Archive | June 2016

10 Tips for Growing with Perennials

Posted with permission of the National Garden Bureau:


10 Tips for Growing with Perennials

Perennials are easy-to-grow, dependable and offer such a wealth of different colors, shapes, textures and sizes that they have become the backbone of many gardens. Unlike annuals, which need to be replanted each spring, perennials arrive each year with a zest of new growth and beauty!

Here are 10 tips to remember about Perennials….

  1. Herbaceous perennials lack a persistent stem; they die back to the ground during winter and regrow from the roots the next year so don’t panic if you don’t see stems in early spring!
  2. Most perennials should be divided when they are dormant. (Spring bloomers in the fall: fall bloomers in the spring)
  3. Perennials from temperate regions, like asters, irises, lupines, wallflowers, peonies and primroses, need a cold winter to encourage new buds to grow in spring.
  4. Many perennials spread by sending out shoots from their roots which develop into new stems, great for filling in a bed or sharing with friends.
  5. Some perennials, such as columbines and delphiniums, are short-lived, lasting only three or four years.
  6. An upside to perennial plantings is the amazing varieties of color, texture and sizes available. They do require some pruning and maintenance, but their longevity makes this well worth the effort.
  7. Generally speaking, perennial flowers start off small in the first year then with each growing season, produces bigger and more abundant blooms. Once they get to be about three years old, you might have to think about dividing them to keep them healthy and looking their best.
  8. A key to designing with perennials is making sure there is continuing blooms and interest which means more careful garden planning than when using annuals.
  9. With so many to choose from, books on perennials are an invaluable resource. They provide photographs for identification (and inspiration!), cultural information, a description of growth habits, bloom time, color and characteristics of special cultivars.
  10. Even though most retailers are diligent and aware, still beware of invasive perennial plants. The best advice is to check wtih your state’s Department of Natural Resources to learn which plants your state has deemed invasive.
Pollinator Loving Perennials – New Varieties from NGB Members
Echinacea Sombrero Baja Burgundy
New Baja Burgundy is a rich, deep burgundy that is well-branched on highly floriferous plants that overwinter well for years of enjoyment.
Lagerstroemia First Editions® Ruffled Red Magic™ Crape Myrtle
Pincushion Flower Flutter Deep Blue™

The pincushion flower has shorter stems and larger flowers, so it makes a tidier, more attractive perennial garden.It makes a great accent plant.

Silene Ray's Golden Campion
This outstanding open-pollinated perennial features golden yellow to chartreuse foliage and long-blooming, hot fuchsia flowers in mid to late spring.
Vitex First Editions® Blue Puffball™
Vitex First Editions® Blue Puffball™

Deep blue, fragrant flowers bloom from June – September. Mid-green foliage is clean into fall with minimal to no leaf spot.
Penstemon Arabesque™ Red
It’s beautiful red and white bi-color unique large bell shaped flowers adorn well-branched plants that attract both hummingbirds and butterflies all summer.
Agastache Arizona™ Sun
Agastache Arizona Sun, Sandstone and Sunset requires little care once established and produces an abundance of spikes loaded with flowers in yellow, orange or lavender.
Photos above are just a few samples of the exciting new varieties to be found on our website

AAS Summer Summit Registration is Now Open

Posted with permission of the National Garden Bureau:


All-America Selections and National Garden Bureau are teaming up for the 2016 AAS Summer Summit, this time taking attendees to beautiful Madison, Wisconsin, the “Land of Locally Grown”. 

  • The state of Wisconsin is ranked 6th out of 51 states and provinces as most committed to the locavore movement.
  • Based on the number of farmers markets, CSA’s and food hubs, ranked Wisconsin 8th in states where it’s easy to eat locally.

As AAS and NGB support this locally grown movement, we will tour not only AAS Trials and Display Gardens (Rotary Botanical Gardens–see photos!!!) but also local businesses as we see and hear from the leaders of Wisconsin’s locally grown movement. 

