By Doug Schuster
No two years are the same in Kingwood’s Garden Shop. We always have plants that sell better than expected and plants were expected to sell better than they did. We do our best to predict trends and to supply plants that are in demand but also to supply plants that we think are valuable to a gardener. The flowing is a list of plants that sold well and had the most “buzz” surrounding them in the Garden Shop during the spring of 2017. We will attempt to provide the plants in 2018, as long as we can procure them.
1) Asclepias tuberosa and Asclepias incarnata — Butterfly Weed and Swamp Weed
Asclepias tubeosa is the 2017 Perennial Plant Association Plant of the Year. Both tuberosa and incarnata have experienced a significant rise in popularity due to the benefits they provide to Monarch Butterflies.
2) Dicentra spectabilis VALENTINE — Bleeding Heart
This early spring blooming perennial always provides intrigue in the garden because of its distinct bloom. It truly resembles its common name, Bleeding Heart.
3) Sempervivum — Hens and Chicks
Succulents are trending; we have seen a significant increase in demand for hardy succulents as well. Hens and Chicks have been trending up for the past several years here at Kingwood. This year we had five different varieties; all were gone by the end of May.
4) Irispallida ‘Variegata’ — Iris
This plant wasn’t even on my original order. I had several other bearded Irises planned for 2017 but as things progress each Iris was canceled due to crop failure from our supplier. So, as I scrambled to have at least one Iris on my sales bench this spring, this was my only choice available and boy did it work out. It is eye-catching whether it is blooming or not with its beautiful green/yellow split leaves makes sure you don’t miss it. It will be back for 2018, as long as there isn’t a crop failure at our supplier.
5) Geum TOTALLY TANGERINE — Avens
Geum is a plant that is starting to be developed more and more. It is relatively easy to grow and looks great most of the summer. You can expect to see more varieties on the market in the upcoming years.
6) Tiarella ‘Candy Striper’ — Foam Flower
This large, lush, green leaves have a dark stippled stripe down each leaf lobe. It has a mounding habit, large leaf size, pink flowers buds, and white, foamy flowers in spring. Perfect for shady areas.
7) Sedum acre ‘Aureum’ — Stonecrop
This hardy sedum acts as an excellent groundcover or “stepable”. It is a fast grower and provides texture and color to the landscape.
8) Antirrhinum hispanicum ‘Roseum’ — Perennial Snapdragon
Rose-pink flowers over silver-blue foliage begin blooming in June and continue through the summer. Unlike the annual snapdragons, this plant it not bothered by heat and performs well throughout the summer.
9) Brunnera ‘Alexander’s Great’ — Siberian Bugloss
These gigantic plants have heavily silvered leaves and make a dramatic statement in the landscape or use as a dynamic specimen in a container. We have several planted here at Kingwood, and they are performing well in the Garden.
10) Monarda SUGAR BUZZ ‘Pink Frosting’ — Bee Balm
In midsummer, they form a solid dome of color with their 2.5-inch blooms on sturdy, well-branched stems. The foliage forms an upright clump with enough vigor to fill out but not aggressive.