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Double Takes, Snow Days and Good Vibrations

Whats new in the shrub world?  This article previews exciting new shrubs available in 2012.

Contributors: Stacey Hirvela

Proven Winners­­® ColorChoice® shrubs searches far and wide to bring you the best woody plants money can buy. The 2012 new plant list is especially exciting, with beautiful plants that will keep your garden vibrant and full of color from earliest spring until first frost. Start your season with one of the earliest blooming plants we’ve ever introduced: the Double Take series of quince. If you think of quince as that weird, thorny thing that gets a few sparse flowers in March, think again! Bred by Dr. Tom Ranney in North Carolina, Double Take quince has huge double flowers and nary a thorn in sight. Still not excited? Check out these amazing, saturated colors: Double Take Orange, Double Take Scarlet, and Double Take Pink, more closely resembling shades of lipstick than typical early spring flowers. Double Take quince are extremely long blooming, beginning in early spring and continuing until the weather gets hot.  They prefer sun to part sun locations and are hardy in zones 5 through 8.

When spring is at its peak, the last thing you want to think about is snow – unless it’s in the form of Snow Day ‘Blizzard’ pearl-bush. Covered in white flowers twice the size of those on other forms of pearl-bush, this new version of an old-fashioned favorite exudes romance and charm. Wondering where pearl-bush gets its name? The flower buds look just like their namesake before they open. With its mid-spring bloom, it makes a delightful companion to daffodils and tulips. Pearl-bush prefers sun to part sun locations and easy hardy in zones 4 through 8.

That wonderful period where spring cedes to summer belongs to the much-loved rose. If you’ve given up on their fabulous flowers, our new roses will boost your confidence, save you time and add excitement to your landscape. Not only are they super low-maintenance and disease-resistant, they come in gorgeous, rich colors and bloom all season! Oso Easy Mango Salsa flowers in a color that you just have to see to believe. Pink with orange undertones, it calls to mind tropical drinks and sunsets on exotic tropical islands, making it hard to believe that it’s hardy to zone 4. Looking for something a little more traditional? Oso Happy Petit Pink has sprays of dozens of little flowers in the prettiest pink imaginable. The American Rose Society bestowed an Award of Excellence on Oso Happy Petit Pink, so you know you won’t go wrong with this Minnesota-born beauty. Both roses work beautifully in sunny garden beds, containers, or even as a low flower-covered hedge.

Summer is butterfly season, and you’ll get lots more of these pretty critters in your garden when you plant a butterfly bush. You’ve never seen a butterfly bush with the color of ‘Miss Molly’ with its incredible deep, vibrant pink flowers. If you think you don’t have room for a butterfly bush, think again: Lo and Behold® ‘Purple Haze’ reaches just 2-3’ tall and will fit in almost any sunny spot. Covered in extra-long dark purple flowers, it creates a waterfall-like effect that makes it perfect in containers or as an unexpected ground cover that’s sure to become the neighborhood butterfly watering hole!  Both are hardy to zone 5.

When the summer sun gets too hot, take a break among the fabulous, gigantic blooms of Let’s Dance® Big Easy hydrangea. Offering the biggest flowers on any reblooming hydrangea, you’ll love it in your yard, in the vase, or dried for all sorts of crafts. And because it has been tested and proven to rebloom even in zone 5, you can count on seeing the flowers you love every year.

Foliage is an important component of every garden, and you can’t do much better than our new weigelas. The near-black foliage of Spilled Wine is the ideal compliment to yellow summer flowering perennials like ‘Tuscan Sun’ heliopsis or ‘Banana Cream’ shasta daisy in the garden and in the vase. It stays a nice, compact 24” tall, so is easily tucked into flower beds or containers.  It is hardy to zone 4 and prefers sunny spots. The splotched chartreuse leaves of My Monet® 'Sunset' weigela look perfectly swell all season, but in fall, they light up the landscape by turning a kaleidoscope of red, orange, yellow, and dark purple. The transformation will amaze you, and since it’s just 12-18” tall, everyone has room for it.  It is hardy to zone 5.

Come winter, you won’t be left with a bare landscape if you plant our two new evergreens. Good Vibrations juniper is an incredibly bright gold year round, and unlike other junipers, it has soft, touchable foliage which makes it easy to work around. If you’re looking for a fast growing hedge or a quick way to screen an unsightly view, consider ‘Spring Grove®’ arborvitae. Specially selected for rapid growth, tight, attractive habit, and excellent hardiness, you can rely on its quiet beauty to get the job done with minimal work from you.

We’ve got you covered for a beautiful landscape all year-long – and we’re always happy to help you achieve garden success! Join us on Facebook, Twitter, and right here on for ideas and advice.

Patent Information: Double Take 'Pink Storm' Chaenomeles speciosa PPAF Can. PBRAF; Double Take 'Scarlet Storm' Chaenomeles speciosa PPAF Can. PBRAF; Double Take 'Orange Storm' Chaenomeles speciosa PPAF Can. PBRAF; Snow Day 'Blizzard' Exochorda PPAF Can. PBRAF; Oso Easy® Mango Salsa Rosa 'ChewperAdventure' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Oso Happy Petit Pink Rosa 'ZleMarianneYoshida' PPAF Can. PBRAF; 'Miss Molly' Buddleia PPAF Can. PBRAF; Lo & Behold® 'Purple Haze' Buddleia PPAF Can. PBRAF; Let's Dance® Big Easy Hydrangea macrophylla 'Berner' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Spilled Wine Weigela florida 'Bokraspiwi' PPAF Can. PBRAF; My Monet® 'Sunset' Weigela florida PPAF Can. PBRAF;  'Tuscan Sun' Heliopsis PP: 18763; 'Banana Cream' Leucanthemum superbum PPAF Can.: 4203;  Good Vibrations Juniperus horizontalis 'Hegedus' PPAF Can. PBRAF;

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