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New selections for the 2018 season

Numerous garden catalogs are coming in the mail to kick-start your creativity for the new growing season. John Zvirovski / The Sun

It is that time of the year again where the gardening catalogs seems to be coming in the mail on a daily basis. This year seemed to be an early start as my first one arrived in November, but I didn’t take the time to look through them until this month. The holiday season is not the time to peruse all of the wonderful new plants available. Every year I do an article about the catalog season, as each year brings a new selection of plants from which to choose. That is what makes gardening so exciting from one year to the next: trying some of these new selections.

This year has its own abundance of new plants for the year. I have now taken the time to sit down and go through these catalogs to find out what is new and what is just an improved selection of something old. The hot sellers seem to be in the majority of the catalogs, where others specialize in the rare or unique.

I will warn you right away, as soon as you start to go through these catalogs, you may find yourself making a list of seeds you want to order for the new season. My advice for you would be to list them all from each catalog and then compile them together in the end to see exactly how many you are looking at. A friend of mine already went through some catalogs and made a list only to find by the time he was done he was looking at nearly 1,200 seeds! Yes, they will add up and you want to make sure you have room for all these brilliant ideas.

When shopping for seeds, always keep in mind germination periods, lighting requirements, watering needs and how many seeds are in each package. This is all vital information in your successful pursuit of a good and rewarding garden season. Make sure all the information that is available is read in order to make the best decisions as a result.

Some of the new selections this year are the Hippo rose and red varieties of Polka Dot plant. This is a more durable type that is great for those shady areas to show off their beautiful red and pink blotched foliage. These ones are also more sun tolerant for a range in planting locations.

Tangerine Slice black-eyed Susan vine or thunbergia is a new color selection with mango-colored blooms highlighted with apricot margins with a central black eye. It is a nice accessory to the brilliant yellow and orange varieties that have been around for quite some time.

Golden Butterfly and Vanilla Butterfly are a type of annual mum that are more heat tolerant and come in a brilliant yellow color and a creamy white one. These are great selections for container gardening on your deck or patio.

The Toucan coral canna bulb is new this year. It is a dwarf selection that is great for containers reaching about 3 feet tall. Each stem terminates with a cluster of large coral blooms above the dark green tropical foliage.

Superbells plum, white, Moon Punch and Double Ruby are new this year also. If you are not familiar with the superbells, they are a selection of calibrochia - small petunia-like flowers that bloom profusely throughout the season. Great for any garden!

New supertunias this year are Mulberry Charm, Royal Magenta, Lovie Dovie and the highly touted selection of Hot Pink Charm. These have large blooms, will thrive in the heat of summer and have wave after wave of blooms to delight any gardener.

Superbena Stormburst is a great ice blue selection with a large spreading habit and large clusters of flowers that enjoy the heat of the day. These have replaced all of my regular verbenas in the garden as they are so much better.

One new petunia that I have seen in numerous catalogs this year is called Evening Sensation. It is a heavy bloomer that produces lavender flowers. These evening scent is said to be like no other with its heady aroma. I am looking forward to trying this one and seeing how it does.

Although these are just a fraction of the new and exciting varieties out there for 2018, they are very exciting and have already whet my creative pallet for what that garden might contain this year. Some catalogs will give you a discount for early orders, so keep your eye open for the deals.

Enjoy this year’s catalog season and invite a friend over for some good conversation about what this year’s gardens may entail.

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