California Spring Trials (CAST)

Proven Winners debuted a new site at CAST this year, which allowed more space for shrubs, annuals, perennials and retail displays.   It was a nice week, despite a few days of rain.  There was excellent traffic including media and garden writers (so glad to see all of you!)  We had an excellent display of shrubs and here's a run-down of the crowd favorites. 

This is my favorite rose in the Oso Easy® series.  It has a very unique color for a landscape rose with true red color that ages to a nice fuchsia, giving added interest.  Best of all, it blooms for months from early summer to frost.  It’s disease resistant too so don’t worry about black spot or mildew. 

When I first started this job, I kept seeing spirea in the greenhouses and was drawn to it.  This is the newest and most colorful variety in the Double Play® series.  The new growth comes in candy apple red and turns shades of orange and green as it ages giving a real pop in the landscape, particularly with the dark purple flowers!  I added Double Play® Blue Kazoo to my yard last year and this one will be next. 

Invincibelle Ruby hydrangea

You all know Invincibelle® Spirit II hydrangea and its rich pink blooms, but now we’ve added Invincibelle® Ruby that has dark burgundy flowers.  A very hardy plant, this one is a strong performer in the garden and my favorite from CAST. Like other smooth hydrangeas, it flowers on new growth and will be bloom every year without fail.

This sharp looking shrub caught the eyes of everyone at CAST.  It looked phenomenal with full coverage of white flowers.  This is a great shrub for tight landscapes because of its mounded habit and dwarf height. This cold-hardy charmer looks great in containers too!
Speaking of being cold-hardy, I think we’re finally out of the cold weather in Michigan, although it snowed here while I was in California.  I keep checking on plants in my yard and am seeing some green, which makes me excited for spring! 

Best, Mark

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