So you have a yard. Now what?
We know that gardening can be a daunting task, especially if you’re starting with a blank canvas. With so many plants to choose from, how do you know which plant will fit your gardening style? Whether you have just enough time for a quick watering every day after work, or you enjoy dedicating long hours working in the yard, there’s something fit for every style – there’s even variations that thrive in containers for the concrete jungle dwellers out there!
NOW is a great time to garden. You can enjoy the beautiful weather outside and get your plants settled before the cold-weather months hit. Let us help you decide what to plant by taking our Big Bloom Theory quiz. After answering a variety of questions about your personality and gardening style, we’ll suggest plant varieties that we think would be a great fit. Don’t be surprised if it’s a match made in Heaven.
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So you have a yard. Now what?
Lambrusco™ Barberry: http://www.firsteditionsplants.com/the-plants/shrubs/lambrusco-barberry
Sky High™ Juniper: http://www.firsteditionsplants.com/the-plants/evergreens/sky-high-juniper
This plant combo of pink, burgundy, and silvery-green falls on the analogous color scale. They are all sun lovers with medium water needs. The Juniper likes it a little bit on the drier side, but should be fine with the other plants. The combo gives you varying heights, forms, and textures, and year-round interest.Repeat the plant combination: The way you make a border garden from a group of plants is to repeat the combo. Plant perennials in ratios of 3:1 for shrubs and 5:1 or 7:1 for trees. For example, one juniper to three to five barberries and one barberry to three to five phlox plants. Depending on how large your space is you can repeat that combo two or three times to instantly get that “professionally-designed” look. If you have space, incorporate a few more plants into the combo. Ornamental grasses add movement and fine texture that few other plants offer. Selecting a few other pink-flowering perennials that bloom at different times than the phlox would round out the example combo nicely, as well. The trick is to find a picture of a border you like and observe its characteristics. What colors are repeated? Are they repeated by use of the same plant, or a different plant with the same color of leaves or flowers? What forms are repeated? Are there lots of columnar shapes in the garden, and are they the same plant or different plants? Border design is a balancing act between contrast and repetition. Don’t be afraid to set out your plant combo in the parking lot of the garden center to eyeball it. If it looks interesting, buy multiples and plant. If all of the plants look the same, go back to the sales area and look for something to make it pop!
Spring is the best time to prune back your panicle hydrangeas! But what the heck is a panicle-type? How do you tell them apart from the others? These hydrangeas are the ones with a triangular shape that bloom white in summer and then turn a red, pink, or parchment in fall. Something like Vanilla Strawberry™, Strawberry Sundae™ and White Diamonds® Hydrangea.
We recommend pruning these types of hydrangeas back 30-50% of the way down the established stems. It may seem like a lot, but it's necessary to prevent flopping late in summer when the heavy flower heads are in full bloom.
Prune at a 45% angle just above a set of buds.
This type of hydrangea grows flowers in "new wood," which means the growth that will start in spring, so you don't have to worry about cutting off potential blooms from last year, like on some other mophead-type hydrangeas.
Click HERE or above to watch our video about how quick and easy it is to prune your panicle hydrangeas!
NOTE: If you have an older, more established panicle hydrangea that isn't developing the big beautiful blooms that it used to, give it a good hard prune in late winter/early spring. That means cutting down to the lowest set of viable buds, which is likely between 10" and 18" off the ground. This will help reinvigorate the shrub.
Every year, major publications come out with their "Best of" new plants list. This year, the folks at Fine Gardening were no exception, and included First Editions® Cinnamon Girl™ Distylium as one of their Best New Shrubs for 2016. They call it "a disease-free alternative to boxwood." That's one great attribute of this plant; for those of you that deal with boxwood blight and other insect and disease issues, Distylium is a great disease-resistant alternative. Cinnamon Girl™ is also unique in that it has higher cold tolerance than the species. This variety has plum-purple new grown and then turns blue-green as the leaves mature. Click HERE to learn more about Cinnamon Girl™, or click HERE to read the digital issue of Fine Gardening.
For those of you cold climate gardeners that love the Northern Lights series of azalea, you're in luck! First Editions® Electric Lights™ Red Azalea comes from the same breeder, so the cold hardiness and incredible color you trust is back...this time with a red flower! This variety has been tested and is a true zone 4 shrub that does well in full sun or part shade. In spring, it is absolutely covered in true fire engine-red flowers that have that unmistakable azalea fragrance. Electric Lights™ Red grows in an upright mound, but stays relatively compact with a mature size of 4-5' tall and 3-4' wide. Try them in the back of a border planting, especially with other perennials or shrubs that don't have as much spring color. This new variety will be something you and your friends will talk about all spring, and look forward to all winter long! For more photos and information, click HERE!
