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It's always fun to see the plants that receive special recognition each year. This year is especially interesting as the perennial of the year and the hosta of the year are both shade lovers and both have striking chartreuse coloring. The 2020 Perennial of the Year, awarded by the Perennial Plant Association is Aralia 'Sun King' (shown above). 'Sun King' is a beautiful addition to the shade garden growing at least 3 feet tall and wide every year. In late summer it produces tiny white flowers that are followed by deep purplish black berries (that are inedible). 'Sun King' is deer resistant and the flowers attract honeybees.
As you can see from the photo above, Hosta 'Dancing Queen' glows in the shade garden. Chosen by the American Hosta Association as this year's hosta of the year, the chartreuse foliage is stunning! The ruffled margins and deep, corrugated veins make her dance in the garden. She grows 22 inches tall and up to 40 inches wide.
The International Herb Association is celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year and has chosen Rubus spp. as it's herb of the year. The Rubus family, which includes raspberries, blackberries, and other brambles, may not seem much like an herb, but the roots and canes have useful qualities in addition to the fruits. The leaves have medicinal qualities and have been used in teas. It's about time this yummy fruit gets some attention and is celebrated.
Since 2016, Proven Winners has had their own set of award-winning plants. Those receiving top honors include Perovskia 'Denim and Lace' shown above. Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost'took top place among annuals, and Hydrangea 'Invincible Ruby' was chosen best among shrubs. To see their complete list of winners, click here.
Finally, every year the National Garden Bureau declares it's Year of the . . .' for each category including vegetables, annuals, herbs, perennials, and flowering shrubs. This year has been deemed the Year of the Hydrangea. We can't think of a better choice! To see their complete list of winners, click here.
Mother's Day (May 11) is just around the corner and fortunately, so are these gorgeous hydrangeas with their lovely blue hues. It's Bloomstruck, the new hydrangea in the Endless Summer series.
Bred by Dr. Michael Dirr, this reblooming hydrangea macrophylla lives up to its promise of endless blooms. It blooms on old and new wood, grows 3-4' tall, 4-5' wide, and has great disease resistance.
Like other big leaf hydrangeas, it prefers a spot with afternoon shade. Bloomstruck's flowers can be pink, purple or blue, depending on the soil pH. To keep that fabulous blue color, add aluminum sulfate to the soil.
Other bud 'n bloom gifts for mom here at BGC:
'Sweet Fragrance' Easy Elegance Rose has the buds of a hybrid tea that open to a swirl of apricot petals and intoxicating fragrance.
'Paint the Town' Easy Elegance rose is everblooming with clusters of double-petaled blossoms. It's spreading and mounding habit make it suitable for landscapes as well as in containers.
'Sunny Knockout' Rose has bright yellow flowers that age to a pastel cream. It's the only Knockout rose that is fragrant. Blooms all summer and grows 3-4' tall, 3-4' wide.
photos courtesy of Bailey and Willoway Nurseries