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 Green Thumb Nursery - 319-393-5946 - Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Plant Treasures for 2006

March 12, 2006

Since 1956 (yes, that’s 50 years!) we have strived to offer you the best and newest plant cultivars along with our tried and true favorite varieties. Here’s quick rundown on a few of the hottest new plants for 2006:

Black Lace Elderberry (Sambucus nigra ‘Eva’) is offered from Proven Winners and has gotten lots of publicity already from the garden writers. This shrub has finely cut foliage with intense purple color all season. In early summer pink buds open to lacey pinkish-white flower clusters followed by black-red fall berry clusters. The berries may be harvested for making wine and jam or left on the plant to attract birds. Like all elderberries, Black Lace is very hardy (zone 4), easy to grow and very adaptable to most sunny sites. If left untrimmed, it will reach 8 to 10 feet tall and wide. The lacey foliage is what makes it such a winner. Many are calling it a Japanese maple replacement for our northern climate.

Northern Encore Tree Rose (Rosa ‘Balore’)is a tree rose that is hardy to zone 4! From the breeding work of Bailey Nurseries comes a tree rose that is cold tolerant enough to survive and thrive as far north as Minneapolis and maybe beyond! Pink single flowers adorn this fantastic little patio tree all summer. Give it full sun, fertile soil and plenty of moisture and enjoy bloom from late May to fall frost. The big benefit is no winter protection other than a tree wrap around the trunk (for pest protection) and a little mulch (for moisture retention). What a showy addition this little blooming tree will make to flower and patio gardens!

Royal Raindrops Flowering Crabapple (Malus ‘JFS-KW5’) has everything you could ever ask for in an ornamental tree…bright pinkish red spring flowers, tiny red fall fruits that decorate the tree fall through winter, and beautiful cut-leaf purple foliage all summer that turns orange-red in autumn. The folks at Schmidt Nursery put together a perfect package of year around interest, and then added excellent disease resistance and a compact size (mature size of 20 feet tall by 15 feet wide). You’ll love this one!

Endless Summer Blushing Bride Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Bailmer Endless Summer’) is another WOW hydrangea introduced by Bailey Nurseries of Minnesota. Their Original Endless Summer has been the hottest new shrub introduction in recent history, but we say, “Wait until you see this one!” Blushing Bride has pure white florets tightly packed into large ball clusters that mature to blush pink or deep blue depending on soil acidity. It is reported to have even better reblooming ability than the Original Endless Summer. Blushing Bride will charm you with gorgeous flowers from early June to late fall. We expect best plant performance with filtered afternoon shade and plenty of moisture. Blushing Bride is expected to reach 3 to 5 feet tall & wide and is rated as a strong zone 5 (current testing in zone 4). WOW display for shade landscapes, and wonderful blooms for cut and dried flower arrangements!

Razzmatazz (Echinacea purpurea ‘Razzmatazz’) and Pixie Meadowbrite (Echinacea ‘CBG Cone2’) are just two of our fantastic new perennial coneflowers for this year. Razzmatazz is the first double coneflower with a large fluffy, pom-pom head of petals replacing the traditional center cone. Its fragrant flowers are displayed July to frost on 35 inch tall plants. Pixie produces masses of bright pink flowers early summer through fall on dwarf 15 to 20 inch tall clumps. Pixie’s claim to fame is its abundance of bloom, producing 20 or more flowers at once on a single plant! In addition, golden Big Sky Harvest Moon and vibrant rose-red Twilight, and white Fragrant Angel are new fragrant varieties for 2006. Peck’s also offers Echinacea ‘Hope’ a long bloomer with large, soft pink flowers. Our grower contributes a portion of the sales of each Hope coneflower plant to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Please join us to help make this fundraising effort successful.

Color Flash Astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii ‘Astev’) combines early summer blush pink fluffy flower plumes with splendidly colorful foliage. Bright green spring leaves mature to summer colors of burgundy, purple and green and then turn gold, orange and russet in autumn. The 6 inch high foliage mounds make this perennial a great border accent for lightly shaded gardens.

Autumn Blush Coreopsis (Coreopsis x ‘Autumn Blush’) is a new perennial flower introduction from Terra Nova. Lovely light peachy yellow daisy flowers with red eye splotches bloom continuously all summer. Cool autumn temperature blushes the flowers a beautiful wine red. Bright green foliage mounds will grow to 26 inches high and 20 to 24 inches wide. Like all coreopsis, we expect best performance in sunny, well-drained sites. Reportedly hardy to zone 4, but still being tested.

Diamond Frost Euphorbia (Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’) is a phenomenal new Proven Winners annual flower. A limited number of plants were released last spring and were extremely well received. The tiny white flowers on airy stems create the light, delicate appearance of baby’s breath. But this plant is anything but delicate! This tough cookie takes full sun, heat and neglect. Combine it with other annual flowers in hanging baskets, patio combo pots, or in rose and flower gardens. We say Diamond Frost is a “must-have” annual flower based on our experience last summer with the plant. Can you tell how much we love these tiny white, dancing flowers?!

Please check out the “What’s Hot” photo links on our home page to see these and other great new plants offered in Peck’s spring palette of terrific plants.

We invite you to help us celebrate our 50th anniversary year. We feel very lucky to have been blessed with such wonderful customers, quality growers and devoted staff. Many special offers and events are planned to thank you, our loyal customers and friends. Please plan to join us throughout the season!