The Evercolor Series of Carex is one of the top brands of perennials to hit the marketplace in the last five years. I have never seen plants out-perform the hype in any design that I've installed. These are a series of plant introductions that you need to plant to prove. If you haven't experienced them, you have been planting on the curve!

Posted by: Kirk R. Brown Conversationist on Gardening Art, History and Business
Posted: Oct 11, 2018
Orefield, PA

I really like Nandina domestica 'Lemon Lime'. It is easy to grow and grows in full sun or shade. It is a charming addition to the mixed border or a foundation planting. I have a terrible deer problem because I live next to a state park -- The deer seem to ignore 'Lemon Lime' Nandina except for an occasional nibble! Consider -- nandina has no serious pests or diseases. For someone who likes a specimen in a container, this could be a knockout. This lovely low maintenance plant is a perfect choice for the busy gardener. It may become your new favorite!

Posted by: Stephanie Cohen "The Perennial Diva"
Posted: Oct 11, 2018
Collegeville, PA

I have a few favorites among the Southern Living plant collection that deserve a thumbs up! ‘Mountain Snow’ Pieris puts on a wonderful show when in bloom, with interesting foliage year round, and has proven it’s hardiness through some ‘rough for S.C.’ winters. ‘Empress of China’ Dogwood when in full bloom is a white cascade of blooms-stunning! Oakland Holly and Robin Holly have retained an almost perfect pyramidal form with no pruning, forming a wonderful, maintenance- free screen . The camellia collection , including the October Magic series, is a wonderful source of fall, winter and early spring color in the garden. Virtually maintenance free, which is always a plus.

Posted by: Kathy Bridges, Garden Manager
Posted: Oct 11, 2018
Clemson, SC

I don't want to shock anyone, but one of new favorite small shrubs is a LIGUSTRUM. It is Ligustrum sinense 'Sunshine'. For someone like me who is very picky, I am really enjoying my new small 3 to 6 foot plant. The most outstanding and unbelievable characteristic is the golden foliage, and it is bright and vibrant. I have it as a background plant in a mixed border, and it simply lights up the garden. I love when people come to my garden and ask what is that fabulous plant? Who doesn't like a bright sunshiny plant in their garden to brighten up their borders? I definitely do!!!

Posted by: Stephanie Cohen "The Perennial Diva"
Posted: Oct 11, 2018
Collegevilla, PA

If you want to add pop to your entrance, landscape area or flowering pots, Carex Everillo brings the impact. Using colors to bring light to a shady garden has always been a problem but Carex Everillo allows you to brighten up and add contrast to your landscape pallet. Its long cascading blades create a texture and structure that can accent any planting. I've used it as a transition plant -- incorporating with Flirt Nandina, hostas, and other high shade perennials, shrubs and trees -- which makes a very stunning contrast. Incorporating carex in large planter pots is another way to use this very impactful, eye-catching plant. As always, soil preparation is very important for its ability to thrive. Just keep in mind, it does not like direct sun but would prefer morning sun with high shade throughout the day.

Posted by: Todd Guilmette, Unique Environmental Landscapes
Posted: Aug 07, 2017
Mableton, GA

For years, Southern Living varieties have enhanced landscapes throughout the United States and beyond. Mercer Botanic Garden has been proud to partner with Southern Living for many years trialing a wide range of recommended new introductions, nearly all of which proved to be garden-worthy for our extremely challenging climatic Gulf Coast conditions. These plants are featured prominently throughout the Garden, adding beauty and diversity to the botanic collections on display for all to enjoy as well as being a valuable teaching tool for gardeners of all ages and interest levels. Using the Garden’s successes as our guide, The Mercer Society prominently features these innovative, tried-and-true selections in our fund-raising plant sale events and year-round in the Gift and Plant Shoppe. Southern Living plants do not stay long in our shoppe, truly a favorite with our customers. We value your product and service to the Gardens, The Mercer Society and our gardening community! Thank you!

Posted by: Maryanne Esser, President, The Mercer Society
Posted: Jul 20, 2017
Humble, TX

The Southern Living Plant Collection provides a good variety and collection of species that are both suitable and successful in the southeast region. I personally have multiple varieties at my private residence which are doing very well. One in particular, the “Sunshine” Ligustrum, provides vibrant color and growth and is performing well in varied locations.

Posted by: Keith Downing, PLA, ASLA, CLH design, p.a.
Posted: Jul 07, 2017
Cary, NC

When it was suggested that we include a privet to the plant collections at Leu Gardens, we had reservations. Let’s face it: privet has not had a good reputation. Its flowers are followed by berries which then scatter across the countryside. That’s the great news about ‘Sunshine’ – no flowers and no berries. The 3/8” long leaves are neon lemon yellow and produce a very dense habit. In the seven years it has grown in our collection, it hasn’t grown more than 60” tall, though if necessary, it can take sheering or pruning well and covers the cuts quickly. The more you sheer it, the brighter the foliage gets. It is extremely drought tolerant, and nematodes don’t seem to bother them at all. Used as a low accent hedge or as a specimen, ‘Sunshine,’ like the name implies, would be a welcome ray of sunshine in any landscape.

