The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) selects plants each year that are easy to grow, pest free, and add beauty to the landscape for many seasons. If you are thinking about adding a new plant to your garden this spring, you might want to consider adding a Gold Medal Plant award winner. PHS has done all the homework for you, and you can trust their selections for being great performers!
This year’s winners include a great looking tree, three native perennial flowers, two wonderful shrubs, and a blue-blooming groundcover that you might not be familiar with. Since this has been going on for over 30 years, you might want to check out all the past winners who made the cut and are truly superb performers.
Gold Medal Winners are Chosen for Beauty, Performance and Hardiness in Our Region.
Kousa Dogwood ‘Greensleeves’ (Cornus Kousa) – This dogwood blooms late spring and is a smaller version of the American dogwood. They have white flowers’ that mature to light pink and distinctive, large marble-sized fruit in the fall. It grows well in sun to part-shade and tolerates poor soil.
Witch hazel ‘Jelena’ ( Hamamelis x intermedia) - This is a large deciduous shrub that can eventually grow 12 feet high or higher with a 10 foot spread. Of course, it can be pruned to a smaller size. It has copper-colored blooms that appear in clusters along the bare branches in February to March. The flowers are attractive to early pollinators. Another nice feature is that it has a multicolored leaf in the fall. Likes sun to part shade.
Golden privet ‘Sunshine’ (Ligustrum sinense) - You’ll love the golden yellow foliage that grows best in full sun. It can be used as a specimen plant or as a hedge. It’s fast-growing and will only reach four feet tall and wide, but again, you can prune to control its size. It’s also deer resistant and will not re-seed which makes it more desirable than other privets.
Garden Phlox ‘Jeana’ (Phlox paniculata) - A great phlox in that it’s resistant to powdery mildew which many phlox are susceptible to. This heat and drought-tough native perennial grows two to three feet tall and blooms for weeks in the hot summer. Butterflies love its fragrant tubular, bright lavender pink flowers.
False indigo ‘Purple Smoke’ (Baptisia) – A bushy perennial that will grow more than 3 feet high. Likes sun to part shade and has pea-like flowers in early summer in shades of smoky gray to lavender, followed by attractive seed pods. It’s deer-resistant and drought-tolerant, once established.
Pink turtlehead ‘Hot Lips’ (Chelone lyonia) – Another native perennial that has decorative pink summer flowers that resemble a turtle’s head in shape. It’s a great plant for a partially shaded, moist area in the garden and also suitable for a rain garden or the perimeter of a pond. Looks great in a grouping all season with dark green foliage.
Leadwort (Ceratostigma plumbaginoid) – This is a low-growing, spreading perennial that makes an excellent groundcover in a sunny to partly shaded location. It grows about 10 inches tall and has a bright cobalt blue color in late summer to early fall and then the leaves turn reddish bronze before falling dropping in the winter. It’s easy to care for and requires only a light trim back in early spring. It’s not invasive and it’s easy to dig out if you want it to stop spreading.
There are some very exciting selections this year and we are anxious to incorporate some of them in our landscaping plans next season. You can’t go wrong with their choices! Thinking about some new landscaping this spring? Whitehouse Landscaping has the horticultural knowledge in landscaping to make sure the right plants are chosen for the right place insuring your landscape thrives and can be properly maintained. Our design experience can create an outdoor space that is beautiful, distinctive, livable and truly sustainable.
Contact Whitehouse Landscaping or call 484-300-4290 to learn more about our services.