Loma Vista Nursery News

Trends to Watch

With the 2024 growing season at the starting gate, the question is naturally, “what’s new?” Experts (and history) tells us that trends are defined by the generations with buying power.  Horti-futurism, they say, is now. 

While we value those Boomers who are still out there gardening along with their Gen X neighbors and Millennial children, Generation Z is joining the garden party and they’re ready to spend. We think these plants coincide perfectly with the trends they’re sparking.


Horti-futurism (Sci-Fi, Futuristic, Vibrant)

Illuminati Tower® Mockorange (Philadelphus coronarius) – Proven Winners Photo (right image)

Illuminati Tower® Mockorange 

With its enlightening name and appearance, Illuminati Tower® Mockorange is a deciduous shrub with a space-saving habit. Upright stems with emerald-green foliage resemble four-sided towers. The scent of its spring- and summer-blooming lily-white flowers is reminiscent of orange blossoms. Petals have pastel yellow centers that provide added contrast and interest. 

Drought tolerant and deer resistant, Illuminati Tower® Mockorange grows 5 feet to 6 feet tall in flower and 3 to 4 feet wide. Establish it as a specimen plant, en masse as a space-saving hedge or as thriller in containers. This shrub blooms on old wood, so if pruning is desired do so after flowering. Maintenance is otherwise easy. This mock orange does well with average moisture and neutral soil. Plant in part sun to sun, in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 through 7.

Guacamole Hosta (Hosta x ‘Guacamole’)

Guacamole Hosta

Defined by white plants that seem to shimmer in the dark, night gardens are hot again in 2024, bringing an otherworldly experience to backyards and landscapes. Shade-loving Guacamole Hosta’s large stalks have softly-scented white-lavender blooms in midsummer. In keeping with its name, foliage is guacamole-green. Plant this hosta along the edges of a patio or deck, in larger containers and in border gardens. 

But be sure to plant it in a shady area. To thrive, Guacamole Hosta requires partial to full shade. Keep soil consistently moist but not soggy. Hosta attracts hummingbirds, is easy to care for and is a quick-grower. At maturity, it is about 1½ feet tall and 2 feet wide. Performs best in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 8.


Graceful Goth (Dark, Moody, Haunted)

Eclipse® Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Bailmacseven’) – Bailey Nurseries Photo

Eclipse® Bigleaf Hydrangea

Dark, mysterious and deeply moody, Eclipse® Bigleaf Hydrangea has black-as-night, deep-purple foliage that holds its color all season long. It is the first true, dark-leaf Hydrangea macrophylla on the market and a must-have for hydrangea connoisseurs and collectors. Depending on the soil pH, cranberry or amethyst blooms provide intriguing, contrasting color. Mophead flowers form in rounded clusters that are 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

In the landscape, the shrub’s mounded habit and medium height make it easy to pair with other plants in mixed borders, as a specimen shrub in island beds and in groupings as a small hedge. Very little maintenance is needed for this shrub, which resists cold temperatures to -20 degrees. It performs well in a variety of soils and requires only a normal amount of moisture after it’s established. With a mature height and width of 3 to 5 feet, Eclipse® Bigleaf Hydrangea requires part shade and performs best in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 9.

Beardtongue (Penstemon ‘Onyx and Pearls’)

Onyx and Pearls Penstemon

Named for its deep-dark purple foliage and soft lavender trumpet flowers with white centers, Onyx and Pearls has waxy-green foliage on tall stems. This perennial plant doesn’t mind the heat and is cold hardy, too. Drought tolerant once established, it isn’t bothered by soil type or bugged by insects or diseases. This penstemon beckons hummingbirds to its nectar-rich blooms. Long blooming, it attracts butterflies and other beneficial pollinators to its upright habit.

Easy to grow, Onyx and Pearls Penstemon likes loose soil with good drainage and produces its pretty blooms all summer. Divide this perennial every few years in spring by digging up mature rhizomes and planting them elsewhere in the landscape. Refresh the plant by trimming the foliage after it completes its bloom. Mature height and width is 3 to 4 feet. Plant it in full sun, in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 8.


