By Yvette Henson, San Miguel Basin Extension
In a recent podcast I recently listened to, the cohosts were naming the top 3 or 4 plants on their wish list for 2022. It got me thinking what would be on my list. I am going to share a tree, a shrub, a vine, a perennial and an annual that are on my list to plant in my garden in 2022. They may not be ‘new’ and exciting to you, but they are some plants that I want and I will tell you why. I hope that by making this list, it will motivate me to get the plants and plant them!
Our youngest granddaughter is 1 year old. One of her names means ‘oak tree’ so I have been looking for an oak to plant for her. I listened to a speaker talk about oaks for Colorado for the 2020 Plant Select online meeting but was unsure which of his recommendations would be the best choice for my mostly native, dry garden at 8,400’ in SW Colorado. Then I happened to read an article by Lauren Springer where she recommended Crimson Spire™ oak, Quercus 'Crimschmidt', a hybrid between English oak and White oak. Crimson Spire™ oak has a narrow form, 40’ tall and 15’ wide. It is hardy to zone (4)5 and tolerates a range of soil conditions. I was in Lafayette this fall visiting my granddaughter and saw these Crimson Spire™ oaks planted along the street. Although it is said to have a good red fall color, the color on those trees was just so-so. Still, I think this is a good choice and I hope to find one to plant next spring.
The first time I saw a beautybush, Kolkwitzia amabilis, was in June 2019 in Cedaredge. There is a lovely little arboretum behind the museum that I always visit when I am in town. I was captivated by the masses of pink tubular flowers on the 12’ specimen there but I didn’t know what it was. I saw my second beautybush in late May this year in Paonia on a weekend get-a-way with my husband and then I was finally able to identify it when I saw it during a June tour of Jim Borland’s Garden in Lakewood after the Plant Select annual meeting. Beautybush is hardy to zone (4)5 and tolerates alkaline soil. Not only does it bloom in masses, but when the plant ages, the bark shreds, which is also appealing to me. It is an old-fashioned shrub that isn’t planted much now. However, I really like it and so definitely hope to find one and give it a place in my garden.
I have two places in my garden that need a summer-blooming climbing vine. I have been indecisive about what to plant. Honeysuckle? Akebia? Clematis? A climbing rose? I will probably plant more than one vine, but my first choice is going to be a climbing rose I saw years ago on a class field trip when I was an undergrad. I have never forgotten the blue rambler rose, Rosa 'Veilchenblau'. It blooms once a year, with masses of 2” semi-double, citrus scented, purple roses with white centers and yellow stamens. The canes grow 10-12’ long and it is hardy to zone 5. I am hoping it is hardy enough for winters in my garden!
We planted our Plant Select demonstration garden in 2008. One of the first plants we planted was cashmere sage, Phlomis cashmeriana. It has proven to be a very reliable perennial that has stayed about 3’ x 1.5’ but it can get twice as large in the right situation. I love the soft leaves and the interesting shape of the lavender flower inflorescences. It blooms in spring/summer and the strong stems hold well through the winter snows. It is hardy to zone 4 and grows well in sun or part-shade in any soil. I want to plant it in front of my fig-leaved perennial hollyhocks, Alcea rugosa. The lavender flowers will go well with the soft yellow holly hock blooms.
|Phlomis cashmeriana |
(Photo Plant Select)
An annual I would like to try again is Emilia coccinea. I got a few somewhere years ago but I didn’t have enough to make a ‘show’. Somehow, I thought it might reseed with abandon and was worried it could become invasive, but I can’t find any documentation of that. It wasn’t invasive where I planted it in the past. I was listening to a podcast where the gardener named it as her favorite plant of the year because it attracted so many butterflies! I would like to grow the variety ‘Irish Poet’ because I like its orange color more than the red-orange color of the straight species. Besides, I like the name. It is a half hardy annual that reaches 1-2’ tall and 8” wide, so it will take quite a few planted to weave in and out of other plants to make a show.
I'd like to know which plants are on your 2022 wish list!