrient-hungry as annuals, they’ll benefit from a balanced slow-release fertilizer like Jack’s Classicote.
With spring upon us, now is a great time to stop in at Vander Giessen’s and check out what’s new for the upcoming year. Chances are you’ll find something perfect for your yard to enjoy for years to come!