Just out of the box, and ready to hit the ground running is a sampling of Proven Winners new shrubs and vines that arrived yesterday. There are some selections in this enticing mix we might not have thought about before — like Summer Shandy, an unusual climber with golden-yellow, finely-cut foliage. This frothy little number is actually a perennial hop.

And although the hang tag tells me it does indeed produce buds (the hops) like those used for brewing beer, this one is all for show. Colorful all season, it is adaptable to most soils and hardy Zones 5-8. I have just the trellis for it.

Another part of the shipment is Sonic Bloom red Weigela, and do I ever have a place for this reblooming shrub! Its lipstick-red blooms first appear in May, then return in waves until frost with bright flowers all season. What’s not to like about a Weigela that does that? Hardy to Zones 4-8, it will go into a sunny spot where a less-hardy shrub cashed in its chips this past winter.

Also in this sample shipment are a highly-ornamental Virginia creeper, Red Wall that will be used to camouflage an unattractive fence at the back of the yard; a thornless (!) landscape rose, Oso Happy ® Smoothie that covers itself with cheerful, hot-pink blooms from June until frost; and a dwarf hardy hydrangea called Bobo (Oh yes a compact hyrdangea). You’ll be hearing more about all of these in the coming months as they get settled in and strut their stuff. Stay tuned…