Spruce up your garden with 2011's new plants
New varieties of plants are created all the time. Among this year's favorites is a petunia in black, a rare color in the plant world.
We think of plants as being eternal: roses, lilacs, petunias, geraniums. Often, when we plan a garden, we expect to use the flowers and shrubs we have known all our lives.
But just as we see new clothing designs every year, we are presented with new plants as well. The world of horticulture is forever busy, developing hybrids with better characteristics or a new look. You just have to know where to go for the fashion show.
Of course, where you live will dictate what sorts of plants will grow best, as will the microclimates in each part of your yard. Whatever your climate, there are bound to be new offerings worth considering.
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Here are a few of the new plants out this year that will grow in much of the country:
- The "Black Velvet" petunia (pictured). This flower is advertised as the world's first nearly black petunia. As Bart Ziegler of The Wall Street Journal tells us, "Near-black flowers long have been a Holy Grail in the garden world because they are so rare in nature." The flower was developed by Ball Horticultural Co.
- The "Lizzano" tomato. This edible plant was an All America Selections award winner for vegetables. It grows 1-inch cherry tomatoes on a bush and is considered a good candidate for containers or hanging baskets. The AAS also liked the "Terenzo" tomato, which also is a bush and produces conventional-size cherry tomatoes.
- The "Coconut Ice" sunflower, a white sunflower, is also among this year's new plants. It's from Burpee Home Gardens and is billed as the first true white sunflower. It's tall, like a regular sunflower, 5 to 6 feet.
- "Summer Jewel Red" salvia. Salvia grows in many parts of the country, in one variety or another. This new variety is a dwarf, reaching no more than 20 inches tall. It blooms continuously from spring to autumn and attracts hummingbirds.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.