2020: Year of the …
August is quickly approaching, the peak of summer is coming to a close, and Cultivate’19 — the industry’s biggest North American show — is now behind us.
For me, it’s time to plan out the 2020 schedule for GPN and decide which topics need to be a main focus of the magazine in the coming months and beyond. For growers, this is a perfect time to analyze what worked for your business in 2019 and what will be your focus in 2020.
If you attended Cultivate’19 in Columbus, Ohio, last week, you may have noticed the display by the National Garden Bureau announcing which plants will be part of its “Year of the” program for 2020.
Each year, the NGB selects one crop in various categories to feature as their “Year of the” crops. For instance, 2019 is Year of the Snapdragon in the annuals category. In the perennials category, it is Year of the Salvia.
Plants are chosen based on their popularity, ease of growth, adaptability, versatility and genetic diversity. The NGB offers free downloadable literature, presentations and graphics on its website to help suppliers promote these products to their customers.
For 2020 in the ornamentals categories: the annual of the year is lantana; the perennial of the year is lavender; and the shrub of the year is hydrangea. If you grow or plan to grow any of these crops, this is a great opportunity to promote and market them!
If you’re looking for some inspiration of recent introductions in these categories to add to your lineup, look no further. Here are some lantana, lavender and hydrangea crops worth considering.
Lantana ‘Hot Blooded Red’
A brand new introduction this year, Hot Blooded is a sterile selection that has been a top pick in development trials. It is more vigorous than Bandana and is an excellent choice for gardens across the country with its medium-sized flowers and amazing color coverage.
Lantana ‘Bloomify Mango’
Introduced in 2017, Bloomify was the first certified sterile lantana series on the market. New this year is Mango, which joins Red and Rose. Bloomify lantana features better branching than similar varieties and is two weeks later to flower than the Lucky series.
Lavender ‘Madrid Lavish Pink’
Green Fuse Botanicals
The Madrid Lavish series presents the world’s first multi-bracted Lavandula stoechas. Flowers are massive, and foliage is fragrant. This series makes a beautiful focus plant for mixed containers.
Lavender ‘Bandera Deep Purple’
This compact, bushy, no-pinch lavender has great flower power just 11 to 14 weeks from transplant. It is quick to finish compared to vegetative varieties. It is long flowering and self cleaning with a good secondary flush of flowers.
Hydrangea ‘Invincibelle Wee White’
Proven Winners ColorChoice
This dwarf ‘Annabelle’ type hydrangea ensures that any landscape can enjoy reliable, low-maintenance beauty. It reaches 1 to 2.5 feet tall and naturally grows as a tidy mound. Each flower emerges a soft, blush pink before changing to white. Blooming begins in early summer and continues through frost.
Hydrangea ‘Summer Crush’
‘Summer Crush’ is a color breakthrough in reblooming hydranges, with a profusion of large raspberry-red or neon purple blooms. It is hardy to Zones 4 through 9 and has a compact growing habit perfect for patio containers.
Do you take advantage of the NGB’s “Year of the” program? Do you grow any of the above crop categories? If so, what are some of your top performers? Shoot me an email at [email protected] and let me know. I’d love to hear from you!