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Maria Zampini
President, UpShoot LLC
Upcoming  Events
Monday, Feb 20
Linthicum, MD
Chesapeake Green 2014
Keynote Speech: “Ride the Wave of Change”
“On the Cutting Edge With New Plants”
Wednesday, Mar 12
Youngstown, OH
MVNLA Spring Clinic  Fellows Riverside Garden
“2014 New Plants”

Hottest Plants for 2014
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in Words
Garden Center Magazine
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State by State Gardening
Hottest Plants for 2014 

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HGTV HOME Plant Collection Blog
Maria is now a regular contributor to the HGTV HOME Plant Collection blog. Check out
hgtvhomeplants.com and click on “Know How!”

Supersize Your Yard for Songbirds


SparrowWe simply love a recent article from Audubon magazine about the best plants to help our feathered friends refuel during the cold, winter months.

This time of year many of us are making spring plans for our yard and gardens;  deciding what plants we’ll pull out, moving others and of course, researching what new items to include.  

If you’re interested in not only attracting but supporting birds, consider adding some native, or selected native, high energy plants; meaning fruit bearing items high in fat which are the perfect refueling food for the birds. 

Big Mac Myrica

The Audobon article notes a recent study by the University of Rhode Island. It names plants which produce berries with the highest amount of fat – aka ‘bird fuel’.  

With berries consisting of more than half fat, the winner is, Myrica pensylvanica!


For areas where the species is too large and a more compact sized plant is required, we’d like to recommend Bobbee Bayberry.

Besides being more compact, Bobbee has smaller, dark and wavier leaves. Like its parent, pewter gray berries are aromatic and the plant tolerates acidic soils.
UpShoot’s plant portfolio includes the following additional selected natives from the top refueling plants mentioned in the article:  Ultra™ Common Hackberry and dentatum viburnums including Raspberry Tart™ Arrow Wood ViburnumFireworks™ Arrow Wood Viburnum and Blue Blaze™ Arrow Wood Viburnum.

National Garden Bureau

Best Bets from the NGB

Each year the horticulture industry selects a flower, vegetable and perennial to be showcased by the National Garden Bureau.
2014 is the Year of the:
Plants chosen are popular, easy-to-grow, widely adaptable, genetically diverse and versatile.

2014 Herb of the Year

The International Herb Association has announced Artemisia as the 2014 Herb of the Year.
Criteria is based on an herb being outstanding in at least two of the three major categories: medicinal, culinary or decorative.
Consult the association website for a preview of their Herb of the Year publication.
Artemisia book
Year of the Horse, 2014

Year of the Horse

January 31st marked the start of the Chinese Lunar Year, the Year of the Horse.  This year is also associated with wood, ie; The Year of the Wooden Horse.
With that in mind here are some tried and true woody ornamentals that are workhorses in the garden any time of the year, even winter:
Sugar Tyme Winter Fruit
Sugar Tyme Crabapple – top rated disease resistance, long-lasting colorful fruit
Passionate hydrangea
Passionate Hydrangea – blooms and branches don’t bend and snap with heavy snow and ice
Celebration Maple in winter
Celebration Maple – branch angles handle snow and ice loads without breakage
Creme de Mint stems
Crème de Mint Shrub Dogwood – compact habit with bright gold stems for winter color
Society of Municipal Arborists

SMA Urban Tree of the Year

The Society of Municipal Arborists has named Parrotia persica ‘Vanessa’ as their 2014 street tree winner.
It was chosen for its many merits including resistance to drought and pests, upright habit, hardiness, slow growing smaller size, fabulous fall color and interesting bark.
SMA focus is on ‘The right tree for the right place.’
Perennial Plant Association  

2014 Perennial Plant of the Year

The Perennial Plant Association has announced their 2014 winner: Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’.
This tall ornamental switch grass has a distinct vertical habit. Olive-green to blue-green foliage turns yellow in the fall and along with its airy flower panicles provide great winter interest.


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