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5 Great Boxwood Alternatives

Posted by Chloe Smith

Boxwoods are incredibly popular in the landscape, but could the recent appearance of boxwood blight threaten their place in our gardens? Only time will tell how devastating boxwood blight will be to the boxwood population. Until then it might be good to consider these 5 great boxwood alternatives that are not susceptible to the fungal pathogen that causes boxwood blight.

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Tags: Plants, Branded Plants, Evergreens, Shrubs

Great Roses for Small Spaces

Posted by Chloe Smith

 Roses are an iconic landscape plant, but who has the space? Actually, we all do! With the release of several new series of great roses for small spaces, the beauty of landscape roses can be enjoyed by everyone! 

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Tags: Plants, Branded Plants, Shrubs

Red Flowered Hydrangea: Summer Crush™ & Cherry Explosion (comparison)

Posted by Chloe Smith

 While an art critic would argue that these are not truly red flowers, this deep pink is the closest thing we have to a red hydrangea flower currently on the market. There are two new cultivars in the mix trying to maximize a hydrangea’s red potential. Cherry Explosion was released in 2017 by Star Roses & Plants. Summer Crush will be available in garden centers in 2019 as part of Bailey Nurseries’ Endless Summer® collection. With multiple recent releases, red hydrangeas will be a trending topic for consumers in the next few years.

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Tags: Plants, Branded Plants, Shrubs

Is the Hydrangea Lavalamp™ Series the Next Best Panicle Hydrangea?

Posted by Chloe Smith

This blog post will examine capability of the Hydrangea Lavalamp™ series to excel in a hydrangea saturated market by looking at the expected performance and bloom quality of each variety in the series. For more information regarding these particular varieties of plants, visit www.bloomingeasyplants.com.

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Tags: Plants, Branded Plants, Shrubs

Euomymus 'Blondy' vs 'Moonshadow'

Posted by Mark Luchtefeld

Euonymus fortunei: 'Blondy' vs. 'Moonshadow'

This post is not about a blonde and a rather odd 1970s song by Cat Stevens.  It is, rather, a highlighting of two particular varieties under the Euonymus fortunei umbrella.  Perhaps you already know how confusing the Euonymus umbrella can be.

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Tags: Plants, Shrubs

Green Velvet Boxwood VS. Winter Gem Boxwood (comparison)

Posted by Jeff VanBuren

Boxwood Green Velvet VS. Boxwood Winter Gem 

Green Velvet and Winter Gem Boxwoods are two of the most popular smaller sized evergreens sold in our area. They have many similarities such as: they are both boxwoods, stay small, evergreen, deer resistant, bloom in April, grow about any where,  have shallow root systems, hardy in zones 5 – 9, low maintenance, can take heavy pruning, and they both work great planted as hedges or just as single plantings. They have gained in popularity over the last decade because they are just so easy. They can be trimmed or left to grow naturally. They will grow in about any soil but prefer a moist, yet well drained soil. They will grow in sun or shade, but the ideal location would be either a morning sun and afternoon shade or a filtered sun. Both of these varieties are less prone to getting the "bronze" look in winter that many types of boxwood get. If they are in full sun and the temperatures are really cold even these two can get the bronze color. But, if planted in shade they will rarely aquire that coloring.

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Tags: Plants, Evergreens, Shrubs

Crapemyrtle vs. Knock Out® Roses (comparison)

Posted by Paul Blanche

Two Great Flowering Shrubs- Crapemyrtle vs. Knock Out® Roses

Two of my favorite flowering shrubs are Knock Out® roses and crape myrtle [lagerstroemia]. It's hard to beat the all season blooms and variety of colors both shrubs provide.

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Tags: Plants, Branded Plants, Shrubs

Which is better Ilex 'Red Sprite' or Ilex Berry Poppins™ (comparison)

Posted by Paul VanOteghem

Ilex ‘Red Sprite vs. Ilex ‘Berry Poppins’

Ilex verticillata, a.k.a. Winterberry is an excellent plant species and in my opinion, way underused.   It is a great choice for the Midwest with a hardiness rating of zones 3-9.  As it is a deciduous Holly, it offers exceptional seasonal interest in the fall and winter after it drops its
leaves, with its persistent bright colored fruit that ripens in late August – September.  The fruit hangs on into mid-winter or even later depending on temperatures and bird populations.  There have been selections made which offer fruit colors ranging from yellow to orange to the typical red.  Winterberry fruit is very beautiful against a backdrop of snow.   The fruit-laden branches are also very desirable for winter cut arrangements. Winterberry lends itself well to mass
planting; is easy to grow; tolerant of full sun or partial shade (better fruit set in full sun); adaptable to a wide variety of soils ranging from light to heavy soils and will thrive in wet areas as well.   The plant can become chlorotic in high pH soils.

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Tags: Plants, Branded Plants, Shrubs

Which Is Better? Mugo Pine Vs. Birdsnest Spruce (comparison)

Posted by Ann Tosovsky

Which Is Better? Mugo Pine vs. Birdsnest Spruce 

Although evergreens don’t seem to be one of the top choices for consumers these days, they do provide a necessary component to every landscape……year round color!  Green in the landscape doesn’t look too shabby in the middle of winter when everything else looks sparse and, frankly, dead. There are many different types of pine and spruce on the market today.  Let’s bring it down to a “foundation” level and talk about a couple smaller varieties; Dwarf  Mugo Pine and Birdsnest Spruce.

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Tags: Plants, Evergreens, Shrubs

Creating Screens With Limited Space

Posted by Angela Jackson

Using Evergreens For Screening A Small Space

Arborvitae North PoleTM—Thuja occidentalis ‘Art Boe’ P.P.A.F.

This columnar Arborvitae is a great tree for narrow hedges, small gardens and accent plantings.  North PoleTM, a selection of the Arborvitae o. ‘Hetz Wintergreen’, has a superior resistance to winter burn and exhibits excellent cold-hardiness.  The year-round deep green foliage keeps its branching down to the ground as it ages.   With a width of 5 to 7 feet, this tree slowly reaches 12 to 14 feet high.  It has a naturally symmetric, conical habit.

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Tags: Plants, Branded Plants, Evergreens, Shrubs