At First Editions® Plants, our goal is to continue introducing only the best new plants that make your garden and landscape a better place. We try to solve a problem by breeding and discovering plants that are a strong replacement for something that is already available in your local garden center. We travel the world looking for new plants, breed new species at our own facilities and do years of testing before introducing these new varieties to you. We do that so that you can be confident that each First Editions® Plant was truly Selected For Success™. It's not an overnight process, but one that has your needs in mind. With that, we are extremely excited to unveil the newest varieties in the First Editions® Collection, which will be available in your favorite garden centers this year. Head over to our Pinterest page for the full line up!
Flowering foliage and tropical plants can be thought of as container or in-home plants many times. Thanks to Greenhouse Grower for including First Editions® Summer Ruffle™ as a wonderful garden variety that has incredible foliage. Blue-green foliage is accented by creamy white margins on this new hibiscus variety. It stays relatively compact, maturing to 3' - 4' tall and wide, making it a great option for containers or small space gardens. In addition to the show-stopping foliage, beautiful lavender flowers provide a stunning accent in the summer months.
Getting new plants to the garden center for you to purchase can sometimes be a long process. From the breeder to growers and then to market can take 5, 10 or even 20 years. During that process, the brand has to introduce the new plants to the retail garden centers so they can learn all about them and share with you! One of the top trade publications is Greenhouse Grower, who just released their "Top 5 Retail Plant Stories of 2015." We were thrilled to see that the top 2 stories featured First Editions® plants! Their top story introduced the retail garden centers to our Crimson Fire™ and Sparkling Sangria™ Fringe Flower, talking about their great garden performance. The second-most-read story was the top 12 Eye-Catching Landscape Shrubs for the year, which features new First Editions® varieties. Take a glance through the stories and see how your favorite garden center learns about new plants!
When planting flowering or fruit trees for your home garden or landscape, multi-season interest is a major bonus. Ruby Tears™ is one of our favorite weeping crabapples for a small space garden. It matures to only 8-10' tall and 12-15' wide and has a really interesting branching structure that catches your eye. In spring, fragrant pink flowers cover the cascading branches, bringing a beautiful softness to the landscape. Burgundy-green foliage covers the tree all summer, which are accented by beautiful red fruit that lasts through mid-winter.
Part of the beauty of fall is seeing the leaves change and the orange, yellow and reds coming to life in the garden. But what if you want to hold on to a bit of the summer color? Wouldn't it be nice to have a splash of blue in the fall garden? Not only will it harken to the colors of spring and summer, but also provides a nice contrast to the warm colors of fall. Well, look no further: First Editions® Sapphire Surf™ Bluebeard is the answer! It provides striking blue flowers over the entire plant in late summer and fall, and makes a dramatic impact when planted en masse. As an added bonus, it's proven to be deer and drought resistant, so no need to worry about Bambi chewing up your last bit of color before the snow comes!
Happy Mother's Day! We hope that you have a fantastic weekend with friends and family.
(Photo Credit: Sweet Cherry Pie™ Cherry Tree)
If you’re looking for bright red fall color, Matador™ Maple is one of the best selections available. Look at this beautiful transition of color from early in the season through prime fall color! Not only is the deep red a shining beacon in your fall landscape, but it also has an improved upright, symmetrical shape year-round to give your yard a full and refined look.
Fall color is so beautiful to look at, but what to do with all of the leaves that fall to the ground? Why not make a stunning bouquet out of them? Take a look at this flower made out of Scarlet Jewell™ maple.
It’s early fall color of yellow and crimson red gives a great multi-colored look woven into a rose-like bloom. Want to try it for yourself? Follow the directions here.
We've all seen stunning pergolas and canopies before; think of the images floating around Facebook and Pinterest that show the ancient Japanese wisteria ceiling. The question arose... "how do I do that for myself?" EASY! This pergola was built a few years back as the entrance to a display garden. Summer Cascade™ Wisteria was planted with it and allowed to cover the lattice structure.
Now look at this beauty! Even after a harsh winter with over 50 days below zero in Minnesota, it came back like a blooming machine, covering the pergola with dark green foliage and these picturesque purple blooms. It's really that easy – try it for yourself! To learn more about Summer Cascade™, click here for more information.