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Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’ is named 2015 Perennial of the Year!

Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’ is the deserving recipient of the 2015 Perennial Plant of the Year. Every year since 1990, the Perennial Plant Association has chosen a perennial for this award. To win, the plant must be suitable to grow in a large part of the country and require little maintenance. It must be resistant to both pests and disease and have multiple seasons of interest. Finally, the perennial must be easy to propagate.

From late spring to early summer, masses of pink-tinged white flowers cover round lobed foliage. After the initial floral flush, its sweet blossoms pop up sporadically the rest of the summer.

Biokovo spreads by underground rhizomes forming a lush, glossy, mounding mat that limits weed growth. Rarely reaching more than twelve inches tall, it is ideally suited for the front of the border, in rock gardens and to cover ground between shrubs or large perennials.

It grows best in average, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. The foliage ordinarily remains attractive all season, but can be sheared back to promote the growth of fresh leaves if necessary. In the fall, the foliage contributes brilliant hues of orange and scarlet to the landscape.

And Biokovo is easy to divide. Its shallow roots are easy to dig and move to other spots in the garden.

Undemanding and weed-choking with appealing flowers and dazzling fall foliage – it’s no surprise that Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’ is the 2015 Perennial Plant of the Year. Consider adding some (or some more) to your landscape this year.

New Year’s Resolutions for the Gardener

Each new year is like a blank garden journal. The past, and all the lessons learned from it, are in last year’s writings. The future, along with its limitless possibilities, remains unwritten in this new volume. While considering the goals for your garden in 2015, why not make a few resolutions for the landscape?

Instead of broad promises like I’ll be a greener gardener, or I won’t neglect the shade garden, choose specific tasks that you will be able to accomplish.

Here are a few ideas to get your own gardening wheels turning.

Winter Gardening:
1) Compost kitchen waste.
2) Prune dead, diseased or broken branches from trees.
3) Start growing some plants from seed – vegetables, annuals or perennials.
4) Notice landscape views from indoors and make plans to improve them.
5) Make time to read garden books to increase knowledge or gain inspiration.
Spring Gardening:
1) Start cool-season vegetables as soon as possible and continue to sow seeds every two weeks for a continual supply of fresh veggies.
2) Set up a rain barrel to collect spring rains.
3) Plant a tree in the front yard (or back or side yard).
4) Compost garden clippings.
5) Mulch, mulch, mulch.
Summer Gardening:
1) Don’t let weeds go to seed.
2) Edge borders so the landscape has a finished look.
3) Deadhead annuals and perennials for continued bloom.
4) Plant more annuals and perennials for pollinators.
5) Add more low-maintenance plants to the landscape.
6) Cut flowers from the garden for indoor floral arrangements.
Fall Gardening:
1) Bring tender plants indoors BEFORE the first frost.
2) Collect fall leaves and make leaf mold.
3) Plant more bulbs for spring color.
4) Add more evergreens to the landscape for color in the winter garden.
5) Plant more shrubs with berries for birds taking shelter in your winter landscape.
6) Properly care for garden tools before putting them away for winter.
Year-round Gardening:
1) Walk through the garden at least once a week just for enjoyment (not to perform tasks).
2) Visit at least one public or private garden each month.
3) Volunteer time at a community or school garden.
4) Reduce or eliminate the use of fungicides and insecticides.
5) Forgive garden failures – feel fortunate for the lessons learned.
6) Spend more gardening dollars at local independent garden centers.

Happy New Garden Year!

We’ll see you in spring!

The Planter’s Palette garden center is closed for the winter and will reopen on April 1, 2015. The office is also closed until January 12. From January 12 to March 31, the office will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Staff will be available to answer gardening questions and help with gift card purchases. Stop in the office or call 630-293-1040 ext. 2 during these hours. Thanks for your business in 2014 and THINK SPRING! To keep up with us during the winter, join us on Facebook. Click on the link, like us, and watch us plan, plant and get ready for the 2015 season.

Christmas Open House – November 15 & 16

Come to our Open House on Saturday, November 15 and Sunday, November 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Be inspired by our themed Christmas trees; peruse the fine assortment of greens, wreaths and roping; and take advantage of our most popular decorating shortcut – greens containers ready to slip into your own decorative pots. Nibble on Fran’s famous ebelskivers while you shop!

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