Choosing award winning plants is a sure gardening bet

Each year the Perennial Plant of the Year Award is given to a plant with similar characteristics.

Each year the Perennial Plant of the Year Award is voted on by members of the Perennial Plant Association.

The PPA is an international organization, comprised of growers, retailers, designers, educators, and others who work in the field of perennial plants. The PPOY award is given to a plant with the following characteristics suitable for a wide range of climate types, low maintenance, easily propagated, easily comes true from seed or vegetative propagation and exhibits multiple seasonal interest

The PPA has announced that Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’ Solomon’s Seal has been selected as the 2013 Perennial Plant of the Year. Usually because of the due diligence of the PPA, a plant chosen for this prestigious award the plant enjoys a long and fruitful life in the market.

I can think of some outstanding winners over the past 20 years: in 1991,  the Heuchera micrantha ‘Palace Purple’ Palace Purple Coral Bells; in 1992, Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’ Moonbeam Tickseed; in 1999, Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ Goldsturm Black Eyed Susan was the winner.

The plant that takes the cake for popularity, however, is the 2001 winner Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ Feather Reed Grass.

As far as I can recall, this is one of only two ornamental grasses ever chosen as the Perennial Plant of the Year. It’s so popular, you can’t go down any street without seeing one or two specimens.

The other ornamental grass chosen was Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ Japanese Forest Grass in 2009. This beauty may not be quite as widespread as Karl Foerster, but over time I believe it will be. I’m sure we can expect more ornamental grasses to win this award in the future.

As well as Perennial Plant of the Year other genres of plants get their place in the sun. The All American Rose Selection has been awarded each year for decades now and rose lovers look forward to the winners each year.

This year, a Grandiflora named ‘Sunshine Daydream’ tops the charts.

With fantastic bloom production and great vigor, this rose is sure to brighten any garden.

A Grandiflora, Sunshine Daydream embodies both great flower colour and foliage, with light yellow flowers finishing cream yellow. Its cup-like petals offer the perfect backdrop to its dark green, glossy foliage. Featuring excellent disease resistance, Sunshine Daydream will appeal to all gardeners and rose enthusiasts with its round, bushy form and blooming continuously from spring to early frost.

So keep this in mind when garden shopping this spring—choosing plant award winners is usually a sure bet.


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