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February 21, 2008

2008 Showstopper Plants are must-haves for Carolina gardens

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The North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association and North Carolina Cooperative Extension will kick off the inaugural year of Showstopper Plants at the Southern Spring Home & Garden Show at the Charlotte Merchandise Mart, Feb. 27 through March 2.

The 2008 Showstopper Plants are promising new cultivars or iron-clad plants that thrive across the region. They are great choices for Carolina gardeners. This year’s selections consist of three shrubs: ‘Kaleidoscope’ Abelia, ‘Limelight’ Hydrangea and ‘Chindo’ Viburnum. Lenten Rose is the Showstopper perennial. The tree selection is ‘Oklahoma’ Redbud. Many of these plants will be featured in the show gardens. They also will be showcased as part of Extension’s Successful Gardener Learning Center at this week’s show.

According to John Vining, county Extension director of North Carolina Cooperative Extension's Polk County center, members of the North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association nominated a group of plants that perform well in Carolina landscapes and are easy to find across the state. Extension horticulture experts reviewed the list to select the top five plants.

“Most of this year’s selections, when established, are quite tolerant of drought,” said Vining. “The selection committee’s goal was to choose plants that should thrive.

The lone exception is the Lenten Rose, which needs moist soil to excel. An established plant is one that has been planted for a minimum of three years. Following that time-frame the roots should be grown into our native soil enough to help resist droughts.”

A new publication on these 2008 Showstopper Plants will be available at Extension’s Successful Gardener Learning Centers at the Southern Spring Home & Garden Show at the Charlotte Merchandise Mart, Feb. 27– March 2; the Southern Ideal Home Show at the Greensboro Coliseum, March 14-16; the Carolina Home & Garden Show at the Cumberland County Crown Center in Fayetteville, March 28–30; the Brunswick Islands Home & Garden Show in Shallotte on March 29-30; and the Southern Ideal Home Show at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh on April 4–6.

Learn more by visiting www.tarheelgardening.com or www.successfulgardener.org.

Posted by Natalie at February 21, 2008 11:04 AM