Top Garden Picks For 2019

Our Top Garden Picks for 2019 are out just in time for the coming of spring! You’ll find some new varieties that will occupy your thoughts with dreams of new plots, plants to pot and flowers like you’ve never seen!

We’re often asked which are our favorite plants for the garden. The truth is, there’s no simple answer because plant choices are so often driven by conditions – factors of space, light, soil, purpose or preference.

The number of new varieties being introduced each year makes selecting only a few, a true a gardener’s quandary! However, there are some common features that every gardener can appreciate: color, fragrance, cutting, interest, bloom longevity and full season interest.  

We’ve planted our Top Garden Picks for 2019 with many stunning NEW arrivals that share attributes for best value and interest throughout the season:

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hand near allium lavender bubbles flower headAllium ‘Lavender Bubbles’ is a New perennial we’re bringing in for 2019.  This carefree ornamental onion will appeal to the modernist as a showstopper in a minimalist garden, yet is equally impressive along borders or in mass plantings, and will also do well in a container. It’s easy to grow in full sun or part shade, is tolerant of any soil type and has low-average water needs. Foliage is blue /green in color and is deer and rabbit resistant. Stalks grow 12″-14” high, with bee and butterfly attracting bubble-shaped flowers in shades of purple appearing late summer / early fall.



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hosta humpback whale perennial
Photo Credit: Walter’s Gardens, Inc

Hosta ‘Humpback Whale’ is a New shade perennial we’re bringing in for 2019 and fun fact – this variety only recently became available for commercial sales. In fact, it was once auctioned off for $725 at a fundraiser! This spring you can find it in our Garden Center to bring home and make a unique statement in your garden. As suggested by name, it forms a massive mound (up to 7′ wide!) of blue-green, corrugated, heart-shaped leaves and forms almost white bell-shaped flowers in early summer. Does best in full shade, but can tolerate 4-6 hours of full sun per day. 


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blooming Nepeta ‘Kitten Around’ catmint perennial plant
Photo Credit: Walters Gardens, Inc

Nepeta ‘Kitten Around’ is New For 2019 and this petite perennial catmint likes full sun where it will form a compact, round mound of aromatic foliage that cats find irresistible. Periwinkle blue flowers bloom appear in early summer and bloom continues right through to early fall. It’s low maintenance with low/average water needs and will do well even in poor soil. Makes a nice addition to a cottage or cutting garden, is bee friendly and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. 


Rudbeckia American Goldrush blacked eyed susan perennial plant yellow flowers with black centersRudbeckia ‘American Goldrush’ is New for 2019 and while perennial Black Eyed Susans have been around forever, this new variety is resistant to Septoria Leaf Spot, a common fungus that Black Eyed Susan is susceptible to. For anyone who has lost one of these prized garden favorites, ‘American Goldrush’ is destined to be the new replacement choice. This is a great option for color from mid-summer through fall and it is a pollinator favorite too! 



pink and white Cleome Clio Pink Lady annual plant flower blossomsCleome ‘Clio Pink Lady’ is New for 2019, this flowering annual is a variety we like for its upright, bushy growth pattern and vigorous bloom. Like other Cleome, it produces the same spider type blooms, in a medium size in shades of pink and white, that stand out against dark foliage. Clio Pink lady will add color in containers or beds all through the summer.  



Proven Winners gomphrena truffle pink annual flower blossomsTruffula Gomphrena is a new Proven Winners annual for 2019 and we’re bringing this in because, well – we simply had no choice – it’s gorgeous! It has a perfectly-balanced habit that shows off a plethora of hot-pink flowers and has performed very well in hot, humid climates where it blooms all season long. It needs lots of space and would work well in places the hose cannot reach. It makes an ideal cut-flower and attracts bees and butterflies.



Proven Winners Angelonia Angelface steel blue annual flowering plant in a potAngelonia ‘Angelface Steel Blue’ is another new annual in the Proven Winners line and we’re bringing this in for spring for its lovely old fashioned cottage garden appeal and the amazing grape soda-scented foliage it will bring to the patio! This is drought tolerant summer snapdragon is an excellent vertical accent plant that will grow tall (18″-30″) and wide (12″-18″) and deliver plenty of blooms, ideal for cutting and adding to garden bouquets.



