The Proven Winners Landscape Roadshow took off on Monday and this virtual three session event is coming to an end today. The purpose of this show is to educate, showcase and create interest in the newest Proven Winners plant introductions. Even though, the program is designed for landscape professionals, it is of interest for the entire industry to learn more about the the Proven Winner varieties and to even see what's coming.
The first session offered an insight in the trial gardens of Four Star Greenhouse (annuals) and Spring Meadow Nursery (shrubs). On the second session, held on November 4, new perennial varieties ideal for the landscape were presented by Josh Roggenbuck of Walter's Gardens followed by smart landscape irrigation technologies by Warren Gorowitz of Hunter Irrigation. Today, in the last session, Leigh McGonagle, Proven Winners Certified Landscape Professional shows successful Landscape Design Elements Using Proven Winners. The final session will be held this afternoon, November 6, 2020.
In this article, a peek into what was presented.
What happened in the industry
Before moving on to the varieties, Josh Miller, New Product manager at Four Star Greenhouse shows what happened in the industry during the pandemic. He explains that Covid-19 did some good for the industry. Lot of folks started to look at their backyards and sales of plants started to rise. He refers to the Home garden panel Survey that reveals that the industry gained 15-20 million new gardeners in 2020 and 95 percent of these people said that they will purchase again and that 85 percent will spend as much or more, which is great news for our industry. Also, when looking at the age breakout you see that the younger generation is interested in gardening, he adds. When looking at the year to come, they expect that the same will happen next year. For March, April and May, garden purchases are already taking place now.
Dennis Crum and Josh Miller
Proven Winners Annuals - Four Star Greenhouse
Then, together with Dennis Crum, Director of Growing at Four Star Greenhouse, Miler present a program called “Stunning new Proven Winners annuals to enhance your landscape”. During the presentation, many varieties were highlighted, below three highlighted:
“This is a new Whirlwind addition that meets all the performance benchmarks of our fully upgraded series, and offers a novel, bi-colored flower. That is a distinct lavender and white flower that transitions from the greenhouse and retail to a steel-blue lavender in the full summer sun. Flowering is consistent, saturated and a perfect combination for pastels,” he says. “Starlight has a beefier mounded habit and will laugh at the summer heat!”
“The flower size of Royale Red Zone is remarkable,” says Miller. “There are some good red Lantanas on the market but this one is compact, sterile, noninvasive and has the signature Luscious Royale habit that's good for both the retail bench and the consumer. It is constantly covered with flowers and heavily attracts pollinators, and with Red Zone’s grower performance and eye-candy factor at retail, it will also attract consumers!”
Click here for more 'Outstanding Varieties for 2021' at fourstargreenhouse
Also they quickly presented the Aquapots, self watering planters that they introduced at the Cultivate'19.
Proven Winners Shrubs - Spring Meadow Nursery
Following, Spring Meadow Nursery Landscape Program Manager, Jane Beggs-Joles will welcomed the webinar attendees to Spring Meadow Nursery owners Dale and Liz Deppe’s, private gardens in Grand Haven, Michigan. With over twenty years experience working in the nursery industry, Beggs-Joles has had the privilege of helping to introduce some fantastic plants to North American horticulture. She will continue in this tradition in this exclusive virtual tour, featuring Proven Winners ColorChoice shrubs.
Aerial view of the 50 acres production space of Spring Meadow Nursery. This shrub liner producer is currently expanding the production space due to the high demand this year and the expected high demand for next year.
Before the actual garden tour she first gives her the top 10 fall genera. Below we give three of them, including some 2021 varieties (which are not available for landscapers yet).
Aronia melanocarpa Low Scape Hedger®. 'Form follows function with Low Scape Hedger® aronia, a narrow columnar selection that's perfect for creating hedges or mass planting. Lower maintenance and faster to produce than 'Viking.' White flowers in spring appear among dark glossy green foliage which turns to vivid shades of yellow, orange, and red in autumn. Developed by Dr. Mark Brand and Dr. Bryan Connolly at the University of Connecticut. Native.' Click here for more information.
