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'

Thursday, March 19, 2009

2009 New Perennials & 2009 Hosta of the Year

Hello again,
I want to thank all of you who have become readers of the blog! We have had a high increase in the amount of traffic coming to the site. So I must thank you! It's quite exciting to see the number of readers go up by 100% over the previous month! We now have the most readers on the blog since we started in 2007. Thank you everyone for taking the time to read and hopefully enjoy what's here. If there is any kind of information that you are looking for that I have not covered yet, but you think I should, please email me and I'll see what I can do! You can email me by clicking here mgplanttrials@gmail.com.

Hosta 'Earth Angel'
This is the 2009 Hosta of the Year. It is touted as the first ever yellow variegated big blue hosta. It is a sport of Hosta 'Blue Angel' which is already a classic. The plant in the photo was in a good amount of sun when I took this shot. That explains why the blue isn't so prevalent. A nice large Hosta nonetheless.

Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers'
This is a remarkable introduction. A Rudbeckia with quilled petals. It has been in our landscape for two summers now. One downfall is that it is a fast growing, tall plant that has some weeping tendencies. It seems that most people don't like weeping perennials. A weeping Katsuratree is wonderful, but a weeping Rudbeckia is questionable. However, these weeping perennials are just asking for friends. Friends make everyone happy. Plant 'Henry Eilers' with Eupatorium 'Little Joe' or Panicum 'Dallas Blues' and you not only have a nice combination, but you limit the amount of weeping that will occur because Henry will have a friend's shoulder to rest his head on.
Rudbeckia laciniata 'Goldquelle'
Another very unique Rudbeckia is 'Goldquelle'. Marigold-like flowers in summer offer a much different look for a Rudbeckia than what most people are used to. It's foliage is highly dissected which is different than the rest. You do not want to overcrowd this plant as in these conditions it does get powdery mildew. But if given its space, it can be a highly desirable plant. Mix it with Hemerocallis 'Woodside Firedance' for a hot combo, or Salvia 'Caradonna' for more contrast.

Monarda Grand Parade
We have two new Monarda for our 2009 catalog. We've trialed many in the landscape and the best before now was always 'Coral Reef'. From the same breeding program comes Grand Parade and Grand Marshall. They have really nice flowers and disease resistant foliage. Very little mildew has been seen on these. Furthermore, they are compact plants that fit on cages very well helping out the garden center market!

Monarda Grand Marshall
Grand Marshall is an extremely floriferous plant. I've never seen a Monarda look so good in a pot as well! Dark magenta blooms on a very compact variety. If I could only choose one Monarda, perhaps it would be this one. Not an intended combination, but a good one is the Stachys 'Rosea' that was located near the Monarda trial. The two plants were very stunning together. It offers the architectural difference of ball shaped flowers and spikes. The next type of Monarda I have my sights on is a red variety that may be more compact than traditional varieties. I have one from the Chicagoland Grows program that I am looking at. I'll let you know how that progresses.
We are coming to the end of the new plants. I have one more blog in store of 2009's new perennials and then we can start talking about what is happening in the now! In fact, the Galanthus in the garden are starting to bloom as are the Crocus and Iris bulbs. Today, Spring is here! It's time to celebrate. Until next time, Have a great day!

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