‘Pink Zebra’ Ornamental Corn annual plant‘Pink Zebra’ is a New for 2019 annual Ornamental Corn we just couldn’t resist adding to our Garden Center offerings this year for the dramatic color and texture it brings to late-season mixed planters and gardens. The green and white striped foliage adds showy purples, red and pinks in the cool nights and long days of late summer right into early fall. It loves full sun and can grow up to 60″ tall! Pair it with hot tropicals. 



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Winecraft BlackProven Winners cotinus winecraft black smokebush plant® is a Proven Winners shrub that has been around a long time, and we’re bringing it back in 2019 because we like that is is very easy to care for and requires little to nothing in the way of regular maintenance.Unlike other smokebush, it also has a naturally rounded, dwarf habit so it’s a fit for every landscape. Plant in full sun for best color and flowering. In the spring, watch as round leaves emerge rich purple and then as summer’s heat comes on, they turn a deep near-black tone to finally light up in an array of reds and oranges in fall. In early summer, large, soft panicles of bloom appear that become the misty “smoke” that makes this such a popular plant. 



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Hibiscus ‘Blue Chiffon’Proven Winners Blue Chiffon Rose of Sharon hibiscus blooms is a best-selling Proven Winners Rose of Sharon shrub and we’re bringing this back for 2019 because it is tried and true blue, an elusive color to capture in nature and a distinctive flower color complementary to many popular late summer perennials. With its vigorous growth and lacy, anemone-like blooms, the bold yet delicate, Blue Chiffon® attracts humming birds and butterflies and is always a star in the garden from late summer to fall. This is a nice addition to the mixed border, can also be used as a specimen plant and is excellent for hedging.


Get Ready To Garden!

Whether you’re planting a garden for the first time or adding to your collection, the pros at Studley’s are ready to assist. Even if the items shown in our Top Garden Picks aren’t quite a fit, our Garden Center is filled with hundreds of varieties to choose from and we can make recommendations for substitutions that are equally beneficial.

Use our New Plant Finder Tool to make a Wish List of the plants that strike your fancy, make a mental note about the soil, amount of sun and space you have to work in and come see us. We’ll help you choose the right plants, shrubs or trees that are suitable to your needs!

If time is short or gardening just isn’t for you, you can still have a beautiful property that is the envy of the neighborhood. Studley’s Landscaping Services offers residential and commercial property owners everything from design and installation of gardens, irrigation systems, and hardscapes to year-round maintenance. Call to book your free consultation today and ask our pros about the plants shown here.

My Pro Tip

If you are a new homeowner or trying gardening for the first time, there are a few basics to consider.

Proven Winners Queen Elizabeth container recipe example with angelface steel blue and lemon coral plants in potAnnual plants are not winter hardy for our New England climates but are the best seasonal choice for maximum blooms and color. These can be planted any time after the final frost (Memorial Day is weekend is a safe bet!) in beds, alongside perennials or in containers for pops of color from spring to late summer. Have some fun trying out these Annual Container Recipes from the folks at Proven Winners using Angelface Steel Blue or Gomphrena ‘Truffula Pink’.

Perennials are plants that will come back each year with proper care and make for good long-term investment. Most can be planted as soon as the ground thaws enough to dig and will tolerate late-season drops in temperature. Bloom times and length can vary. They reward us year after year by spreading at the roots to come back the following season fuller and with more blooms. Some can and should be divided to control growth and the nice thing is you can relocate your divided plants to stretch your gardening budget or share with a friend each year.

Trees & Shrubs While trees & shrubs can be planted anytime during the season, we recommend planting in early fall. If you plant them in the spring or summer they will require careful and thorough watering through the summer. Newly planted shrubs and trees often need a year from planting to fully establish their roots in the new location. Fall is an ideal time to plant them as the weather is cooler and the soil is still warm enough to help the roots establish. Learn more in this video from the UNH Cooperative Extension on best mulching practices for your shrubs and trees. 

See you at Studley’s!

written by Jeffrey Meulenbroek


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