Well, it is a new year, and new plants are coming to the nursery. Now, that does not entirely mean that these are all brand new plants that have never been grown before. Some, I have been growing in my gardens for a awhile, and are just new to the nursery. And others are new in the industry. Some are new to me and to Grimm’s, but have been around awhile.
I look forward to every new gardening year, with new plants, new seeds, and new ideas. In this edition, I will discuss new plants and some of the ideas I have for my own garden, as well as some future ideas for Grimm’s Gardens. And I would love to hear what each of you are planning for your own garden. I am a part of a lot of gardening groups in Kansas and the United States, so I see ideas on Facebook, but I love to hear in the comments about your ideas for the future.
It can be hard to decide which new flowers or plants to have at the garden center. Some of the new plants will not be available until later in the year, and we may not be able to get them. Others may be too similar to our favorites, so we may not get them until they have become tried and true favorites. But some, like the baptisias, we will have because they are awesome.
New Ideas in the Kansas Gardener’s Garden
Last summer taught me a lot about gardening in a tough place. I thought I new how to garden, but I had forgotten some of my own knowledge, and it was hammered back home before the drought was ended. But now I have a new plan and new ideas.
In the potager, aka the vegetable garden, I have been building raised beds using materials found on the property. Cedar logs, harvested from the tree lot make up the walls of each bed. I put cardboard on the bottom, and cover with logs, brush, and leaves. Then I put down another layer of cardboard, and top it with composted manure and soil.
Around the sunny parts of my backyard, I have been using a similar method to mulch areas for in-ground plantings, such as berry bushes and tomatoes. I started by mowing the grass short, then putting down a layer of cardboard and soaking it with water. Then I cover the cardboard with manure and spoiled hay/bedding from our goat/cow sheds. I have let those areas sit all last summer and through fall. They will continue to sit fallow until planting this spring. I did plant a berry area with raspberries last fall and already the grass underneath was dead and the carboard was breaking down.
Along with these methods of no-till gardening, I have been adding more trellising options for growing vertically. If you read my blog in December 2022 about my garden tour, then you would have seen the tunnel I built with hog panels. I will be adding trellising in the potage itself this year for planting more luffas, cucumbers, small pumpkins, gourds, long beans, pole beans, peas, and of course flowers.
My wife has been growing in front of the goat shed for the last 2 seasons but is finding it difficult to keep things going under black walnuts. We will be converting much of her garden space to medicinal garden plants, using walnut tolerant herbs.
Lastly, my wife and I are making an effort to grow more flowers for cutting. I have been ordering flower seeds for the cutting garden and we will be doing cut flowers in season from May to October for our area.
New Plants for 2023
What plants are actually new, and have not been available before 2023? There are always new developments in the Green Industry, and new plants are constantly bombarding us. Sometimes, the coloration or hybrid is not completely stable, and it disappears from the market in a few seasons. But many new plants are long lasting and become best sellers for generations.
New Perennial Plants
I am really excited to have some of these plants, and I am looking forward to adding some of them to my gardens. Some of the new plants from 2022 are already thriving in the garden.
New Plants for Sun
- Echinacea ‘One in a Melon’ – thanks to breeding programs, new coneflowers are more color stable. This variety features cantaloupe colored flowers on stocky plants, growing 2 feet tall and wide. Zone 4-8
- Echinacea ‘The Price is White’ – the names of these! It has been awhile since a new, reliable white coneflower has come to the nursery, and I am looking forward to this one. It grows 20 inches tall and wide. Zones 4-8
- Baptisia ‘Pink Truffles’ – not new to the industry, but to us. I love all the baptisia. This one has pink hued flowers which will be loved by bumblebees. It grows 4 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-9
- Baptisia ‘Grape Taffy’ – here is another one! This will be similar in color to ‘Burgundy Blast’ which I already have, but it too will be added to the cutting garden. Did I mention that baptisia is a great cut flower? ‘Grape Taffy’ is smaller, growing 2.5 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-9
- Rudbeckia maxima – new to the garden center, it will be available in June or July 2023. If you are an avid reader of my work, you will know how I love this plant for back of the border. With large, silvery leaves, it is a showstopper. Grows 3 feet wide with 4 foot flower spikes.
- Agastache Meant to Bee Series ‘Royal Raspberry’ – I love hummingbird mint! For bees and hummingbirds, there is hardly 1 plant that could be better. This one grows 2.5 feet tall and wide with plum purple flowers. Zones 5-9
- Allium ‘Bubble Bath’ – another plant I love. Once I add the earlier blooming ‘Bubble Bath’ to the garden, I will have continuous blooms of allium from July to October. It blooms before ‘Milennium’ which is before ‘Lavender Bubbles’. It grows 2 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-8
New Plants for Shade
- Hosta ‘Above the Clouds’ – is a new blue-green variety. I love mixing these with chartreuse leaved plants in the shade garden. This one grows 2 feet tall by 5 feet wide. Zones 3-9
- Hosta ‘Echo the Sun’ – another chartreuse variety. I cannot get enough of these. It grows 19 inches tall by 3 feet wide. Zones 3-9
- Astilbe ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ – with dark leaves and gorgeous purple flowers, it is hard not to want to try astilbe again. It grows 2 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-9
Shrubs and Trees
Shrub and tree cultivars come out slower than perennials, because it make take a decade to go from the initial selection to grafting and growing to size to sell. And there is research on growing conditions, and trialing to be performed. In some cases, new trees are not trialed cultivars, but just additions to the plant list from the list of natives.
- Sugar Maple ‘Pumpkin Spice’ – a new one from Doug’s collection. ‘Pumpkin Spice’ will have dark green, leathery leaves, and orange-yellow fall foliage. It grows 40 to 60 feet tall and wide.
- Sugar Maple ‘Fireside’ – another one from Doug Grimm. I am excited about this one, because I know the original tree. It is beautiful! With red fall color at peak, it grows 60 feet tall and wide. And it is very sturdy, the original lost no branches in the 2007 ice storm.
- Bitternut hickory – one of my favorite native trees, we will have some in the nursery this year. This native hickory has gold fall color, small nuts for birds, and grows very straight. It grows 60 to 70 feet tall by 4 feet wide.
- Hydrangea ‘Puffer Fish’ – actually new to the nursery in 2022, this white blooming variety ages to green on 5 foot tall and wide plants.
- Oak ‘Kindred Spirit’ – a new columnar oak with dark green leaves. It grows 35 to 50 feet tall by 6 feet wide. This will be a great tree for downtown areas where space is limited.
Looking for to new plants and ideas for the garden is half the fun in gardening. The other half is about the work and enjoyment of the plants themselves. I am looking forward not only to a great gardening year in 2023, but in the future as well. I know I will always be looking for new plants to add in the garden.