Hot New Plants -- Flowering Shrubs For 2007

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As a lifelong Horticultural professional, Vicki Smith (http://www.LGYP.com) has news about hot new flowering shrubs for 2007 and guidance for growing these shrubs in the home garden.

As a lifelong Horticultural professional, Vicki Smith (http://www.LGYP.com) has news about hot new flowering shrubs for 2007 and guidance for growing these shrubs in the home garden. Many of these shrubs will bloom all the way through to the first frost. With so much focus on outdoor living and container gardening, these new ornamental shrubs, evergreens and roses will bring excitement to the landscape, patio and deck in beds and raised planters mixed with annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses and even tropicals.

Gardeners should not forget about roses when considering flowering shrubs for their new projects or to re-invigorate an existing landscape. A huge movement in rose breeding is bringing pest-free and disease-free landscape roses in a wonderful variety of colors that will blend with any garden color scheme. To get a flowering shrub that flowers spring through frost and is low maintenance is exactly what today's busy homeowners are looking for. New roses can be a great answer. Special varieties for 2007 include: 'Flower Carpet® Scarlet' Groundcover Rose, 'Julia Child', 'Pink Double Knock Out®', 'Polar Joy™' one of the hardiest tree roses available, 'Rainbow Knock Out' and 'Sunrise Sunset'.

Unlike Japanese or Sasanqua Camellias whose flowers look reminiscent of roses, the new 'Elina Cascade' tsaii Camellia has delicate blossoms that cover the weeping form of the evergreen shrub. This is one of the most unique Camellias to be introduced to the gardening community in some time.

Four new Bigleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) will be adding drama to the shady garden areas with a combination of pure white blooms on 'Blushing Bride' the newest Endless Summer® variety, 'Color Fantasy®' a smaller-growing rich red or magenta selection for smaller spaces and 'Lemon Daddy™' with its contrasting lemon-yellow leaves and pink-lavender flowers. The fourth plant is from a group of Bigleaf Hydrangeas known as Lacecaps, a term that refers to the look of the center fertile flowers surrounded by larger, showy sterile flowers. This floral variation is captured beautifully in the 'Light-0-Day', which also has two colors to the blooms. The small center flowers are either blue or pink, depending on the pH of the soil they are grown in, and are surrounded by pure white outer petals. Since the shrub is rather compact, it will work nicely in small residential or city lots and even in containers.

Several interesting new shrubs offer ornamental characteristics throughout the gardening season. Gaining popularity for the striking blue summer flowers is Blue-mist Shrub, Blue-spirea, Bluebeard or Caryopteris x clandonensis. 'Grand Bleu™' is a compact form that flowers from mid-summer until frost.

Grown as much for its foliage as its flowers, (A. x grandiflora) Glossy Abelia 'Kaleidoscope' has yellow and green leaves, changing to yellows, oranges, reds and greens for fall. Combined with petite white flowers in summer and into autumn, this multi-season bush is attractive in containers and in mass plantings.

Not well known as a group, Viburnums can range from low-growing groundcovers to shrubs that grow large enough to think of them as small trees.

Knowing the specifics about a particular plant ensures that the gardener will place the right plant in the right spot in their landscape. The new Viburnum wrightii 'C.A. Hildebrant's' is a very compact shrub with masses of white blooms in the early spring, glossy leaves that add yellow and red to the fall garden and an abundance of shiny, red berries for winter interest. Check out these Hot New Shrubs.

Considered garden staples in the south, new breeding work with Crapemyrtles (Lagerstroemia) is yielding hardier varieties for use in the middle latitudes of the states. The new 'Pink Velour' has large coral pink blooms as much as 12 inches in length in the summer and 'Super Sonic' is a compact early flowering variety that begins to flower nearly a month before many other crape myrtles. With its smaller shape, it is ideal for hanging and raised containers in sunny spots in the garden.

Also traditionally thought of as 'southern flowers', Common Mallows or Swamp Hibiscus (H. moscheutos) are being used more in non-traditional ways. Hardier than their delicate crepe paper looking flowers might lead you to believe, the species is native to the US. Tolerant of winter temperatures to Zone 5, these Hibiscus can be safely planted in much of coastal New England, parts of New York and Pennsylvania, across much of the Mid-West including Michigan and Ohio, across much of the central prairie and plains and even parts of the Rockies. The new 'Cranberry Punch™' is nicely compact at only 30" allowing it to be used in smaller garden spots. The 'Luna' series offers a choice of flower colors on larger growing plants that thrive in conditions ranging from wet soils to droughts after they are established. The new hybrid 'Klahanie' is a lovely new yellow variety bringing the sunshine into the garden.

With new, dramatic, easy to grow shrubs that add color to the garden for months on end, it can be very satisfying to enjoy spring's new energy and reap the results of just a small amount of effort as the gardener views the garden throughout the gardening year. These exciting new plants and local sources for them can be found at http://www.HotNewPlants.com.

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STEVE CISSEL

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