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We now are enjoying the prime plant shopping time for the season that is an adventure for some and just plain confusing for others. If you are one of the confused I’m afraid I may be adding to your condition as I offer these new, different and/or little known plants for your gardening pleasure:
How about an unusually colorful tree for a partly shaded garden space? Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Eskimo Sunset’ is a new Maple introduction from New Zealand that grows 10-15’ in as many years. Amber colored spring leaves develop streaks of pink, green and white as the season progresses. Protect this tree from strong sun that will bleach the color from the foliage.
More and more folks are adding tropical plants in their gardens to provide the unique look that stands out from the ordinary. One dynamic tropical plant to consider is Musa Ensete ‘Tandarra Red’. This red leafed banana tree can grow to over 10’ in one summer with stunning, glossy maroon foliage that thrive in hot sun but tolerate part shade. This plant will turn heads!
Hydrangea arborescens ‘Invincibelle Spirit’ is a new snowball hydrangea with unique pink flowers appearing in June. This hydrangea (unlike many others) blooms reliably in sunny as well as shady locations. While ‘Invincibelle” can grow to 6’ or more it is easy controlled with early spring pruning. This snowball will be a very popular plant so grab them while you can.
If I only had a nickel every time someone asked me what my favorite tomato was I would… have a whole bunch of nickels. I make a point of planting a wide selection of tomatoes every year and I have never been disappointed with ’Ultra Sweet’. Ultra Sweet produces 3” fruit as early as any tomato variety but continues throughout the summer where other early varieties poop out. Ultra Sweet has the full flavor of an heirloom tomato with disease resistance that is more important now that tomato wilt has become a problem. Lastly, the yields are very high with Ultra Sweet making the most of your garden space. I can’t wait for those tomato sandwiches this summer!
There are so many new perennial plants is very difficult to select only one but Heuchera ‘Georgia Peach’ (and other orange-leaf coral bells) have shown to be exceeding popular this spring. Georgia Peach contrasts nicely with nearly everything making it a real stand out in the garden. Coral bells like partially shaded garden spaces and organically rich soils. Planted by itself or in combination with other coral bells, Georgia Peach is…a real peach!
Now for something wacky, something rare, something for the plant lover who has everything! Poncirus ‘Flying Dragon’ is an orange tree hardy to our local climate. Bright green, thorny stems grow 6-8’ tall bearing fragrant white flowers and 2” bitter orange fruit. Be the first one on the street to have one! (Heck, you may be the first one in Geauga County!)
There you have it a few more items to add to the burgeoning list of “must have” plants for all you wacky plant nerds out there. For the remaining 99.9% of the population these are some first rate, reliable plants that will offer color and interest to any new or existing garden space. Finally, just in case anyone needs a special gift for a plant nerd, consider this your shopping list!
Now go outside and have fun in the dirt!