Today, I’m again giving a shout out for a new plant that I feel needs some media attention. From the masterful hands of plant breeder Dr. Jim Ault of Chicago Botanic Gardens, Veronica ‘Tidal Pool’ tops my list of hot plants to watch for in 2012. At least it’s not a hydrangea or coneflower (seriously, can we just vow to knock off the ‘me too’ genetics? Innovation much?) I first heard about this when Jim, my friend Winston, and I spent a week hunting plants on the Great Plains. What else do plantsmen talk about while searching out plants besides…plants?
Selected in 2008 from a cross made in 2007, this good-kind-of-creepy groundcover glows in full flower in almost unimaginable shades of blue. The parents of this hybrid speedwell are Veronica armena and Veronica pectinata ‘Rosea’, both reputable prostrate speedwells. Jim reports that this variety blooms for four weeks from May through June in Chicago, gracing the garden during the colorful peak of the northern temperate growing season. Can you imagine the combinations? ‘Tidal Pool’ pooling between sunshiny Allium moly with pink waves of Silene ‘Longwood’ (also a Jim Ault plant…I sense a designer combination set coming on!) hovering in the forefront of the vignette. Yes, that’ll be $34.95, and I’ll even come plant it for you….
Snapping back, the best part about this groundcover veronica is as Jim writes “Two-year-old plants have grown to 2″ tall by 22″ wide on a clay soil, and to 3″ tall x 30″ wide on a sand soil. ” Impressive. As of writing this, I’m not pat positive who all will be carrying this retail for 2012, but I do know that several growers in the Chicagoland Grows® network have it in production. Stay tuned. We all need to be growing this.