Monday, December 24, 2012

12 New Trees and Shrubs

In honor of 12/12/12 a couple of weeks ago, I'm rounding out my '12 New _____ Plants' to try during 2013 with a list of trees or shrubs.  You can see the other two 12-lists by scrolling down.

12 New or Different Trees or Shrubs to try in 2013
  1. Yellowwood -- a spring-flowering, overlooked native plant, yellowwood was featured in the UK College of Ag's AgMag this fall.
  2. Cryptomeria (Japanese cedar) -- makes a great screen plus it's different!  Try it!
  3. Green Panda Bamboo TM -- a great non-invasive bamboo
  4. Buttonbush -- thrives in wet areas but grows very well in non-soppy areas too
  5. Goldenraintree -- not my favorite but it's easy and different and not at all a bad plant
  6. Lacebark pine -- what's not to like? It's a pine AND it has exfoliating bark.
  7. Ginkgo -- get a male cultivar like 'Autumn Gold' but there are others
  8. Doublefile Viburnum -- impresses me more and more each time I see one.
  9. Chastetree -- interesting compound leaves (remind you of marijuana), provides purple blooms June/July through frost and the bees love it!
  10. Japanese zelkova -- this is just a good street tree, very tolerant of urban conditions. In Somerset, these can be seen more around businesses but they lend themselves well to just being in someone's yard as a shade tree.
  11. Fothergilla -- I just love these plants. Extremely nice fall color, wonderful spring blooms.
  12. Virginia sweetspire -- if you need a plant to fill in an area in 3 to 4 years, with white bottebrush blooms and red fall color, you want this one. 'Little Henry' is a good dwarf selection.

Doublefile viburnum

Dwarf fothergilla

Green Panda bamboo       

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12 New Annuals

In honor of last week's date of 12/12/12, in this 2nd week, we'll be talking about 12 new annuals/perennials for home landscapes.  Last week I listed 12 fruits and vegetables.

12 New or Different Annuals and Perennials to try in 2013
(A) designates annual, (P) perennial
  1. Amaranth -- 'Love Lies Bleeding' is very cool. And if you want some art in the garden, try the very sculptured-looking 'Elephant Head' (A)
  2. Hyacinth bean -- need a vine for summer/fall only to block that western sun? Grow this lovely plant with very cool-looking seeds. Even dried pods look good. (A)
  3. Black-eyed Susan -- these have been around forever, but they perform! 'Indian Summer' is a good choice, 'Goldilocks' is a double. (P)
  4. Zinnias -- these just make me smile, remind me of my grandmother. They are easy and will self-sow somewhat. Butterflies love them. Profusion or Zahara series are recommended. (A)
  5. Ornamental peppers -- my fave 'Numex Twilight', but so many others like 'Black Pearl' and the miniature 'Medusa' (A)
  6. Sunflowers -- I know they're popular, but try some of the pollenless varieties. And remember to bring them inside so you can admire them. (A)
  7. Sun coleus (A)
  8. Papyrus -- 'King Tut' or 'Baby Tut' love water and were used at the Children's Garden & here at our office in containers. Brings some interesting texture to the garden. (A)
  9. Any Liatris (blazingstar) (P)
  10. Any Baptisia (false blue indigo) -- a misnomer now since there are yellow varieties of this (P)
  11. Bulbs -- ornamental alliums, daffodils, species tulips, or lilies are recommended (P)
  12. Japanese anemone -- these late summer and fall bloomers are overlooked way too much. Team it up with some asters and you've got a great display (P)
You'll notice that some of these are old, really old.  But they're still good.

Amaranth, Elephant Head FLOWER 0.15 g - Click Image to Close
Elephant Head amaranth

Hyacinth bean

'King Tut' papyrus
Numex Twilight ornamental pepper

Japanese anemone

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12/12/12 -- Let's Do 12 New Plants!

On this unique date, let's use it to think about 12 new varieties of vegetables/fruit (today), 12 new varieties of annuals (week of Dec 17), and 12 new types of trees or shrubs (week of Dec 24) for our landscapes.

12 New or Different Vegetables or Fruits to try in 2013
  1. Sprouting broccoli
  2. Shell beans -- I know that beans are one of the cheapest things in the store, but you can't buy Vermont Cranberry beans or Pawnee shell beans at the grocery.
  3. Carrots -- if you think you know what carrots taste like, grow them yourself and be amazed! Try different varieties like 'Purple Haze' or 'Atomic Red'.
  4. Popcorn or cornmeal corn (why not?)
  5. Eggplant -- there are more uses for eggplant than you think, so try it.  They are beautiful as well, varying shapes and sizes.
  6. Snap, snow, or shelling peas -- easy and done by the end of May. Pretty flowers
  7. Fall bearing blackberries &/or raspberries -- Prime ARK 45 (black), Caroline or Heritage (rasp). Easy pruning.
  8. Snacking peppers -- they're small, colorful, and extremely sweet. Johnny's Seed calls them 'Lunchbox Peppers
  9. Blueberries -- soil test first but they are super healthy and easy to grow once soil conditions are correct.  New pink varieties like 'Pink Lemonade', 'Tophat' for containers (oh, and you'll need two varieties)
  10. Garlic -- so easy, just do it.
  11. Cilantro -- either the flat leaf that looks like parsley or try 'Delfino'
  12. Corn salad or mache -- this was Thomas Jefferson's favorite green. Grow it and see why.

Mache (from Johnny's Seed)

Item Photo
Pawnee shell bean (from Seeds of Change)
Orient Charm (F1)
Orient Charm (from Johnny's Seed)