Happy New Year! What makes the year new beyond the flipping of the calendar and the change of a number? For us it starts with new varieties of plants. We are accustomed to growing the usual suspects year after year. And we will never depart from the trusty favorites that grow great for our region and climate. We try and offer as broad of a selection of bedding plants and perennials that we can get our hands on. Our team of managers meet every June to review what worked, what didn’t work, and try to make it all work together. Hmmm… there is always something that trips us up. Let’s say, for example, we can’t keep enough of Midnight Madness Petunias in stock. We review through experience and history to make our best guesstimate. As I stated in an earlier article, we are always thinking 4 to 6 months down the road. But what is fascinating is that gardening trends can start with an article in a magazine that features a particular color or plant. Oh boy. We see this pretty much every year. Inevitably it will be something that sideswipes us. It’s fun to see the spring unfold and what snatches the curiosity of our customers.
So, what’s new? Ptilotus Joey is highly acclaimed. It’s not exactly new to us but it has been a couple years since we’ve grown it. It grows 12-15’’ and makes for a wonderful drought tolerant plant in a mixed planter. Its foliage is silver green and its flower is a cone-shaped bottle brush with pink neon tips above its silver spikes. Sound interesting? Or, how about the Iceland poppy mix ‘Champagne Bubbles?’ Large flowers that feature pastel and bi-colors atop a hardy stem. How about a new annual? Cockscomb Celosia ‘Armor.’ Just as the name suggests, they resemble the comb of a rooster. The colors look like something you’d see in a coral reef.
These are just a couple of examples of the nearly 20 plants being grown this year that are new to us. Any one of these might be the new all-star that people will be knocking down the door to get. So as we welcome you back as we count on you to start a new trend or rely on an old faithful favorite. Either way we want you to enjoy your experience this year at Ashland Greenhouses. Happy New Plant New Year!