Monday, February 21, 2011

Do They Deserve The Honor

Each year we wait with anticipation to see which plant or plants will be awarded the prestigeous honor of "Plant Of The Year."  The 2012 winners have already been chosen with 2011 barely in our garden plans.

Brunnera Jack Frost 2012 Plant of the Year

Panicum Northwind  2012 Winner
I can highly recommend this grass for it's growth habit and ability to stay standing during the winter.

Heuchera Carmel 2012 Winner
My daughter-in-law has several of these and the color is lovely both in sun and shade.

Amsonia Hubrichiti 2011 Plant of the Year (Summer)

Amsonia Hubrichiti 2011 (Fall)
I have seen this plant at the Morton Arboretum and it is stunning!

Baptisia Australis 2010 Plant of the Year

If we go back through the years, many of these winners have become mainstays in our gardens and some have been a mere flash in the pan.

Hakonechloa macra Aureola 2009 Plant of the Year
I have this at the entrance to my shade garden and it has been very slow growing.  I think it is ready for a move this year, maybe too much sun!

Geranium Rozanne 2008 Plant of the Year
This had a slow start in my garden and I had to replace two out of four the first year.  They seem to have taken hold and bloom from spring into fall.

Nepeta Walker's Low 2007 Plant of the Year
I have removed this from a few areas in my garden, not a winner for me.  I have restricted it to the alley garden and my garden in Wisconsin (where it looks like the picture).

Dianthus Firewitch 2006 Plant of the Year
I have these in both my home garden and my garden in Wisconsin.  They do much better in Wisconsin and I have moved them to another location in my home garden.  They did not do well last year with the heat on the south side of my home.

Helleborus xhybridus 2005 Plant of the Year

Japanese Painted Fern 2004 Plant of the Year
I have several plantings of this fern.  It's a winner!

Shasta Daisy Becky 2003 Plant of the Year
This is a beautiful daisy, does not flop but it certainly does spread.  Be prepared to divide this every few years.

Phlox David 2002 Plant of the Year
This is a wonderful phlox and grows quite tall and wide under the proper conditions.

Karl Foerster Grass 2001 Plant of the Year
I have this grass up in Wisconsin, tends to flop and does not stand up well during the winter.

It is fun watching what is picked each year as the "Plant of the Year," not always what we would choose for our specific garden.  I would have chosen Blue Parsdise Phlox for it's ability to rebloom all summer and fall, and Heuchera Southern Comfort for its large showy leaves and great color into the fall and winter (it's still beautiful laying on the frozen ground).

Phlox Blue Paradise with Shasta Daisy Becky

Heuchera Southern Comfort

There are many more years of winners and going back through them, there are only a few that I would continue to grow in my garden.  So, be choosy, evaluate and only keep what works in your garden.