For those of you who love dogwoods, here's a new introduction from Rutgers U that has deep pink bracts and begins flowering after two growing seasons. This beauty grows to about 20'-25' high and 20' wide and is hardy here in zone 5. 'Scarlet Fire' tolerates part shade so it would be lovely in a woodland garden with some underplanting.
Just when I thought Japanese Forest Grass couldn't get any more stunning, a new version appears with leaf tips lit up with crimson. This variety was developed by Concept Plants and has the typical forest grass height and cascading shape (1'-1'5 high and 2' wide). Evidently 'SunFlare does well in either part shade or full sun. I wonder what it would look like with this Heuchera 'Tiramisu'? Or with Spigelia marilandica? This grass will definitely tempt me this spring if it's available at local nurseries. How about you?
Here's a new Doublefile Viburnum developed by Bailey Nurseries and offered by First Editions Plants. Unlike the traditional Doublefile with flat flower sprays, 'Opening Days' has rounded white flower balls tinged with green as they open and eventually maturing to all white. This shrub matures to 10' high and 8' wide and prefers full sun. It also has lovely fall color as seen below. What a great addition to a shrub border!
I have to admit that I am not a lover of the traditional multi-colored Blanket Flower, but I like the color of this new variety 'Mesa Red' from Kieft Seed. It's hardy to Zone 5 with "non-fading" flower color and a "non-flop" habit. You'll have to try this one out to see how accurate the description is. This perennial grows 16" tall to 22" wide. This plant would look good with Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow'. What would you pair it with?
I'm a sucker for Baptisias. These plants are so robust and faithful in the garden once they are established. I wish I had more room to grow them in our garden. But I can dream. 'Pink Lemonade' (Walters Gardens) looks like a wonderful addition to the growing list of great Baptisia varieties. Those big spires of yellow and purple are irresistible. Baptisias need full sun and grow to about 3'-4' tall and wide so make sure you give them enough room to spread out. And if you want to tame their size a bit, they can be cut back by 1/3 after blooming. The plant will look a little gawky for a week or two, but will fill in nicely eventually. Good plant pairings for this Baptisia might be a pink Allium like 'Giganteum' or 'Millenium' or for a foliage contrast when flowering is over, Tanacetum 'Isla Gold'.
I have always wanted to have a Hemlock in my yard, but we just don't have the space for one. Fortunately for me, Monrovia is offering a new gold variety that is slow growing and perfect for a container. Golden Duke Eastern Hemlock prefers part shade, but is better able to tolerate sun than other gold varieties. It will grow 6'-10' tall and 2'-3' wide in 10 years. I might underplant it with European Ginger and a purple Heuchera like 'Forever Purple'. Do you have a spot for this beauty in your yard?
We have lots of shade in our yard so we're always on the lookout for a new and engaging Hosta to stick in somewhere. 'Waterslide', an introduction from Walters Gardens, has unusual wavy edged leaves and a soft blue-gray color. As with most Hostas, light shade to shade is preferred. This hosta grows to about 14" high and 30 inches wide. You could pair 'Waterslide' with a variegated Carex like 'Everest' or perhaps Tiarella 'Pink Skyrocket'.