Foliage as Flora (Textural, Multi-Hued, Variegated)

Densiformis Yew (Taxus x media ‘Densiformis’)

Densiformis Yew

Densiformis Yew is richly green with year-round color and fluffy new growth in spring. Foliage matures to rich deep green through winter. In residential and commercial landscapes, use Densiformis Yew as a foundation or hedging plant. Add privacy screening with this shrub, and plant it in border and perennial gardens as well as in containers.

This Japanese yew likes well-drained soil. It is low maintenance, tolerating pollution, rabbits and mild drought. In mid-summer, lightly prune as needed. Mature height is 4 feet; spread is 4 to 6 feet. Plant in full shade to full sun, in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 7.

Green Mountain Boxwood (Buxus x ‘Green Mountain’)

Green Mountain Boxwood

Known for its distinctive foliage and upright cone habit, Green Mountain Boxwood can be pruned as a hedge. It has an ideal form for creating topiary or shaping to size for larger containers. Use it for privacy screening or to define structure in a formal garden.

This deciduous evergreen grows to 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide in its natural form. Water Green Mountain Boxwood weekly, or more frequently in extreme heat. It requires full to partial sun. Plant in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 through 9.


Bee-utifully Beneficial (Eco-Environmental, Sustainable, Functional)

Little Adder Hyssop (Agastache rugosa ‘Little Adder’)

Little Adder Hyssop

Part of the mint family, Little Adder Hyssop provides a long season of bloom, making it a beloved source of nectar for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Its tall, violet-purple flower spikes are long blooming in the Midwest, from July through September. Deciduous foliage is branched and anise scented. It is green during the growing season and yellow in the fall. 

In the landscape, plant Little Adder en masse and in perennial borders, as well as in two-way borders along sidewalks, driveways and in public parks and parkways. Once established, it is drought tolerant and virtually maintenance free. Mature height is about 1½ feet and width is between 1½ and 2 feet. Plant in sun, in USDA Hardiness Zone 5 to 9.

Balmy Pink Bee Balm (Monarda didyma ‘Balbalmink’) 

Balmy Pink Bee Balm 

This monarda is Barbie-pink with shaggy, basil-scented bright blooms. Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are drawn to this very fun plant that is also powdery mildew, deer and rabbit resistant. For a big color wow in the pollinator landscape, plant Balmy Pink Bee Balm en masse. This herbaceous perennial loves to show off, so add it to cutting gardens, sunny borders and containers, too.

Compact and moderate-growing, Balmy Pink Bee Balm blooms in late spring to early summer. It loves full sun, but performs just as well in partly sunny areas of the landscape. Hard prune annually before new growth emerges in spring. Bee balm is adaptable in a variety of soils. It does not like dry conditions, so make sure to water deeply during the first growing season and then maintain evenly moist soil after that. At maturity, it reaches about 1 foot tall and about 10 inches wide. Plant in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 9.

For more on Generation Z predictions in the plant industry, read “The Z Factor,” by Emily Mills and Kelly Rodda, in the December 2023 issue of Greenhouse Management magazine. Here’s the link

Loma Vista Nursery is taking professional trade orders for the spring 2024 growing season. Click here for our container order form. Click here for our in-ground tree order form. Visit our plant catalog for more information about Loma Vista Nursery grown perennial plants, trees and shrubs – all ideal for Midwest landscapes.


Learn More About the Loma Vista Nursery Family and Our Landscape Plants

Loma Vista Nursery grows fun and healthy plants for Midwest independent garden centers, landscape contractors and wholesale distributors. Review our website to learn about our values and best-practices as a Midwest plant grower.

Our staff members are experts in the field who love helping people learn and understand more about plants. To get help with your orders and answers to plant-related questions, send an email to sales@lomavistanursery.com or call (785) 229-7200.

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