Every year the National Garden Bureau selects one perennial, one annual, one bulb, and one edible as their Plants of the Year. The plants chosen for 2017 are some of the most enduringly popular garden choices, so even novice gardeners should have no problem finding any of them. Without further ado, here are the year's selections:
1) 2017 Annual of the Year is the Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana) - these large-flowered, versatile, popular bedding annuals come in a wide variety of colors, are easy to grow, and the flowers are even edible (just do not use pesticides if you intend to eat the flowers).
2) 2017 Perennial of the Year is the Rose (Rosa spp.) - the fragrant rose can sometimes be tricky to grow, but they have been a garden staple for a very long time, and come in a tremendous number of varieties and colors.
3) 2017 Bulb of the Year is the Daffodil (Narcissus spp.) - this spring-blooming, self-propagating perennial is one of the most recognizable harbingers of spring, and they are easy to grow, pretty much pest-free, often fragrant, and come in colors ranging from white to pink to the familiar yellow.
4) 2017 Edible of the Year is the Brassica Family (Brassicaceae) - this diverse family includes cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, turnips, bok choy, and a number of others, all of which are among the most nutritious of vegetables and also contain cancer-fighting compounds.
Next week I will share a few more 2017 plant selections from other gardening organizations. Now is the time to start thinking about what to plant this year, and these winners can help you make those choices.