There's so much that changes in the MG landscape throughout the year...we thought a plant trial and garden blog was the best way to start sharing "what's new" and "what's happening with all those new varieties" with you! Visit often for updates on how trial plants are performing in the gardens and to see photos throughout the season as we grow and change!

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog
Astilbe 'Vision in Red' with Hosta 'Patriot' and Carex 'Ice Dance'

Monday, February 2, 2009

New Shrubs for 2009

Hi there,
This week we will look at the new shrubs that we have to offer for 2009. Our product line here, percentage wise, grew larger than any other product. We will be adding 13 new shrubs to the line, many of which are Proven Winners(TM) Color Choice(TM) plants. There are three new exciting Hydrangea, one of which is the newest in the line of Endless Summer(R). Also, our entrance into the world of Hibiscus. So without further ado, here they are:

Sunjoy TM Gold Pillar TM or Gold Pillar TM Berberis
This is the golden version of the 'Helmond Pillar' Barberry. This plant creates a very upright exclamation point in the garden. It could be used both as a hedge and as a focal point in a perennial border. In fall, the foliage turns shades of orange and red.(In my opinion, its best season.) This is from the Proven Winners(TM) ColorChoice(TM) Plants marketing. Little to no fruiting has been seen on first year plants at Midwest Groundcovers.

Buddleja Lo & BeholdTM 'Blue Chip'
This is one of the finest new plants we have to offer. At first sight, I didn't think it was possible. I thought, these must be newly planted, young plants. But Lo and Behold, they were a new dwarf Buddleja! 'Blue Chip' stays nice and compact and blooms all summer long. I didn't even have to pinch old blooms last year! For the architects that came through, this was one that almost always gathered attention. Foliage also stayed clean, and spent blooms were disguised by new ones all year.

Diervilla sessilifolia 'Butterfly'
I almost started by saying this is one of my favorite new shrubs for '09. Then I realized, I'd be saying that for 80% of the plants on this page. So, what's really important is that this plant can take salt!!! It has yellow flowers in spring, and fantastic purple fall foliage. The foliage stays much cleaner than the Diervilla 'Splendens' that we also sell. A few years back, I saw this in Minnesota planted side by side with Splendens, and was taken aback by how nice it looked. Overall, this will grow 3-4' tall and wide in either sun or part shade.

Cotinus 'Royal Purple'
This is not the newest plant in the neighborhood. But it does merit ooh's and aah's. We trialed some of these to see how well we could sell them. It didn't take much more than a week to see our entire supply swept away. For a plant that gets pretty big, that was a nice thing to see. It can grow to 12' tall and wide, sometimes bigger. My recommendation is to cut it down real low every spring. It will not produce its smokey flowers, but it will produce extra large foliage, which to me is the most ornamental feature. Especially beautiful in the fall, this is a great substitute for those Purple Leaf Plums of the world.
Syringa vulgaris and Syringa vulgaris var. alba
If Cotinus isn't new, than Syringa vulgaris surely isn't. It is new for us though. Doesn't everyone want the lilac that their mom had? I do. These are for the classic landscaper who wants a plant that will spur memories. How many landscapers have been asked by their clients for the lilac they had in their backyards as a kid? I would think the numbers would be pretty high. Back when I was a landscaper, I was asked all the time. We sold a lot of these. We'll also be carrying the white version of the common lilac. We hope you enjoy!

Sambucus Black LaceTM
This could be a very successful plant for the landscape contractor. They are less disease prone than the purple leaf plums, and generally have less dieback than the Weigelas. Furthermore, this will offer up nice silvery-pink flowers in June. The plant resembles a Japanese Maple in texture and form. You could save a lot of money in replacements by using this instead of Acer palmatum because of it's hardiness.

Lil' KimTM
Hibiscus generally grow very large as a whole. This variety is the shortest to date. With it's white flowers combined with dark red centers, this plant is sure to provoke curious gardeners to ask the question, "Where do I get one?" It's ultimate height is only 3-4' tall with about 2/3 the spread. Late summer blooming when other plants are tired.

Blue SatinTM
This is more like your traditional Rose of Sharon but with an amazing blue colored flower. The blue with red centers are spectacularly showy well into late summer. Blue Satin will grow 8-12' tall and have a spread around 3-5' wide. Being an upright plant, they look best when you plant multiples of them. This has one of the largest blooms in the family.

Endless Summer Twist-N-Shout Hydrangea
This is the newest addition to the Endless Summer line of plants from Bailey's. The highlight of this plant is that it's a lace cap type Hydrangea macrophylla that blooms on new and old wood. This makes it possible for northern gardeners to get flowers. Previous to The Original Hydrangea Endless Summer, it was unheard of to have a H. macrophylla bloom in the Midwest. Now, thanks to Endless Summer and Michael Dirr, we have three choices!

Hydrangea paniculata Quickfire
This is a stately new example of H. paniculata. What makes this one unique is its early bloom. Quickfire blooms several weeks before other H. paniculata. Therefore, the blooms turn pink faster hence the name, Quickfire. Our decision at Midwest Groundcovers was to drop the 'Pink Diamond' and add this variety. We hope that you do the same.
Hydrangea paniculata Pinky Winky
Also a fine new introduction to the world of panical Hydrangeas. This one is perhaps the most unique of the genera. It produces extremely large blooms in summer that age from white to pink. Almost always, you'll see the majority of the bloom in pink, with the tip of the bloom white. Could we call this the first bi-colored Hydrangea paniculata? That remains to be seen. It is a larger grower, and it has taken the place in our product line of H. 'Unique.' It's kind of funny that the most unique of them replaces 'Unique'! Anyways, this was the second rated H. paniculata in our trials this year. Second only to the best shrub in the world, Hydrangea 'Limelight.' A little bias maybe. Sorry about that.

Saving the best for last! These plants merit everyone's attention!
Viburnum sieboldii IroncladTM
This great shrub was introduced by Roy Klehm. The story behind the name, or so I'm told, is that he had several hundreds of V. sieboldii being trialed and this is the only one that lived. Hence the name Ironclad! As you can see, it's greatest attribute is it's fantastic fruit display. Multiple colors of fruits attached to bright red pedicles. The foliage is very leathery and keeps a nice green color all season. It doesn't fall color well, and in fact didn't color at all in our landscape before dropping it's leaves. Limited quantities available for 2009! Get them while they last.
Diervilla Cool SplashTM
This is a breakthrough plant! I don't believe there are any other Diervilla with variegated foliage. The best comparison for foliage would be Ivory Halo Dogwood. The advantage to this is twofold. One, it will not get leaf spot like the Dogwoods do. Two, it is salt tolerant! Could you ask for anything more? It's ultimate height and spread is around 3'. Hardiness? It was bred up in Minnesota by Harold Pellet. This should give zone 3 hardiness for sure! Midwest Groundcovers will have this available in #2 size containers in May.

These are the new shrubs available this spring. Throughout the year, we will have other new fantastic offerings such as Hydrangea Incrediball and Hydrangea Invincibelle! Plus, some very interesting Tree Peonies could become available this year! I hope you enjoyed this edition. And now, it's your turn. What are some of the plants that we don't grow that you would like us to? Please respond here and let us know. Until next time, have a great day!

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