|WHAT’S NEW FOR 2021
The following are just a few of the many new plants we’ll have this year. New plants are marked with an asterisk (*) on our individual price lists, posted on our website. The new plants are also gathered together in the price list avaiable as a .pdf to the right.
Hostas: We will have over 25 new hostas this year. Here are a few that we think are especially exciting. ‘Amos’ ($20) has huge, rounded, blue-green leaves that measure 14” x 10”. It forms a spreading mound that will reach 50” or more in diameter. Despite its huge leaves and sizeable clump diameter, it is listed as a large, rather than extra-large, because it grows around 24” tall. We have altered our hosta size designations to emphasize height rather than diameter. This seems to better conform with industry standards and will help the gardener in deciding which hostas to place in the background or foreground.
White centered hostas are always showy, and these next two are definitely stunners. I was blown over by a mature clump of ‘Color Festival’ ($15) at a garden in the Peoria area a few years ago. The distinct yellow streaks between the pure white centers and the dark green margins really set this one apart. It’s a medium sized hosta that produces its best color if given a little bright morning sun. ‘Amazone’ ($18) has dark green margins that flame inward into bold white centers. It is a medium sized hosta that is touted as handling sun better than most white centered hostas. (That doesn’t mean it will do great in lots of sun. Any white centered hosta will tend to burn in its centers if fried in too much sun.)
‘Snake Eyes’ ($18) is a fun sport of ‘Striptease’, forming a medium sized clump with more prominent white lines between its centers and margins. It’s a fast grower, too. ‘Velvet Moon’ ($15) forms a showy, medium sized clump with thick leaves that are green with wide, bright gold margins. It handles a lot of sun.
For those who especially like hosta flowers, we have ‘Royal Crest’ ($18), which is a hybrid of ‘Royal Standard’ with a more polished habit and thicker foliage. It has shiny green foliage and produces large, white, fragrant flowers. It’s a good grower and forms a large clump.
Perennials: Since we did not grow our full lineup of perennials in 2020, we are catching up this year with over 100 new varieties. Keep an eye out for the red flags that mark all of our “New at Hornbaker Gardens” varieties throughout the garden center.
Allium ‘Lavender Bubbles’ stands 12-14” tall, blooms later than ‘Millenium’, and boasts larger flowers that are a darker shade of purple. A new Earlybird™ series of Aquilegia (Columbine) offers bold new color combinations on short, compact plants. Two-toned combos of ‘Purple Blue’, ‘Purple Yellow’ and ‘Red Yellow’ provide perfect clumps of color in late spring.
Clematis ‘Stand By Me’ is a Bush Clematis with blue bell-shaped flowers from late May to June with some rebloom later in the summer. Bush Clematis die back to the ground each year and do require some support from staking or neighboring plants, and they offer a longer bloom season and easier-to-grow plants than their vining cousins. ‘Stand By Me’ is an excellent choice for attracting pollinators. Two new Dianthus (Pinks), ‘Paint the Town Fancy’ and ‘Paint the Town Red’, are part of a series prized for their bright colors and increased heat tolerance. They grow 8-10” tall, begin blooming earlier than most other Dianthus, and are good rebloomers. If you’re looking for pollinator magnets, look no further than Echinacea (Coneflowers). ‘Frankly Scarlet’, ‘Orange You Awesome’, ‘The Price is White’ and ‘Yellow My Darling’ were selected for their large flower size and flower performance and range from 20-26” tall. Hibiscus (Rose Mallow) are the show stoppers of the late summer garden with their dinner plate sized blooms and shrub-like habits. ‘French Vanilla’ is a creamy custard yellow with a prominent red eye and grows 3 ½’-4’ tall. ‘Spinderella’ has pink and white flowers with a dark red eye and grows 4’-4 ½’ tall. There are two new Phlox paniculata (Tall Garden Phlox) that have outstanding mildew resistance against our hot and humid Midwestern summers. ‘Opalescence’ has light pink flowers with dark pink eyes and grows 30-32” tall. ‘Ultraviolet’ has deep magenta violet flowers and stands 32-36” tall. Both are hardy to Zone 3.
