Gold Medal Winners are chosen for beauty, performance and hardiness in our region.
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. Plants are nominated from submissions by home gardeners, garden designers, horticulturists, landscape architects, nursery owners and propagators. Once nominated, plants are reviewed by a committee of expert horticulturists.
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 small specimen tree, a colorful deciduous shrub, a versatile evergreen and three perennials. 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 who exhibit standards of excellence for pest and disease resistance, as well as ease of growing when planted and maintained appropriately.
Gold Medal Woody Plant Winners
‘Wolf Eyes’ Kousa Dogwood. This is an eye-catching, small specimen tree with variegated foliage that turns pinky-red in the fall. Additional outstanding characteristics are the star-shaped white flowers in June that are followed by red berries in September. ‘Wolf Eyes’ is perfect for smaller gardens with slow growth between six and ten feet. It grows best in partial sun and moist, well-drained soil and they are good trees for attracting birds.
‘Grace’ Purple Smokebush. This large, colorful deciduous shrub has spectacular multi-season foliage! It can reach twenty feet tall and wide but it can be kept smaller by cutting it back every few years. Its iridescent spring foliage is green overlaid with red; then its large pink clouds of blooms in June which are followed by brilliant autumn foliage from ranges from red to orange. The Purple Smokebush is deer-resistant and likes partial sun and moist environments.
‘Robusta Green’ Chinese Juniper. This is an outstanding evergreen shrub, native to Asia, and popular in gardens for its attractive blue-green foliage and narrow habit. This conifer requires little maintenance and grows well in full sun. You can use it as an accent plant or it can be used as a screen for narrow spaces when planted as a group. Ultimate height is about ten to fifteen feet and width five to seven feet, but it can be pruned to fit the available space. It has a somewhat irregular form, but not ugly.
‘Hillside Sheffield Pink’ Chrysanthemum. This is a very reliable selection of Mum which can grow up to three feet tall and wide in full sun and well-drained soil. Pinching in June will help to keep plants bushy and compact. It has a long bloom season from late summer into fall. They are attractive to butterflies and a good idea to divide every 2 or 3 years in spring to prevent from becoming woody. They are deer-resistant and will suppress weeds and provide beautiful, fragrant accents to fall gardens.
‘Standing Ovation’ Little Bluestem. This is an exceptionally sturdy ornamental grass with a height of 3 to 4 feet when in bloom and stands up in high winds and heavy rain. It has spiky bluish-green stems in late spring and then the stems turn to a vivid purple, red and orange. This ever-changing appearance and lasting presence makes it a wonderful native grass. It prefers plenty of sun and tolerates a wide range of growing conditions including poor, dry soil. Little Bluestem is drought tolerant once established and resistant to deer.
'Hummelo' (Monieri) Betony - This is a low-growing perennial that thrives in sun to part-shade and moist, well-drained soil. It’s a clump-forming plant and a relative of Lamb’s Ears, but not similar since it’s leaves are green. In early summer the upright spikes of bright-purple flowers appear, which attract beers to the nectar. Removing faded flowers will encourage more buds to form for weeks on end. Looks great for the front of a border, or in containers.
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 on our website or call 484-300-4290 to learn more about our services.