Thinking ahead

There are always new things on the horizon for us to think about as we wait out winter. In fact, as I look through the online catalogs, the vivid colors really make it easy to want it all.

A good place to go for new things for 2013 is the website This is a great place to look for new and unique annuals, perennials and shrubs.

Of course, we have to be careful what we wish for because some of the items on this list will not be reliably hardy in our cold climate. There are, however, many other great things to look at especially some of the annuals.

The first item that caught my eye was the Black Coral elephant ear. My son loves the large leaves and it is easy to grow. The nice thing about having something other then “green” for planters or mixing in with our other plants in the garden for an accent plant. The next plant that caught my eye would look great with the Black Coral elephant ear, and it is a Calibrachoa hybrid called Superbells Lemon Slice.

The yellow and white petals of the flower are very vibrant. We go from lemons to limes with another great accent plant called Lime Zinger Sedum. This is a ground cover that flowers around mid- to-late summer like many of the other sedums will do.

Wildberry PowWow Echinacea has this beautiful purple color and it holds it color and flowers for weeks. A single plant will provide a ton of flowers for the season. Another yellow plant that will stand out in your garden is Cistus Mickie a rockrose.

It will only work here as a tender annual, but if you are someone who has luck keeping plants over the winter, you might be able to hang onto this one. Rockroses are easy keepers. Cistus Mickie has variegated foliage, likes full sun and is drought tolerant. We could have used this plant this past summer. Butterfly Kisses is yet, one more Echinacea for the garden. This plant is compact and like so many other Echinaceas; it just keeps on flowering. This plant may look to those who collect the Echinacea plants as this is considered an upgrade from a plant called Pink Double Delight.

There is one Echinacea that has particularly caught my attention this year for 2013, and it is called Cheyenne Spirit. This one plant’s flower changes color with time and one plant can have flowers in three different colors on it at any one time. A plant that has similar coloring but is meant more for the shady garden is Buttered Rum Heucherella. This plant, too, will have several shades of coloring on the leaves as they age.

It is a bright spot for the part sun/part shade garden and will stand out with brilliant color to lighten any corner of a garden.

Coreopsis flowering plants also are easy keepers, and Mercury Rising coreopsis will not let you down. I like the varying colors that you can get with the coreopsis plants, and here we have one that will look great paired with one of the yellow plants since this one is a deep red color. There are a couple of other new red plants coming out.

Midnight marvel will suit those who collect hibiscus plants. This hibiscus plant will grow to a height of 4 feet tall. Knatuia Thunder and Lightning is also red blooming (to deep pink) and has variegated foliage. And finally, for those who collect the ever-present clematis, there are two new ones to dream about this winter. Diana’s Delight is a light purple with a white eye and can be grown in light shade to full sun. A light pink to white with dark pink center striping is what you will find on the flowers of Chantilly. This, too, is easy to grow as most clematis plants are.

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