There are several new daylilies on our list this year, including Hemerocallis ‘Lake of Fire’, whose huge 7” flowers are apricot orange with a wide, orange red eye and ruffled orange red picotee edge.
We will also offer several selections of Intersectional Peonies, although we will have a very limited supply. Referred to as Itoh Peonies, they are a cross between tree peonies and traditional garden peonies. They die back to the ground like a garden peony, but have the huge blooms of a tree peony and do not require staking. We have had a yellow blooming variety called ‘Bartzella’ in our gardens for several years, and are excited to add a few more to our collection. Check out our full perennials list for descriptions of these new varieties.
Trees: Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica) trees are really coming into their own with our customers. As I took customers on cart rides to look at trees last fall, a mature specimen behind the Barn repeatedly drew their attention. Its beautiful pyramidal shape, shiny foliage, and outstanding fall orange and red colors make for a very appealing shade tree. A new variety this year is Northern Splendor®, touted as being extra hardy—Zone 4. It has the glossy foliage and superb fall color, and grows up to 45’ tall and 30’ wide.
Looking for a small ornamental tree for a sunny spot in the garden or the corner of the house? We’ll have two dwarf Crabapples that should work. Both are top grafted with compact crowns, and are prolific white bloomers. Lollipop® is an aptly named cutie that grows to 8’ tall and wide. Sparkling Sprite® is a little bigger at 12’ tall and wide. Both are disease resistant and hardy to Zone 4.
Speaking of apples, we will have some ‘Fuji’ and ‘Gala’ apple trees, along with our usual ‘Honeycrisp’. Besides producing excellent apples, these three pollinate each other.
Scarlet Fire® is a new pink-flowering Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa). It has large, dark pink to fuchsia blooms, grows in sun to part shade, and gets 20-25’ tall and 15-20’ wide.
Shrubs: Since I’m old enough to remember Mel Torme, whose nickname was “The Velvet Fog”, I love the name of the new Smokebush, Cotinus The Velvet Fog®. This variety produces floriferous, red-pink plumes that float above blue-green foliage. Its lush, full branching form will mature to 5-6’ tall and wide.
Naturally, there are new varieties of Hydrangeas. The hybridizers have been coming up with more compact varieties of Panicle Hydrangeas. The newest one for us is Fire Light Tidbit®, a dwarf version of the popular Fire Light®. It’s the smallest one yet at 2-3’ tall, and produces plentiful, lush, white flowers that turn pink and then red. The foliage has good fall color, too, which is a bonus.
David Austin shrub roses are known for their large, fragrant blooms. We’ll have seven varieties this year, including three new ones. Boscobel® has red buds that open to salmon colored, fully double blooms. The Poet’s Wife® is a repeat bloomer with large, rich yellow flowers. Winchester Cathedral® produces masses of white roses at intervals throughout the summer.
Conifers: I counted 14 new conifers for this year, most of them dwarfs. I’m excited about all of them, but let me mention three here. Larix decidua ‘Prag’ is a dwarf Larch that you’re going to want to hug. Its bright green spring needles mature to bluish-green. The plant forms a soft, airy mound, growing to 6’ tall and wide in 10 to 15 years, and is very hardy at Zone 2.
We are big fans of conifers that grow in an irregular fashion. Picea omorika ‘Wodan’ is a dwarf Serbian Spruce that grows slowly in an upright, irregular manner with asymmetrical branching. This unique collector’s specimen grows to only 2.5’ tall in ten years.
Add some conifer color to your landscape with Thuja occidentalis ‘Autumn Moon’, a dwarf arborvitae that forms a dense, round mound of canary yellow foliage. It’s a uniform and tidy plant that will grow to 3’ tall and wide and does well in sun or part shade.
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