New Forsythia Discovered for 2024 Gardens

by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener

Audio by Cast11

A unique plant explicitly grown for this weekend’s Spring Open House is SpringShine Forsythia. Gardeners will drool over this 2024 introduction. Better than your grandfather’s forsythia. Springshine delivers years of instant cheer to your garden! This compact shrub explodes with vibrant yellow blooms in early spring, painting your landscape before leaves even appear. Its dense, mounded shape is perfect for borders, foundations, or low hedges, adding year-round texture with unusual brick-red stems. It is low maintenance, grows anywhere in central Arizona, and rewards you with effortless sunshine, season after season. Plant your Springshine Forsythia this weekend and welcome spring in golden glory!

Fun fact: Forsythia has historically been one of the 50 essential herbs in Asian medicine. The flower petals are valued for their antiseptic effect in treating wounds and boils. Like calendula of the west, forsythia flower petals contain powerful bacteria-fighting properties, which make it a vital dressing.

62 years ago in Garden History

This article is dedicated to the gardener’s past, 62 years past. This weekend, Harold Watters started the first garden center in Northern Arizona in 1962. Three generations of owners later, we celebrate the beginnings of Watters Garden Center with an annual ‘Spring Open House’ inviting our growers, suppliers, and regional garden celebrities to share what’s new for 2024.

This year is as exciting as the past 62, with many new peony colors, the latest rose creations, easy-to-grow cocktail trees, and better breeds of natives all featured this weekend and ready for spring planting. Consider this a personal invitation to this weekend’s activities.

March 15 @ 3 pm 2024 New Plant Happy Hour

New is Better when it comes to flowers. We’ve grown this year’s newest colors and fragrances specifically for Watters 62nd Spring Open House. Meet the horticulturalists who grew this year’s latest plants.

March 16 @ 9:30 am – Watters 62nd Spring Open House – How Nursery Plants are Grown, Behind the Agriculture Curtain – A Dive deep into agriculture, the greenhouse world, and the growers of this spring plants! Plant growers explain the stories behind the plants, their age, and insider tips for a better garden this spring. Discover local favorites, learn insider tricks, and get answers to your burning questions about container gardens, pest control, roses, vegetables, and more.

Sunday, March 17 @ 10 to 2 pm – Ken and Lisa Watters-Lain, Mountain Gardener radio show, live at the garden center and share their secrets.

Garden Answer of the Week: What does the plant tag mean by ‘Days to Maturity’?

As we plant this year’s vegetable and flower garden, ‘Days to Maturity’ is prominent. This is especially important for crops like tomatoes, peppers, geranium, petunia, and zinnia. ‘Days to Maturity’ is a crucial concept for gardeners, significantly when growing vegetables and annual flowers. It refers to the number of days it takes for a plant to be ready to produce fruit or flowers. This information is often provided on seed packets and garden books and prominent on the plant tags. It estimates the length of the growing season for annual plants.

Counting the days to maturity depends on whether the seeds are planted indoors and then transplanted or directly sown in the garden. Generally, the count starts from the date of transplantation or germination for direct sowing. However, various factors, such as weather conditions and environmental stress, can affect the time a plant matures.

In essence, ‘Days to Maturity’ is a guideline, but actual growth may vary due to environmental factors influencing the plant’s development. I hope the explanation helps:)

Until next week, I’ll be helping local gardeners plant the best evergreens here at Watters Garden Center.

KL Footer Top10Plants