Thursday, May 7, 2015

This 'n That Thursdays: 2015 Garden Plants of the Year

Azaleas in bloom at Callaway Gardens in Georgia
(from PRWeb)

It is finally starting to feel like gardening weather around here, so I thought I would list the various winners of Plant of the Year awards for 2015 (you can read about last year's winners here).  First up is the Perennial Plant Association's Perennial Plant of the Year:

Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo'

Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo' has pale pinkish-white flowers and a delicate scent.  It is hardy in USDA Zones 4 to 8 and does best in full sun to partial shade.  It has a low mounding growth habit, has leaves that turn a vibrant scarlet and orange in the fall, and is semi-evergreen in most climates.  Plant this perennial in average, well-drained soil at the front of a border and it is virtually maintenance-free, requiring only occasional deadheading.  It tends to be deer- and rabbit-resistant.

The International Herb Association has chosen Savory (Satureja spp.) as its 2015 Herb of the Year:

There is both an annual summer savory (Satureja hortensis) and perennial winter savory (Satureja montana).  The former is more commonly used as a culinary herb and has a milder flavor than the perennial species.  Like most herbs, they prefer well-drained soil, but summer savory needs a more nutrient-rich medium.  Plant both in a sunny location.

The 2015 Urban Tree of the Year selected by The Society of Municipal Arborists is the Yellowwood (Cladastris kentukea or C. lutea):

This native tree in the legume family (Fabaceae) has attractive foliage that turns yellow in the fall, but late spring is its most spectacular season, as this is when long panicles of fragrant white blossoms burst forth.  It can become quite large, but is relatively pest-free and even does well in cities as long as it gets enough water.

The best performing national Plants of the Year chosen by All-America Selections for 2015 include the following:

Dianthus, Interspecific Jolt Pink F1
(Bedding Plant National Award Winner)

Petunia Tidal Wave Red Velour F1
(Flower National Award Winner)

Salvia Summer Jewel White
(Bedding Plant National Award Winner)

Broccoli Artwork F1
(Vegetable National Award Winner)

Squash Butterscotch F1
(Vegetable National Award Winner)

Beet Avalanche
(Vegetable National Award Winner)

I am especially interested in the compact butternut squash and the white beet.  The small squash would be more suitable for just the two of us in our household, and while I love the color of red beets I am reluctant to cook with fresh ones because I don't like the red stains everywhere.  I haven't grown beets since I was a child, but this may be the year when I will finally plant them again!

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