So Many Plants, So Little Space

Yesterday I attended the Minnesota Green Expo, the annual meeting of the Minnesota Landscape and Nursery Association, and for a plant nut like me, the highlight of the meeting was the New Plant Forum — 29 speakers and 26 pages of the latest and greatest among plants. I’ll be writing more about these plants over the next few weeks, but here are three plants that I’m definitely picking up for my gardens and containers next year.

Photo courtesy of Proven Winners

Snow Princess™ sweet alyssum (Loularia maritima ‘Inlbushopc PPAF) Best described as sweet alyssum on steroids, this plant has big white flowers and is said to bloom all summer long. It’s heat tolerant and has a light scent (I smelled some at the Proven Winners display booth). I can see using this both as an edger and in containers.

Hostas with a Twist This isn’t one plant, per se, but a trend that seems to be developing — hostas where the leaves twist.  Hosta ‘Twist and Shout’ has been around for a few years. This year, independent Minnesota nurseryman Dave Schulte of Schulte’s Greenhouse and Nursery in St. Michael is introducing Hosta ‘Regal Twist’, a twisted variegated hosta with white centers and blue-green margins. Noted hosta hybridizer Hans Hansen of Shady Oaks Nursery in Waseca is introducing a large hosta with twisted leaves. Hosta ‘Andrew’ (named for Hansen’s brother) will get 4 feet across. Both new hostas have good slug resistance.

SunPatiens® I’ve written about these before because my mom grows them so well at her winter home in Naples, Florida. However, until this year, SunPatiens were only offered through Home Depot stores and so their availability was limited. (I never found any — though, for location reasons, I don’t get to Home Depot more than once a year, if that.) This year, these large, sun-loving impatiens will be available in independent nurseries as well as big box stores.

That’s just the beginning of the new and the cool that will be offered by nurseries next spring. I can hardly wait.

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