Plant of the Week: BEYOND PINK’D™ Bluebeard

Here we are, just into February, and it feels like we’ve packed an entire winter into the past week.

It hasn’t been too bad in Michigan, but our friends on the East Coast have been pummeled by snow. The West Coast and middle of the country have had their own weather dramas. And the forecast here for next week calls for a high of 5°F one day. Yes, we’re ready for summer.

What better plant for summer than Caryopteris (bluebeard)? It loves the sun and heat, and won’t complain about dry soil. As a bonus, deer don’t like it, but pollinators do.

Beyond Pink’d™ is a brand new selection of bluebeard that is, as you see here, pink. There have been pink bluebeard before, but this is the nicest one we’ve ever seen. The glossy green foliage is much nicer than that of other varieties, and the pink blooms are clear and abundant.

This is not a plant for cold winters: it’s hardy in USDA 7b-9. But don’t let that stop you. It still can be a great option for summer color in colder climates. At just 2-2.5′ tall and wide, it is a perfect addition to container gardens. Can you imagine this in a container with Truffula™ Pink Globe Amaranth? Everyone would be bending over it to see if they can detect faint strains of “We are here, we are here, we are here!”

You have plenty of time to plan for this plant; it will be available at retail in 2022.


Once we can travel again…
I’m going to spend most of my vacation days visiting botanical gardens.

My husband’s parents live in Vermont, and every summer we drive there for a family visit. Early last year I had a twisty-turny trip out east all mapped out with several public garden stops along the way. Of course, that didn’t happen. But it will…in time.

That’s why I was excited to see the map below that lists the most popular US botanical gardens, based on collected digital data, posted online by my Facebook friend Jan Johnsen.

There are some must-sees here that were already on my list, Longwood Gardens being my #1 as well. But I was also happy to see some local gardens fare very well, like the gorgeous Chicago Botanic Garden and Frederik Meijer Gardens right here in Grand Rapids, MI. I recently sent a truckload of shrubs for landscaping around the new parking lots and welcome center at Meijer Gardens, which is opening this spring. I’ll be there to check it out for sure. I don’t even need to plan a twisty-turny trip for that. What are your favorite gardens? Are they on this list? – Natalie

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