Register Now!
Mark Dwyer and his team at Rotary Botanical Gardens are busy planting
more than 25,000 AAS Winner plants representing 100+ winning varieties.
You won’t want to miss that show!
Who Should Attend?
  • Judges should attend to network with other judges and see how our trials look in another region.
  • Display Garden Coordinators will want to attend to network with the All-America Selections board, staff and other Display Gardens as we tour two local Display Gardens in and around Madison.
  • Industry Colleagues will be interested in the learning about Epic Systems’ sustainable landscape and the latest trends in locally grown. 
The Schedule at a Glance…
Wednesday, August 24
6:00 – 8:00 PM – Wisconsin-style opening reception at Sprecher’s Pub

Thursday, August 25

UW – Madison West Madison Research Station (AAS Display Garden)
Group Dinner (included)

Friday, August 26
Judge’s meeting and Organizational Updates

Rotary Botanical Gardens (AAS Display Garden)
AAS Awards Banquet (included)

Note: for anyone who wants to extend their stay, there are multiple other interesting
horticultural sites to see in Wisconsin:
Abbott & Cobb’s vegetable trials near Plover, WI (1.5 hour drive)
J. W. Jung Seed headquarters are in Randolph, WI (1 hour drive)
Boerner Botanical Garden is in Hales Corners, WI (1.5 hour drive)
Green Bay Botanical Garden is in Green Bay, WI (2.5 hour drive)
Cobrahead Tools are in Cambridge, WI (1 hour drive)

Register Now!
Our host hotel, the Holiday Inn and Suites, is a comfortable and quiet spot on the west side of Madison. Click here to reserve your room at our special rate of $109 per night. Bring the family and stay the weekend as Wisconsin is beautiful in August and our hotel includes the Crawdaddy Cove Waterpark.

For more information, contact Diane Blazek

🎁 Great Gift Ideas for Father’s Day! 🎁

Posted with permission of the National Garden Bureau:


Great Gardening Gifts for Dad!

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 19th and there is still time to get that perfect gift for Dad. If your dad is into gardening, or just enjoys puttering around the house, here is a great selection of gifts that he will enjoy throughout the season.  Click on any photo to order… He’ll love you for it!

🎉 Celebrating Ten Years: The One and Only SunPatiens® 🎉

Posted with permission of the National Garden Bureau:


Moss Mountain Entrance
Replicated but never duplicated, the SunPatiens® brand is the trusted name in breakthrough heat and sun-loving impatiens.

Ten years ago, SunPatiens hit the market as the first ever sun-loving impatiens series – the true pioneer of its class. Since then, the unparalleled performance, reliability and flower power of SunPatiens have earned them a solid industry reputation and consumer brand recognition.

SunPatiens lovers return year after year to stock up on these incredible annuals that combine massive flower power with tough, low-maintenance plants that flourish practically anywhere.

Today, SunPatiens have the highest brand recognition, are supported by top retailers, have a large consumer following and are backed by gardening and lifestyle expert, P. Allen Smith. Allen recognizes the value and quality SunPatiens offer consumers, and stands behind the brand as its official spokesperson.
“Exceptional gardens and landscapes are created with exceptional plants. SunPatiens, because of their extraordinary genetics, offer a variety of colors and texture that thrive in both sun and shade,” states P. Allen Smith.
Three seasons of performance is the hallmark trait for SunPatiens – they are covered with beautiful flowers from spring, through the torturous heat of summer and right up to the first hard frost.  These robust plants are easy to grow, downy mildew resistant, love heat, can thrive in full sun, or part shade and deliver continuous color from spring through frost.

SunPatiensSunPatiens are available in 30+ colors and three distinct habits – Compact, Spreading and Vigorous.

Picking the right SunPatiens habit for your needs is easy.

– For hanging baskets, choose Spreading or Compact types.

– For patio containers, choose Spreading types for a mounding shape, or Compact types if you prefer a more upright look.

– For garden beds, choose according to the amount of space you have and the look you want: Compact types are best for smaller spaces and for mingling with other annuals, Vigorous types have an upright, V-shaped form and can grow quite large, making them stunning in large spaces and as a vivid backdrop for other plants. Spreading types are ideal if you prefer a mounded form that covers a lot of ground fast.

Interested in attracting butterflies to your garden? SunPatiens provide nectar that can attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  Butterflies are very attracted to orange, red, purple and pink flowers, making SunPatiens the perfect choice for butterfly-friendly gardens!