Spring may still be long, dreary months away, but devoted gardeners are already immersed in garden planning. The National Garden Bureau’s recent announcement of its 2011 All-America Selections gives gardeners several exciting new plants to look forward to and include in their garden plans.
Since 1933, the National Garden Bureau has been selecting for recommendation a handful of the most exceptional new flower and vegetable plants from among the many new plant varieties introduced by growers each year. In order to be honored as an All-America Selection, a plant must be unusually beautiful, easy to grow and neglect-tolerant while exhibiting significant improvement over currently-marketed varieties.
When new plants start arriving at local garden centers this spring, watch for these exciting 2011 All-America Selections:
- Shangri-La Marina viola dazzles; its marine blue petals providing a striking contrast to its white-rimmed, dark-blue center. Frost-tolerant, this cool weather plant will survive early fall snowfalls and recover beautifully to bloom again in early spring.
- Arizona Apricot gaillardia blooms in early summer, several weeks ahead of traditional gaillardia. Bright green foliage provides a beautiful backdrop for sunny, yellow-edged petals that deepen into warm apricot.
- Summer Jewel red salvia is longer-lasting than other salvia varieties, blooming from spring to fall. Spikes of bright-red blossoms rise from a bed of dark green foliage, making this dwarf plant a standout in borders and container gardens.
- Glamour Red ornamental kale exhibits a vivid pink-red center surrounded by intensely colored red and purple leaves. Frost and disease-tolerant, this kale is a colorful addition to fall gardens.
If you plant a vegetable garden, you’ll also want to watch for All-America vegetable plants: Lizzano cherry tomatoes, Terenzo cherry tomatoes and Hijinks pumpkins.