Posted by: Robert E. Bowden Executive Director, Leu Gardens
Posted: Jun 15, 2017
Orlando, FL

In Orlando, where the temperatures and accompanying humidity often exceed the mid 90’s, a few new plants have surfaced in the marketplace that have the ability withstand the worst Mother Nature can dish out. One plant, for example, Berberis (Mahonia) ‘Soft Caress’ can take the worst of conditions and look beautiful. Its soft-to-the-touch green leaves on arrow-straight stems are topped off in summer and fall with clusters of bright lemon yellow flower spikes. Given its color, texture and ability to grow in deep to part shade, ‘Soft Caress’ very well may be one of the most important landscape introductions in the past five years. This plant should be in every garden in America!

Posted by: Robert E. Bowden Executive Director, Leu Gardens
Posted: Jun 15, 2017
Orlando, FL

What makes the Southern Living Collection easy to love is simple! The quality of the plant material remains consistently high even after an extended amount of time is spent in it's container. Gardening can be extremely frustrating when you live in Oklahoma City (zone 7) and DFW (zone 8) since we often experience down to zone 5-6 winter temperatures. Couple that with the sad reality of the summer heat and lack of moisture being the only season with consistent weather! With all the uncertainty that this region throws at gardeners season after season, it's a relief knowing that Southern Living plants simply laugh at that adversity and continue to thrive! Tim Henson Rose Gardener Fort Worth Botanic Garden

Posted by: Tim Henson, Rose Gardener: Fort Worth Botanic Garden
Posted: Oct 02, 2015
Fort Worth, TX

Southern Living's Jubilation Gardenia has been a proven winner in my experience. It is a low maintenance shrub that remains healthy through adverse weather, and puts on quite a show during bloom time. Jubilation Gardenia is one that I will continue to use in my designs.

Posted by: Joni Payne Young, PLA, ASLA, young squared studios, llc
Posted: Sep 22, 2014
Decatur, GA

My Scentsation™ Gardenia began blooming yesterday for the first time, and by nightfall it had opened up even more. I can't believe that there are 50 total blooms about to burst forth on that tiny little plant! The Dear Dolores™ Hydrangea has really taken off, expanding every day to my great pleasure--and sporting gorgeous blue/purple shaded blooms. And both shrub rose bushes (All a Flutter and Majesty) seem to be competing to see which one can produce the most blooms and expand the fastest -- All a Flutter is winning at the moment! (You) deserve a round of applause for all the hard work you do in seeing that (we) are equipped with the best plants for Southern climates!

Posted by: Radell Smith
Posted: Jul 15, 2014

The great plants in the Southern Living™ Plant Collection have made a huge impact on our 250 Linnaeus Volunteers and on the thousands of visitors to the Linnaeus Teaching Garden in Tulsa. Hardly a day goes by that local gardens don’t inquire about such beauties as Purple Diamond® Loropetalum, Blush Pink® Nandina and the incredibly beautiful Early Bird™ Crapemyrtles. Having grown up in the Deep South, the Jubilation™ Gardenia has been a special delight to me. The sweet heady aroma fills an entire section of the garden.

Posted by: Barry Fugatt of the Linneaus Garden
Posted: Jun 26, 2010
Tulsa, OK

Here at Chandor Gardens, we're using Purple Pixie® in pockets on the side of a stone wall to provide a cascading waterfall effect. Purple Diamond® is the quintessential accent shrub---sized right, never needs pruning, rich purple foliage all year, and the spring blast of flowers that rivals the azaleas...what more could you ask for? And as good as those varieites are, Emerald Snow® stole the show this spring with its blizzard of white blossoms. It was so luscious, I had lots of people ask me if it was real...several of whom required a blossom or two as proof. All these beauties proved to be tough as nails in the garden---no insect or disease problems, adaptable to different soil types, and most importantly here in Texas, heat tolerant.

Posted by: Steven Chamblee of Chandor Gardens
Posted: Jun 22, 2010
Weatherford, TX

The unique climate in Norfolk allowed us to select interesting combinations of plants from the Southern Living™ Plant Collection that are new to our local wholesale plant market. Norfolk Botanical Garden now has a lush, inviting entrance that sparks many compliments, thanks to the Southern Living™ Plant Collection.

Posted by: Brian O'Neil of the Norfolk Botanical Garden
Posted: Jun 22, 2010
Norfolk, VA

I don't if it was the cold winter that has made such beautiful blooms this spring or what, but all of our Loropetalum are just breathtaking in bloom this spring. People are stopping to ask, "What is that in bloom?" They are blooming as much as an azalea!

Posted by: Dee Johnson of Sandhills Community College
Posted: Apr 20, 2010
Pinehurst, NC