A new year, and new decade, have finally begun—and you know what that means! New varieties, new gardening trends, and you guessed it, a new catalogue!
The biggest gardening trends on the horizon this year all resonate deeply with us at Brent & Becky’s Bulbs; sustainable gardening, tropical gardens, and symmetrical garden designs. Here are a few highlights from our 2020 catalogue of spring-planted bulbs and perennials.
Plants for a Sustainable Garden
To our delight, the biggest trend for gardeners in 2020 is to fully embrace sustainable gardening practices. American gardeners are eagerly welcoming ways to sustain and grow our pollinator populations. We’ve been proponents of sustainable gardening for decades, so we couldn’t be more pleased to show off some of these delightful pollinator-friendly plants from our latest catalogue!
You can tell from a brief glance that this Crocosmia, also known as Sword Lily or Montbretia, will be a hit with hummingbirds! The flower spikes of this scarlet-red stunner are reminiscent of gladiolus, with sword-like foliage and arching stems loaded with up to 50 blooms apiece. Best planted in zone 6 or above in a location with full sun, Babylon’s long-lasting flowers bloom in late summer and make fabulous cut flowers. However, be warned; some gardeners may find this variety waits for its second year to bear flowers. With that in mind, they’re truly worth the wait—and the local pollinators would agree!
Asclepias, common name ‘Milkweed’, is the primary food source for the beloved monarch butterfly and other winged friends. Hello Yellow’s sunny yellow flower clusters are as cheerful as its name, and bring an energetic burst of color into your early to mid-summer garden borders. While this Milkweed might boast delicate flowers and happy citrus tones, it’s tougher than it looks! Hello Yellow is deer-resistant, and can survive climates as tough as zone 3. Plant in full sun.
A perennial favorite in more ways than one, Phenomenal Lavender is an exceptionally fragrant variety that makes a fabulous pollinator magnet for cool-toned garden designs. Partial to full sun in zones 5 and above, Phenomenal lives up to its name with beautiful mounds of silvery foliage and pale purple aromatic flower spikes. The cut flowers are gorgeous when fresh, and take on an even more romantic quality when dried. Ideal for mass planting and border planting in locations with full sun exposure and well-drained soil.
Plants for Exotic Impact
Bold tropicals will be finding their way into gardens all over America in 2020! These highlights from our summer catalogue will ‘wow’ you with impressive foliage and exotic textures. Careful—you might catch the travel bug with these plants!
Alocasia are some of the most eye-catching foliage plants out there, largely thanks to their ENORMOUS leaves! Sumo is a variety that speaks for itself, and when grown in part sun and evenly moist, compost-rich soil, can grow to impressive proportions! They’re also attractive in color, with deep green on the topside of the foliage and bronze tones on the underside with deep reddish-burgundy ribs. Also known as Elephant Ear, the flashy leaves point to the heavens, drawing the eye upward through your arrangement. Fabulous in patio containers, tropical gardens, and as an accent plant around a pond or waterfall. As a tropical, Sumo is only hardy to zones 7b-11.
Texture, color, and tropical interest abound with this head-turning climbing lily! If the intense magenta and yellow colors of Rothschildiana don’t capture your imagination, the “eyelash”-like pistils and stamens will! With its climbing habit, this mid-to-late summer bloomer will gradually cover fences with exotic interest and the illusion of brightly-colored butterflies. Gloriosa also makes a fabulous container ‘thriller’. As a native to tropical Asia and Africa, local pests won’t know what to do with this one—thank goodness! This beauty grows best in full-sun and well-drained soil, ideally in zones 8-11.
This beautiful Musa, or Banana, variety is easy to spot—thanks to its stripes! With vibrant green, expansive foliage featuring burgundy stripe-like markings on the topsides and bronzy-red tones on the undersides, Zebrina will grow as showstopping as you let it. In the garden, the leaves will grow to a mammoth scale (up to 8’ tall!) and create an incredible backdrop for your tropical garden. Otherwise, you can contain it in planters, where it will remain showy but with a more compact size. It should come as no surprise that Zebrina loves heat and humidity, and will only overwinter in zones 9-11.
Plants for Stunning Symmetry
The upcoming growing season will see many gardeners returning to traditional garden design with symmetrical lines that frame focal areas like front or patio doors. Achieve the perfectly parallel look with tidy plants from our spring catalogue, which have neat habits and predictable shapes for planting in groups.
We love the captivating globe-shaped flowers of this ornamental onion. During its peak blooming season in the mid-to-late summer, these beautiful rose-purple flowers boast a uniform, architectural quality that lends itself well to a symmetrical garden design. You can grow them just as well in containers or in the garden beds flanking your front steps or back door. A native plant that grows best in zones 5-9, these round wonders are excellent for attracting pollinators and evading rabbits and deer.
This charming, long-blooming plant forms gorgeous mounds of light crimson flowers and lupine-like foliage from early summer to first frost. A versatile plant for zones 7-10, this low-maintenance Oxalis does equally well in partial shade or full sun, in the garden or in containers, indoors or outdoors. With its low-growing, clumping habit, you can use this reliable beauty to cover the feet of your shrubs or perennials. You won’t find a better container filler out there!
The flowers of the Japanese Anemone are as romantic as they come, with soft and delicate pastel petals layered in single or double blooms. Thanks to their long stems, Anemones make delightful cut flowers. They're also a treat in the garden with their neat and tidy clumps of blooms and rich green foliage.
Anemones are excellent perennials for zones 5-7 and do well in full sun or part shade. It's hard not to fall in love with these sweet pinwheel-shaped blooms—just ask the local bees and butterflies!
While these are just a few highlights from our spring catalogue, there’s plenty more to explore! Take some time to peruse the full catalogue here and start planning your 2020 garden for summer color.
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