New Plants for 2011
These newcomers are worth a try in your garden this year.
Ah, that first trip to the garden center in spring—it makes a gardener feel like a kid in a candy store. With all the beautiful new varieties vying for a place in your garden, choosing the right ones can be hard. While you sort through the many introductions, here are a few of our favorites that you might want to check out.
Superbells Coralberry Punch calibrachoa
(Calibrachoa hybrid, annual)
Covered with cheerful coral flowers with burgundy throats, this new member of the Superbells® collection from Proven Winners is quickly becoming a favorite. You can count on the eye-catching flowers to bounce back after a rainy or dry spell. Looks great alone in containers or in hanging baskets.
Why we love it: Hummingbirds love the coral-colored blooms, which will last through much of the season.
Burpee Home Gardens
Coconut Ice sunflower
(Helianthus annuus ‘Coconut Ice,’ annual)
This new sunflower introduced by Burpee Home Gardens is the first true white sunflower. It grows about 5 to 6 feet tall, with flower heads that reach 4 to 8 inches across. The petals start out a creamy vanilla and then fade to white as the flowers mature.
Why we love it: Coconut Ice steals the show as a cut flower, and its seed head looks just like a coconut as the summer progresses.
Little Devil ninebark
(Physocarpus opulifolus ‘Donna May,’ Zones 3 to 7)
This ninebark from Bailey Nurseries adds deep-burgundy foliage to your garden in an easy-to-grow, low-maintenance shrub. Growing only 3 to 4 feet tall and wide, it’s perfect for smaller urban gardens. Since it needs little to no pruning and is free from pests and diseases, it’s also ideal for the busy gardener.
Why we love it: Little white-pink flowers beautifully offset the stunning foliage in June.
All American Selections
(Solanum lycopersicum ‘Lizzano,’ annual)
An AAS winner, this semi-determinate tomato has a low-growing, trailing habit, perfect for containers. You can also grow it in your veggie garden, but it would benefit from some staking. This late-blight-tolerant tomato grows 16 to 20 inches tall, with a spread of only 20 inches. The plentiful fruit set allows for continuous harvest.
Why we love it: This tomato plant is compact, but it’ll yield an abundance of juicy, bright-red, cherry-size fruits.
Walters Gardens Inc.
American Hero hosta
(Hosta ‘American Hero,’ Zones 3 to 9)
In support of military families, Walters Gardens is proud to introduce this hosta. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Project EverGreen and its program for U.S. troops. This hosta, which grows 12 inches high and 22 inches wide, has wide dark-green margins and a creamy-white center speckled with green. The leaves form a dense clump, which becomes twisted as the plant matures.
Why we love it: Like the troops it honors, this is a tough, durable hosta that displays bold variegation all season.
Black Velvet petunia
(Petunia x hybrida, annual)
Give a warm welcome to the world’s first black petunia! Ball Horticulture introduced this plant last year, but it’s now available to gardeners across the country. It’s a perfect fit for containers and will partner well with other sun-loving plants. Similar petunias from Ball worth checking out are the Pinstripe and Phantom varieties.
Why we love it: Since black truly does go with anything, this pretty petunia is an instant hit in any garden. Its unique color makes it a fabulous backdrop for brightly hued flowers.
Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea
(Hydrangea paniculata ‘Renhy,’ Zones 4 to 8)
Bailey Nurseries introduced this hydrangea last year. A popular plant, it sold out quickly but is widely available this spring. Its large flowers grow upright on red stems, emerging creamy-white in midsummer, then changing to pink and finally strawberry-red. New blooms keep the show going throughout the summer and fall.
Why we love it: With white flowers that turn soft pink, then a ripe strawberry color, this plant is a triple-dip treat.
All American Selections
Summer Jewel Red salvia
(Salvia coccinea ‘Summer Jewel Red,’ annual)
Rated a 2011 All America Selections bedding plant winner for its early and generous blooms, Summer Jewel Red salvia blooms continuously from spring to autumn. Each dwarf and densely branching plant remains a tidy 20 inches tall, even at full maturity. Even the leaves add beauty, with their fine texture and dark-green color.
Why we love it: The bright-red flowers are irresistible to hummingbirds, making it perfect for the bird lover’s garden.
Shock Wave Denim petunia
(Petunia x hybrida , annual)
Bring the stonewashed trend of the ’80s to your garden! The lovely blooms of the latest Wave® series gently age to the color of stonewashed jeans, creating a two-tone pattern in shades of blue to bluish lavender. Grow this trailing petunia in beds or borders. It will also spread nicely in containers.
Why we love it: This delectably colored mini-bloom can be grown from seed. It also blooms early and lasts well into fall.
Garden Glow dogwood
(Cornus hesseyii ‘Garden Glos,’ Zones 4 to 8)
Looking for a plant that shines in all seasons? This red twig dogwood has brilliant lime-green foliage in summer, and burgundy and pink fall color. In winter, the bright-red stems will light up a garden bed. Since it grows just 2 to 3 feet tall and wide, with a slow growth habit, this is a good choice for smaller residential landscapes.
Why we love it: This compact beauty brightens any landscape all year long.
Vegetables are hot this year, too! If you subscribe to the magazine, make sure to visit our Web Plus page for a list of some of this season's favorite veggies.