It's Back to the Drawing Board

For many, January gardening means armchair gardening. While there may be a few glorious days when the sun comes out and gardening tasks become possible, January is mainly a cold, gray month just right for browsing that stack of fresh garden catalogs. Now is the time to get caught up on what’s new and create a garden wish list for spring.

This year take the winter daydreaming a step further. Besides armchair gardening, do some drawing board gardening. It has probably been a number of years since you originally designed and planted your garden. Over the years, the beds have changed. Plants have matured and new varieties that you couldn’t live without have been squeezed in. While some areas are still quite attractive, others have lost their appeal. It is time to go back to the drawing board and simplify.
Getting Started
Armchair gardening with the latest catalogs is a great way to get started on renovation. Be sure to make notes of appealing plants and colors. Go through the catalogs three times. The first time, mark everything you like. The second time, start looking for what combines well. The third time, choose what will realistically work for your garden site (ie., the amount of sunlight or shade, soil condition, how wet or dry the area, and the size of the plot vs. size of mature plants).
Simplify for stronger color impact
Since you really want to create a landscape instead of a plant collection, plan to limit plant combinations to only 3-5 varieties per area – but more of each variety. This will give the garden "broader brush strokes" and stronger design impact. In some instances you may even try combining only two plant varieties.

The new Jackson & Perkins Spring Catalog is bursting with great new roses and perennials that will make your garden renovation a snap. Big, bold hybrid tea roses will look great in your cutting garden. Sheer Magic and Pope John Paul II have incredible petal substance so that their blooms hold up well in a vase. Floribundas, with their clustered blooms and quick rebloom cycle, are non-stop color machines and will look great planted en masse. And don't miss our new Kaleidoscape planting combinations. The high-impact, low-maintenance shrub roses, paired with tried-and-true perennials will give your garden just what you're looking for.
Choose shrub roses and perennials: the perfect match
Shrub roses have been gaining popularity over the last few years. With all the time constraints placed on our busy lives, gardeners have been yearning for plants that look great without having to be fussed over. Our Kaleidoscape shrub roses naturally have more cold tolerance and fantastic disease resistance, plus their colorful blooms appear all summer long. The less formal-looking flowers are easier to blend into a mixed planting without overpowering the other plants. They are good garden citizens — they play well with others!

Plum Frost is a very appropriately named rose. Its magenta-plum petals have a frosty white reverse. The plant has an upright shape that works well in hedges or as a backdrop for perennial favorites such as 'Sweet Dreams' Coreopsis. Both have plum tones in their blooms, to give your garden color cohesion. White flowers such as Shasta daisy could also be combined for added brightness and contrast. Plum Frost also possesses a strong citrus fragrance common in lavender and purple roses.
Cherries 'n Cream is another fragrant shrub rose, but with more of a spicy clove scent. Its cherry red blooms have a white reverse and white edging. The edging really sets off each individual petal and the bold overall color contrasts beautifully with yellow daylilies. We’ve combined Cherries 'n Cream with 'Happy Returns', a vibrant yellow daylily that blooms all summer.
Try planting Ruffled Cloud with blue delphiniums. Ruffled Cloud will amaze you with how free blooming it is, even in its first summer. You'll be blown away when the delphiniums and Ruffled Cloud come into their full potential. It is an absolutely stunning combination. You'll be so glad you planted them where all your neighbors could see. It is an offspring of Morden Blush, an incredibly cold-hardy rose developed in Manitoba, Canada.

Plant breeders have continued to create new varieties that are more vigorous, disease resistant and easy to grow. Sifting through the incredible variety, though, will make you appreciate having a month like January. While you'll be tempted to try all the new plants that appeal to you, try simplifying your choices and choosing those that will give you the greatest impact. The Kaleidoscape plantings will do just that. By using this month to plan and select new roses and perennials, you'll be ready for the warming months to come.

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