Flowering Shrub

Katie Ketelsen

So I Have a Hydrangea Obsession. No Big Deal — Right?

Written on July 25, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

I’m fresh off the road from OFA — an industry education and trade show I hope to be sharing more of in the near future — but HAD TO share with you now the true beauty of the Everlasting hydrangeas. You may remember reading about them from Angela Treadwell-Palmer with Plants Nouveau in a recent blog post. I got to see them in person! Actually touched them! {hmmm…..drooled a bit on them too}.

You have to see the blooms of the ‘Opal’ Everlasting hydrangea….

 

These blooms were all on the same plant. THE SAME ‘OPAL’ EVERLASTING HYDRANGEA!! See……!

Gosh, how could you not love that about a plant?!?! The details in the range of colors was phenomenal. Blew me away. Got me thinking how I could stow one away in my carry-on bag at the airport {never did figure that out}.  I’m telling you my fellow plant geeks — this hydrangea is one to try in your garden! Here are its specifics:

Size 3-4′ tall by 3-4′ wide
USDA hardiness Zones 4-9
Sun / Shade full sun to part shade
Soil average garden soil
Moisture moist, but well drained
Disease and Pests none known
Landscape use foundations, cutting gardens, wildlife gardens, borders, foundations, small urban gardens
Uniqueness Strong, sturdy stems support large lavender pink mop head blooms that age to a lovely lime green.
Propagation Methods vegetative cuttings
Date of Introduction 2011
Bloom Time May-June

 

Click here to pre-order one — or five — for your garden!

 

Images taken from phone. Please see Plants Nouveau’s website for more images or Bloom-It.com.

PS: Fuel your own hydrangea obsession on Pinterest — check out our board “Hydrangea Varieties” or visit our plant encyclopedia page for hydrangeas.


Whitney Curtis

In-Season Plants: Gardenia

Written on June 20, 2013 at 5:30 am , by

These days, when I walk down the stairs and around my garden path, I am greeted by the loveliest smell coming from my August Beauty Gardenia. The blooms are the purest white I’ve ever seen and the smell is just out of this world.

gardenia

I planted two gardenias in my backyard a few years ago where they get just a couple of hours of morning and mid-morning sun. They’ve had a bit of a rough time. Smashed by a falled tree during a tornado-like storm and then bitten by an odd freeze the following winter. They came back, slowly but surely, and I’m glad to see they are bursting with green growth and dozens of buds this year.

gardenia

Gardenias enjoy moist, well drained soil in a shady environment with some indirect light. I picked the brightest spot in my shady backyard! They’re hardy to zones 8-10, but after one frost that claimed almost a whole shrub, I sometimes cover with a sheet to be safe. (More info here!)

It doesn’t hurt to plant them close to the house too, so you can enjoy the sweet smell. I can’t help but clip them and bring them inside. It’s unbelievable how much smell can come from such a small flower.

Tip: To remember the variety of this particular gardenia, I had to reference my garden journal, where I keep tags, notes and a general history of my garden. If you’re just getting started with your green thumb or even if you already have an established garden, start a record of plants and make notes of your successes and failures! I use mine all the time. Plus, it’s a little bit nostalgic after you’ve been at this gardening thing for a while.

 


BHG Guest Blogger

Are You Ready for a Blooming Revolution?

Written on June 14, 2013 at 6:00 am , by

The following is a guest blog post from Angela Treadwell-Palmer, Co-owner of Plants Nouveau and involved with a variety of garden programs. 

 

If you’re like me, you’ve tried all of the repeat flowering hydrangeas on the market.  I hope you haven’t been as disappointed as I have. Yes, they bloom all summer, but it’s a bloom here, a bloom there, and the plant is never completely covered in blooms, right?  Right!  Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Hokomarevo’ Everlasting™ Revolution is a game changer.

Not only does Revolution flower on new and old wood, making it sure to bloom for everyone, but the pink or blue (depending on the acidity of your garden soil) flowers fade to magical color combinations of deep rusty-pink and olive green, maroon and true blue, and even aqua and lime green. As the long summer days fade, each aging flower adds even deeper green highlights, extending the color in your garden well into the autumn.

This attractive, continuously blooming hydrangea not only has gorgeous, strong, long-lasting flowers, it’s a blooming machine. This might be the first super successful gift-to-garden plant.  Here’s how it works; you buy it in full bloom for mom for mother’s day or Easter and enjoy it indoors for a month, then you can safely plant it in the garden and watch it bloom and grow for years and years – even in the colder regions of the US (USDA Zone 5)! Not many hydrangeas sold as gift plants are tough enough to be planted outside.

Wait – there’s more.

No house yet or no room to garden?  Only have space for containers on your porch or patio?  This amazing hydrangea will even survive outside in a large, freeze-proof container in many areas.  Just give it a little water once in a while and let it sleep all winter.  And since it grows to only 30” tall by 30” wide, you won’t need a big space or a big container.  Its petite size is perfect for small, urban spaces, porches and patios.  If you grew up with a Cape Cod-like cottage garden, but don’t have the space for larger mop head hydrangeas, this is the plant for you.  All the color, all the nostalgia of grandma’s garden, cut flowers for the table and the perfect little garden plant all in one, who could ask for more?

