This is the time of year when garden catalogs begin to trickle in. In a couple of weeks, I expect my mailbox will be overflowing with high-gloss color offerings from dozens of seed, perennial, annual and crop purveyors. There’s nothing like flipping through their pages to distract from the frigid temperatures, gray landscape and rock-solid soil outside. Many of the plants for sale on those pages will be tried and true, but new introductions always catch my eye. Here are six of my favorite new offerings
Lemon coral sedum
Proven Winners’ 2019 Annual Plant of the Year is a vibrant three-season chartreuse showstopper. The succulent annual’s spiky foliage is attractive in borders, containers and as edging plants in the landscape, and it’s virtually impervious to heat and drought.
Petunia Wave Carmine Velour F1
Named All-America Selection National Ornamental Seed Winner of 2019, the newest entry in the Wave petunia family boasts 2- to 2½-inch flowers that seldom need deadheading. Proliferous blooms that blanket the entire spreading plant are almost immediately replaced by new ones as they fade. Plant this annual in part to full sun in garden beds, containers or hanging baskets.
Angelface Steel Blue summer snapdragon
One of the trial plants I grew last summer in my garden’s “maternity ward” — the designated area where I nurture and monitor not-yet-released plants for hardiness, neediness and general suitability for Long Island — this new annual performed like a champ. I literally didn’t water or fertilize it once, and it grew and bloomed all summer long. As a bonus, it’s quite pretty.
Available in orange, as pictured, as well as lavender, butter yellow and dark blue, this short, bushy, drought-tolerant perennial blooms from June through September. Nicely scented and disease-resistant, it also attracts hummingbirds, bees and butterflies, but requires well-draining soil to overwinter properly. Best suited for the front of the border.
Begonia ‘Canary Wings’
With angel-wing foliage that intensifies from yellow to bright chartreuse as the season progresses, this unique begonia is best suited for shady areas. It was honored with the Retailers Choice Award at Cultivate18, the annual convention of the horticulture industry, where garden center business owners from around the United States picked their favorite products for the upcoming year. Grow the pest- and disease-resistant annual in hanging baskets, containers or in the landscape.
Stachys monieri ‘Hummelo’
Selected as the Perennial Plant Association’s 2019 Perennial Plant of the Year, this showy sun lover will bloom in your garden from July through September. Unappetizing to grazing deer, clumps of this lamb’s ear relative will eventually spread to form a dense ground cover. Use in cottage gardens, as edging, or in naturalized areas, and plant in masses for the best impact.