I'll be reporting from the Mid Atlantic Nursery Trade Show in Baltimore starting tomorrow. It's where all the latest garden plants, gadgets, tools and more are introduced. New things are always fascinating for gardeners, it's always fun to try our hand at something we've never seen before.
There's always a question though on how a new introduction will perform in our gardens.
Here are 10 plants that have proven themselves in my garden. Hopefully they will grow as well in yours.
Easy to grow, blooms like crazy in sun or shade and the tuber can be saved over the winter. Trailing habit lends itself to hanging baskets and growing on pedestals.
'Cherokee Purple' tomato
Sets fruit reliably, tastes great and disease resistant. I grow lots of different tomatoes, both heirloom and hybrids, this is a favorite. Nice and meaty.
'Red Malabar' spinach
Not a spinach at all. This tropical vine covers any trellis or arbor in a season. The vines are beautiful and the heart shaped leaves taste a lot like spinach.
Hellebore orientalis (Lenten Rose)
This plant comes in an amazing variety of colors and forms. The Lenten Rose blooms in consort with crocus. There's nothing better than seeing the flowers in early spring. The foliage is evergreen and the plants can be used as a wonderful ground cover.
This shade loving shrub is indestructible, blooms at the end of the season and has beautiful exfoliating bark which provides winter interest too.
I love oriental/trumpet lilies for their wonderful summer blooms. 'Altari' is intensely fragrant, multiplies year to year and will bloom with only six hours of sun. In my garden they need to be staked, but would stand tall in full sun.
Tithonia (Mexican sunflower) 'Torch'
This 1951 All America Selection has been a mainstay in my garden for decades. The annual, late bloomer can reach 16 feet in full sun. Hummingbirds, bees and butterflies can't resist the orange blossoms. I also love 'Yellow Torch' and I'm trying a shorter one this year call 'Goldfinger.'
Salvia 'Wendy's Wish'
Perennial in zone seven and higher, it's grown in my garden as an annual. Beautiful purple blossoms all season long. Tough and drought resistant. Salvia 'May Night' is a perennial which I also love.
I've written about this plant way too much. Grows in sun or shade, blooms from April through November, deer resistant and makes a nice colony after a few seasons. My favorite perennial.
Great shrub for the edge of woodlands. Blooms in summer with pretty, long white flowers resembling a bottle brush.
'Super Chili' pepper (bonus #11)
This is the most prolific pepper I grow, it's really hot too. I've thrown plants in too close to tomatoes and found them at the end of the season loaded with three inch, fiery red peppers. They put on so many peppers, I dehydrate what's left for hot pepper flakes. They will wake you up!