Why buy a reblooming hydrangea when you can have an, Everlasting™ blooming machine?

—————————————————————————————————————————————————-
Angela’s career has spanned almost every aspect of gardening, garden design and teaching folks how to garden with plants – especially natives. She most recently managed the development of new gardens for the U.S. National Arboretum.  Angela managed new plant introduction and marketing for the Chicago Botanic Garden and The Conard-Pyle Co.  She has designed and installed many private gardens throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

Angela founded and now Co-owns Plants Nouveau LLC; a company that specializes in introducing and marketing new plants to the nursery industry.  She’s been directing the Native Plants in the Landscape Conference at Millersville University for the past eleven years.  Angela’s career has taken her around the world, experiencing world famous gardens and remote areas looking for new ideas and exciting plants.
—————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 


BHG Guest Blogger

Dwarf Crapemyrtles Solve Small-Space Gardening Dilemma

Written on June 12, 2013 at 6:00 am , by

The following is a guest blog post from Briana Johnson, Marketing Communications Specialist for Garden Debut® and Greenleaf Nursery.

 

When shopping for my first home, I had grand illusions of the gardening space I’d have available. I vastly underestimated the cost and maintenance associated with a landscape that rivaled the local botanical gardens. Thankfully, I came to my senses before I purchased and made a realistic choice in terms of lot size. My small in-town neighborhood lot isn’t quite the ultimate of small space gardening that an apartment balcony or a townhouse patio constrains you to, but even suburban gardeners have small space gardening dilemmas.

My first dilemma was porch height. I purchased my house for its beautifully large, covered front porch. I’d again had grand illusions of a gorgeous, raised, wrap-around porch, and while my porch is large, it is a scant 6 inches from the ground to the threshold. When it came to selecting plants for the mixed beds in front of said porch, I knew a 6 to 8 foot shrub would debilitate my views from the porch swing, so I set a 3 to 4 foot height limit on my plant selections.

New plant breeding, such as that done by crapemyrtle enthusiast Dow Whiting, is often aimed at introducing smaller more compact versions of a garden favorite. Dow’s four varieties of Princess Crapemyrtles, introduced by the Garden Debut® collection, range in size from 18 to 48 inches tall by 30 to 36 inches wide, fitting perfectly within my range of selections. Not to mention they offer another feature every gardener loves: an extended bloom season from midsummer to fall that is improved by deadheading spent flowers.

The largest of the collection, Princess Holly Ann™, produces cherry red clusters of flowers and matures at 4 feet tall by 3 feet wide. Princess Zoey™ has two-toned blooms that emerge cherry red with splashes of hot pink, and it also grows to 4 feet tall by 3 feet wide. These two crapemyrtles are perfect choices for the back row of a mixed garden bed and can be under-planted with a variety of small shrubs and perennials.

The two smaller varieties also work well as a mid-level mixed garden bed selection. Mounding Princess Kylie™ has brilliant magenta flowers and grows 3 feet tall and wide, and tiny Princess Lyla™ matures at 18 to 24 inches tall and wide with light pink flowers. Their mounded shapes also look great in a cluster of mixed containers around a porch or patio sitting area where the delicate flowers can be observed closely.

I’ve found that with new breeding programs and new introductions each year from collections such as Garden Debut®, gardeners can expect solutions to a variety of gardening dilemmas, not just space limitations. Visit www.gardendebut.com to view the collection or call 1 (877) 663-5053 for questions.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Briana Johnson is the Marketing Communications Specialist for Garden Debut® and Greenleaf Nursery in Park Hill, Oklahoma. She is a first-time homeowner and amateur gardener with big ideas for her new landscape.

Briana relies on Great New Plants™ and Trusted Selections™ from the Garden Debut® collection to create a home where she can connect, share, enjoy and inspire. Discuss new and exciting features about these plants with Briana each day by following Garden Debut® on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
—————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 


Justin W. Hancock

Hydrangea Love

Written on January 30, 2013 at 7:28 am , by

Love hydrangeas? It’s hard not to with blooms this gorgeous!

 

Black-stem hydrangea

 

Endless Summer Bella Anna hydrangea

 

 

Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea

 

 


Everyday Gardeners

Nothing could be finer

Written on June 19, 2012 at 10:10 am , by

During a recent trip to the Charlotte area, I visited Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden for the first time. I was greatly impressed by the garden’s plan and structure. It’s a relatively young public garden, first opening in 1999. The master plan includes additional gardens, so it will just get better and better. And although the plants are still “teenagers”, the garden looks full and lush, with an amazing variety of greenery and color. As you can see below, the garden includes everything from Abelia to Zenobia!

Colorful beds of annual flowers with whimsical "paint cans" spilling color welcome guests as they approach the main entrance of the visitor pavillion.

The Canal Garden, looking back towards the main building, provides formal structure, color from annual flowers, and the cooling effect of water.

The conservatory contains an impressive orchid collection, some of which are displayed here on a rock wall.

'Edward Goucher' glossy abelia blooms all summer with pink bell-shape flowers. It is hardy in Zones 6 through 9.

Dusty zenobia bears clusters of white bell-shape blooms on shrubs with silvery gray foliage. It is hardy in Zones 5 through 9.