We received over 3 inches of rain this week. Despite the fact that I was off work for spring break, I'm not going to complain. Most of the rain actually occurred at night so I was able to get some much needed weeding accomplished. The garden is looking good although I still have lots to do.
The gardening catalogs have been steadily arriving in the mail since January. I don't get as many as I use to because I don't order as much but it is fun to see what new plants are available.
Since our gardening real estate has diminished and more shade also limits what we can grow, I try to refrain from going nuts. Good on the pocketbook if not the spirit!
One plant on my wish list this year is this miniature buddleia called "Blue Chip" - I know this is a sun plant but I can find a spot for it somewhere! It is advertised as growing 24"- 36" tall and would probably do well in containers. I think this plant was on the market last year so if any of my readers are growing it, I would like to hear about your experiences with it.
The "Blue Chip" buddleia comes from Proven Winners, a brand that I have come to trust. Whenever I see this label in a plant, I always give it a second look. The Proven Winners company tests plants in all areas of the country and the ones that are offered in your nurseries are supposed to be geared toward your particular area.
Here is a plant that I actually saw yesterday at Porter's Garden Center in Muscle Shoals. It is Hydrangea paniculata "Quickfire." I almost bought it but decided to give more thought to the spot where I want to put it. I actually practiced restraint - imagine that! We already have tons of hydrangeas - over fifty varieties of the mophead varieties. Only a few paniculatas though and they are so trouble-free to grow.
Here are some more Proven Winners plants that caught my attention. If I come across any of these at the nurseries, I'll certainly be tempted.
Begonia "Mandalay Mandarin" I think begonias are experiencing a popularity boost. Two years ago I found Begonia "Bertini" at Home Depot and was amazed at how well it performed. I looked forward to growing it again this year but wouldn't you know, I couldn't find it anywhere. I won't make that mistake this year and will mail order it if I have to. Or perhaps I will try this variety, which looks similar.
Another plant that I just recently discovered are Abutilons (aka Parlor Maples or Flowering Maple). They are fantastic container plants. This one is called "Fairy Coral Red."
This Weigela "My Monet" has been on the market for several years and I've always wanted it. Anyone growing it?
Thanks to the folks at Proven Winners for giving me permission to use their photos!
Other interesting plant introductions are coming from Terra Nova Nurseries.
Echinaceas have become wildly popular due to the dramatic new colors. This one is called "Mac n' Cheese"
I've never had luck with growing coreopsis as a perennial but aren't these stunning?
And finally, a very interesting rudbeckia called "Henry Eilers".
(Thanks to Terra Nova Nurseries for permission to use their photos).
So, what is on your plant wish list this year?