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Dig Right Minute

Planting time has arrived and while everyone has their favorites – which include both annuals and perennials – the season brings with it a variety of newer varieties that lend something different to your garden, in color, size, shape, texture and fragrance.

Hydrangeas have become popular for a reason: they are hardy, offer a great shape and are easy to plant and tend to, in a garden bed or container. One newer hydrangea is from Endless Summer Plants, a BloomStruck® variety with vivid purple or rose-pink flower heads and sturdy red stems.

Everything’s coming up roses this year, with new varieties like Sultry Sangria™ 'Sprosul' and Polynesian Punch™ ‘Meidoscope’ from Star Roses® and Plants/Conrad Pyle. Weeks Roses has introduced new groundcover roses from the Happy Trails™ Groundcover collection: Rainbow Happy Trails™ & Sunshine Happy Trails.™   Both flower prolifically to add vibrant doses of color to a pathway or soften the edge of a garden.

Clematis plants, with flowering vines and range of colors, are perennially popular in Midwest gardens. This year, Proven Winners is debuting some new clematis varieties in garden centers, including Jolly Good™, Still Waters™ and Happy Jack®, to name a few.

Looking for sun and shade and through different seasons? Try some new varieties of coleus, such as a recently-launched ‘FlameThrower™ Chipotle’ coleus from Ball Seed®, which has a signature contrast of dark maroon and chartreuse colors.

Change up your edibles with new varieties of tomatoes, like Burpees’ new Madame Marmande Hybrid Tomato, Cherry Baby Hybrid Tomato and Umamin Hybrid Tomato, among others.

Don’t forget to contact JULIE before you dig! Whenever you’re disturbing the ground, especially when planting trees, shrubs, groundcovers or plants, be safe and contact JULIE at 811 or enter your request online using E-Request at www.Illinois1Call.com. It’s free and crucial to avoid hitting underground lines, even in areas where you assume it’s safe to dig

Finally, if you ever walk by someone else’s garden this and find a plant that appeals to you and you have no clue what it is, download the GrowIt!™ app. The app, available in the App Store and Google Play, can help you find out the name of plant and where and how to grow it.

Dig Right Minute
by Tony Abruscato
Director, Chicago Flower & Garden Show

Sponsored in part by JULIE, The Chicago Flower & Garden Show presents realistic, as well as DIY solutions to inspire, educate and motivate gardening enthusiasts and newbies alike.  Blooming at Navy Pier - March 14 - 17, 2018.