'Fothergilla has always been appreciated for its spectacular autumn color, but Legend of the Fall® fothergilla sets a new standard for the species with brilliant, glowing hues of orange, yellow, and red. Spring brings a crop of fragrant white flowers. This plant was also selected for its improved production performance, a boon since this plant will surely be in high demand by landscapers and garden designers.' Click here for more information.
New in the Fothergilla is Legend of the Small. Liners will be shipped in 2021. 'A true, small-leaf, small-stature Fothergilla x intermedia from Tom Ranney and his team at NCSU. After trialing about a dozen of his selections, this was the clear winner in terms of vigor, flower power, and fall color. It produces an abundance of bottle brush-like white flowers, has a well-branched mounded habit, and small bluish-green leaves that turn an attractive blend of yellow, orange, and red in autumn.' Click here for more information.
Itea virginica Scentlandia®. 'Fabulously fragrant. Sweetspire is beloved for so many reasons: it’s native, shade tolerant, deer resistant, has handsome foliage, amazing fall color, very showy flowers, and of course, delicious fragrance. So how could Scentlandia® sweetspire improve on the classic? Better hardiness, for one, so that even gardeners in the colder parts of its hardiness zone can enjoy the fragrance, year after year. It also boasts brighter, more consistent fall color, along with a compact, refined habit.' Click here for more information.
A new Itea virginica is Fizzy Mizzy™. Liners will be available in 2021. "An unconventional Itea noted for its numerous, heavenward-shooting white, early summer flower spikes. A neat and tidy habit, in a container and in the garden, she has thick, dark green leaves which contrast nicely with the lightly fragrant, pure white blooms." Click for here more information.
The trial garden.
Then, in a video, Beggs-Joles showed how the varieties are doing in the trial garden.
Proven Winners Perennials - Walter's Gardens
On the second day, Josh Roggenbuck of Walter's Gardens, one of North America's leading wholesale grower of perennials, presented the new Proven Winner varieties that are ideal for landscape.
He presented 15 varieties, but we will show three of them below.
Nepeta 'Cat's Pajamas' is 2021 Proven Winners National Perennial of the Year. 'A purr-fect Catmint for fans of 'Cat's Meow' who love the look but want a smaller scale version. In addition to being a little over half the height, 'Cats Pajamas' also blooms about 2-3 weeks earlier than 'Cat's Meow'. The ball-shaped habit carries long, dark flower stems that hold indigo blue flowers. Unlike older varieties that only produce flowers at the top of the stems, this improved Catmint has blooms from the soil to the tips of the stems. Even when the flowers are past peak, the color of the rosy purple calyxes give your garden an additional splash of color. As an added bonus, the small, aromatic leaves keep deer and rabbits away. Try this shorter stature plant in city gardens or near the front of the border.' Click here for more information.
‘Autumn Frost’ is a sport of the 2010 AHGA Hosta of the Year, ‘First Frost’, which in turn is a sport of the champion of blue hostas, ‘Halcyon’. It is a showier version of ‘First Frost’, displaying extra wide margins. The leaves emerge frosty blue with a bright yellow margin that lightens to creamy white during the summer. It forms a medium sized mound topped with light lavender flowers in mid to late summer.' Click here for more information. Click here for more information.
Hibiscus 'Berry Awesome' is 2019 Proven Winners National Perennial of the Year. 'It is a Hibiscus hardy to zone 4. This plant gets nicknamed “dinner plate Hibiscus” because the flowers on this plant are a huge 7-8” wide. ‘Berry Awesome’ has lavender pink flowers and red eye, with contrasting deep midnight green foliage. Flowers are produced from the top to the bottom of the plant, rather than just at the top like some other cultivars. The foliage forms the perfect habit and will be ready to show off from late summer into early fall. ‘Berry Awesome’ is the perfect backdrop or centerpiece for sunny borders.' Click here for more information.
The webinar ended with a presentation on smart landscape irrigation technologies by Warren Gorowitz of Hunter Irrigation.
Eager to participate in one of the upcoming webinars? Click here to register.