Garden Media Group Predicts the Garden Superstars of 2006

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New plant and products take a starring role in outdoor rooms this spring.

Short days and long nights lend themselves to dreaming of spring, triggering an itch to get out of the house and into the garden. But while you are fighting a full-blown case of cabin fever, plant explorers and outdoor décor vendors are turning up a whole slew of new green goods that will arrive just in time to help you scratch that gardening itch.

This Spring gardeners can find an array of great new plants, garden accessories and green products guaranteed to help them make their outdoor space all their own.

From homegrown vegetables and patio-ready plants to ever-blooming shrubs and funky glazed containers, Spring 2006 promises to be an exciting year for outdoor projects, according to Garden Media Group.

*Hip Harvests from Home

Fresh from the garden vegetables and herbs are a true luxury guaranteed to make your summer recipes taste even better. From spicy basil and red-stemmed spinach to super-sized lima beans and tomatoes that look like bell peppers, breakthroughs in breeding are making vegetable gardening easy and en vogue.

This season you can dazzle your dinner guests with meals created using ingredients harvested right from your own garden. Look out for specialty veggies exclusive to W. Atlee Burpee & Co. (http://www.burpee.com), including a tie-dyed looking tomato called Red Lightning and Maple Sugar Corn which tastes as sweet as maple syrup.

*Patio Ready Plants

Add an instant punch of color to patios, balconies or terraces with clematis in the Raymond Evison Patio Clematis™ collection. These show-stopping beauties are the first clematis bred to be grown in a container, and are available in bold reds, dark purples and mauve. The long-blooming patio clematis grow only 3 feet, and provide vertical columns of color from spring through fall.

The Raymond Evison Clematis patio-ready plants make it easy to decorate instantly for an outdoor gathering. Simply slip the patio clematis into decorative containers and accessorize any outdoor space.

For more information on the Raymond Evison Patio Collection™, visit http://www.evisonclematis.com.

*Color Your Landscape with Shrubs

With so many shrubs being offered on the market, limiting choices to just one or two plants has become extremely difficult. To help you narrow it down, here are just a few must-haves that are sure to turn some heads this spring.

Need a replacement for your boxwood, then try the eye-catching shrub ‘Drops of Gold’ Japanese Holly. Ideal as a hedge or foundation plant, it offers striking foliage of bright gold when exposed to the sun. Or perhaps Photinia Pink Marble™, a preppy reddish pink & green landscape shrub, known for its extraordinary foliage and low maintenance.

Both from the Conard-Pyle, visit http://www.starplants.com for more ideas.

With the popularity of hydrangeas on the rise, Hines Horticulture’s (http://www.hineshort.com)new Halo Hydrangeas™ are the perfect addition to your partly shade garden. Named because of the halo of light color that surrounds the edge of each blossom, this collection includes seven stunning colors that bloom from spring to fall.

And don’t forget shrub roses! Ever blooming and disease resistance Knock Out® rose from Star® Roses (http://www.theknockoutrose.com) bloom almost continuously, available in three colors, are easy to grow with little to no maintenance needed.

*Contain Yourself!

So you don’t have the time or space for a full-size garden? You can still get the flavor and feel of getting your hands dirty, and create elegant accents inside and outside your home with one or more of the latest “designer” containers from Campania International.

Containers to compliment one’s personal style is becoming easier than ever. VP of Product Development at Campania International, Peter C. Cilio, explains, “Here at Campania, we have responded to consumer’s desire to match containers and outdoor statuary with the style of their home and with trends in interior décor. This spring containers will be available in a wider selection of materials, patinas and contemporary colors than we have ever offered before.”

New products on the market include funky glazed Lipstick containers, which come in a variety of shapes and colors, and distinctive cast stone urns and benches from the Longwood Gardens Centennial Collection.

Look for more containers to fit your style at http://www.campaniainternational.com.

*Give Your Plants a Boost

Gardening underground is taking on new life. More than ever before, gardeners are realizing that great gardens begin underground with nutrient-rich soil. Products like LazyMan™ Liquid Soil Aerator and LazyMan™ Organic Soil Conditioner make it easy to enhance soil quality for naturally healthy lawns and gardens. Visit http://www.outsidepride.com.

Turn up your plant’s own growth and defense systems with Messenger®(http://www.messenger.info) from Eden Bioscience. This revolutionary new plant care product is like a vaccination for your plants, increasing plant vigor while protecting its health. Environmentally safe, this breakthrough product enhances disease resistance. Spray it on throughout the growing season, and Messenger® will improve the overall performance of plants both indoors and outdoors.

*Plant Encyclopedia

Imagine having an entire plant encyclopedia at your fingertips that helps you find the perfect shrub or flower to fill that corner spot in your yard; or find the perfect blue perennial to use as a focal point in your garden. Now imagine that this encyclopedia was attached to your Yellow Pages so that you could find exactly where you could buy these plants.

The Virtual Plant Tags at http://www.LGYP.com -- that’s Lawn & Garden Yellow Pages – uses the power of local search to help you find plant cultural information, photos and all the garden centers in your area that sell them.

Well, if that rash has turned into a fever by now, we’ll understand. It’s shaping up to be one heckuva of a garden party this spring!

Now go grab a friend and head to your nearest garden center.

For high-res images please contact Garden Media Group at (610) 388-9330 or via email at info@gardenmediagroup.com.

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Susan McCoy
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