This summer, Seasonal Wisdom had the chance to preview several exciting Proven Winners® introductions, including this striking ‘Cheyenne Sky’ Panicum virgatum ornamental grass in front of bright orange mums.
This attractive switch grass was introduced by Proven Winners in 2012. But several of these new plants will arrive at your local independent garden center in Spring 2013. Come take a peek…
As a garden writer, I’m often asked to review new plants for various companies. These are some of my favorite Proven Winners plants introduced in 2012 and 2013. Click on any photo to enlarge it (except the very first one).
The ‘Cheyenne Sky’ Panicum virgatum shown above is a perennial switch grass that grows well in containers, where it can show off its multi-colored foliage. Hardy to Zone 4, my plant has purplish-green tones as you can see in the above two photos. But as the weather grows more cold, the foliage will turn more red and golden.
Any of those colors work for me, because as you can see from this garden bed, vivid purples and oranges play starring roles in my garden in the fall.
Here’s another perspective of that garden bed, with calendula, mums, phlox, sedums, butterfly bush and ornamental grasses. The orange mums are just starting to bud in this mid-August photo.
Many Proven Winners plants matched my garden’s color scheme perfectly. If you look through the purplish-red sedum flowers, you’ll see in the background a black-eyed Susan vine climbing a small metal round trellis. Underneath are two of my favorite new Proven Winners introductions. Let’s move a little closer, so you can see…
Here’s a closer view of that bed, with black-eyed Susans climbing the trellis, and underneath are Superbells® Lemon Slice Calibrachoa hybrid and Luscious® Berry Blend™ Lantana hybrid – two new annuals from Proven Winners for 2013.
If you look closely, you’ll see a Proven Winners Black Lace elderberry Sambucus nigra, which is just starting to take off. By next year, this attractive small tree or shrub will start to fill this space nicely, but in the meantime the annuals add color and beauty.
Adding drama to the garden bed is the new Luscious Berry Blend Lantana hybrid, which features pink and yellow flowers with darker green foliage. In my garden, the plant survived drought and heat very well, and tolerates humidity too.
Right next to the colorful Lantana is the new Superbells Lemon Slice Calibrachoa hybrid with unique yellow and white petals. When my neighbor first saw this flower, she couldn’t believe it was real. Expect to draw attention with this pretty annual, whether you plant it in hanging baskets or scattered in gardening beds, as I’ve done here.
Senorita Blanca™ Cleome hybrid is a delightful new annual that blooms all season long with lovely white flowers that never need deadheading. You’ll love the way this plant performs for a very long time.
Above you can see the flowering plant in early summer, growing next to sage, yellow yarrow and Shasta daisies just starting to bloom.
Much later in the season — as the Shasta daises and yarrow fade for the year — this cleome kept growing strong. In my garden, the plant reached more than 3 feet tall and about 2 feet wide.
The white flowers on Senorita Blanca have a pale lavender blush and stand up to heat and humidity like a champ.
This photo doesn’t even begin to do justice to this remarkable ColorBlaze® Marooned™ Solenostemon scutellariodes.
This handsome coleus — with rich purple burgundy foliage — grew much larger by the end of the season than you can see in this photo. Best of all, this colorful plant tolerates sun or shade, making it ideal for most gardens.
Purple foliage adorns this Summerific™ ‘Summer Storm’ Hibiscus shown above. This perennial was introduced in 2012, and has won fans for its striking leaves and light pink flowers with magenta eyes.
Growing about 4 to 5 feet tall, this plant deserves a special spot in my garden — and I’m transferring it to a permanent spot this fall. This hibiscus is hardy to USDA Zone 4.
Don’t have room for a huge butterfly bush? No worries. The new Lo & Behold® ‘Lilac Chip’ is a dwarf, non-invasive butterfly bush that reblooms from mid-summer to frost.
Introduced in 2012, the fragrant lavender flowers look delightful in containers or mass planted in garden beds. This perennial is tolerant to USDA Zone 5.
Those who prefer white blossoms will like Lo & Behold® ‘Ice Chip’ with fragrant snow-white flowers. Both types of these delightful butterfly bushes grow about 2 feet tall and nearly 3 feet wide.
This classic Supertunia® ‘Mini Bright Pink’ petunia wasn’t part of the Proven Winners package I reviewed, but I had to mention it anyway. There is only one petunia in this planter, believe it or not. That’s how well this amazing annual grew in this container this summer. Definitely a star for any garden.
Learn more about Proven Winners plants.
Disclosure: As a garden writer, I was provided with Proven Winners plants at no charge, although I was not paid to write this article nor was I told what to write. Several Proven Winners plants I bought myself, including the Supertunia petunia and Black Lace elder.