Plant of the Week: CENTER STAGE™ Crapemyrtle

For those of us of a certain age, the death of Eddie Van Halen was very sad news. He was a guitar legend, half of an ’80s “it” couple, and able to command center stage in direct competition with David Lee Roth. Some people are just that good.

So our tribute to Eddie is this week’s Plant of the Week: Center Stage™ crapemyrtle. To the left is Center Stage™ Red, which will be new to garden centers next year. To the right is Center Stage™ Coral, which will enter the market along with Center Stage Pink in 2021.

Like David Lee Roth, these plants thrive in the spotlight: they love light and heat and are very, very colorful. But they have some Eddie Van Halen in them, too, as they have the technical chops to handle really difficult sites and look good doing it.

All of these plants command their place in the landscape, at 6-12′ tall and 8′ wide. They are happy here in parts of Michigan but are really intended for more southern markets. They’ve performed very well in trials at the University of Florida, and we recommend them for USDA 7-9.

With their early bloom time, intense color, and exceptionally disease-resistant foliage, these plants are the complete package. Use them as a statement plant or as a giant, durable hedge.

They’re adaptable, too, just like a great song. Do you remember “Jump”? Consider this permission to watch the most family-friendly Van Halen video available (most are pretty disturbing). And then check out how Aztec Camera’s cover is completely different but still good.

Prime time…at your desk

Like many of you, I’ve traded in the rock arena for Tiny Desk Concerts. To be honest, that transition started long before 2020. And now we’re moving from live conferences to online ones.

If you’re thinking about some online professional development, are a couple of great opportunities:

GardenComm is presenting a webinar about ‘Keeping New Gardeners Involved in Gardening‘.

In this session, a panel of industry experts will present ways their organizations are addressing this year’s influx of new to gardeners and discuss strategies you can use to keep them involved in gardening. Using data from the recent National Garden Bureau survey, the presenters will break down why people are turning to gardening, and where we can engage these new gardeners.

The panel with finish with a Q&A session. The webinar is Oct 28, 3 – 4:30 PM. You do not need to be a GardenComm member to attend this session and gain these valuable insights! Click here for more information and to sign up.

Proven Winners® is offering its own webinar in early November. It’s called the Virtual Landscape Roadshow, and it’s free to attend! Register now to see a fall tour of the Deppe garden (owner of Spring Meadow Nursery), cool new annuals and perennials, and some design inspiration from a fantastic landscape designer in upstate New York.

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