Welcome back to another gardening year with the DeKalb County Master Gardeners.
As we enter the 2017 gardening season, there will be new ideas and challenges to explore. From year to year, gardening trends and wonderful new landscape plants appear for us to learn about and consider using in our home gardens.
Gardening concepts that are trending for 2017 include sustainability, regionally focused garden design and natural landscapes.
How do we achieve sustainability? Buying locally grown landscape plants, making adjustments for the impact of climate changes and using native, low maintenance plants will all help achieve a long-term, sustainable home landscape.
Let’s take a look at the trending landscape plants for 2017.
The Urban Tree of the Year is the chestnut oak. This large, rapidly growing tree reaches a height of 60 to 70 feet. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil.
The chestnut oak has attractive silvery-white bark and chestnut shaped leaves that change to a combination of yellow, orange and brown for fall color.
The David Austin collection of English roses is offering two new varieties for rose lovers.
“Desdemona” is an attractive, fragrant, repeat blooming white rose with a pink center on a 4-by-4-foot plant. It should stand up to the hot humid weather in Zone 5.
“The Ancient Mariner” is a shrub rose with a repeating bloom cycle and combines attractive shading of pink outer petals with a dark pink center. This rose also has a pleasing scent. It is a larger 5-by-5-foot shrub and shows well at the back of a border or rose bed.
The Perennial Plant Association has selected native butterfly weed as its perennial of the year for 2017. This is not a new plant, but it has been receiving renewed attention with the increased interest in growing plants for our pollinators.
This attractive plant is a magnet for bees and butterflies. When placed in a full sun location, butterfly weed will reward you with a beautiful, orange flower display.
Hybrid forms of this plant are now becoming available in stunning rose and red varieties.
New perennial varieties are being presented for consideration for our 2017 gardens. “Mars Madness” is a show stopping, hardy hibiscus. Its 6- to 8-inch magenta-red blooms on 5-by-5-foot stems are a dramatic addition to any garden.
“Mission Bells” penstemon is unlike most of the penstemon family. Penstemons usually require soil conditions that have excellent drainage. Mission Bells will tolerate denser soils so it should do very well in our heavier, clay soil conditions. It blooms from spring to frost with deep rose clusters of blooms.