Sunday, July 22, 2018

NEW Plant Introductions for 2019

New plants are coming from plant breeders fast and furiously. New calibrachoas, coleus,verbenas, lantanas and other annual favorites are hitting the market and are ready to be introduced to gardeners by our growers at Valley View Farms.
Calibrachoas continue to be popular
New coleus for color in sun and/or shade
   Our grower, store manager and greenhouse manager (that's me) drove 450 miles to Columbus, Ohio for our nation's largest plant trade show, or as they called it, a Solutions Marketplace, to see what's new. In addition, our grower John and I traveled to Lancaster County to see how many of the plants did in real conditions in a  yearly field trial that allows us to see the plants in action. Here are some of our favorites so far. We still have some evaluating to do, and will post those results later this year.

Providing food and habitat for pollinators is at the forefront of many gardeners minds. These plants are terrific to attract bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects to our gardens.
We love this new, supersized gomphrena. Look for it in large pots next summer

New salvias are always a hit...with gardeners and pollinators

Our long summer days can wreak havoc on our plants. During our five day trip, I really got a chance to see what would hold up in the garden and, even in pottery containers, with no watering. Dragon Wing begonias and lantanas did great. Here's a sample of newer varieties of each for considering in next year's garden.
Made for the shade; the chartreuse foliage will lighten up the shade garden 

Combination of several lantana varieties create this beautiful planter

Speaking of summer, what would the season be like without tomatoes and basil? This new basil, Amazel Basil from Proven Winners, offers resistance to downey mildew, a problem we've seen over the last few years, and a slow-to-flower plant that provides a longer harvest time of the very aromatic and flavorful leaves.

My personal favorite of all of the 800 new plants introduced at the trade show, was the Vinca. Vinca Soiree's adorable little blooms will handle the heat without a need to water frquently. The Vinca Tattoo series offers some new colors to our gardeners' favorite mid-summer plant.

Tattoo vinca has some HOT colors

We love the new Soiree colors

Best of all, the trip allowed us to catch up with good friends and business associates. Maybe we will relax later in the garden and partake in a lovely cocktail or two made with ingredients from one of our herb gardens.  

Mason, Lisa and Mark Hecklinger with our grower, John Miller and GM Tim McQuaid

Nice addition to lemonade, ice tea or your favorite beverage