2014 is the year of the Echinacea, Petunia and Cucumber, according to the National Gardening Bureau, which recently announced these three popular plants as their Plants of the Year.
Each year, the NGB selects a popular perennial, annual and vegetable to highlight for the upcoming season, to encourage interest and use of the plants in home gardening.
Echinacea, also known commonly as Coneflower, is a Native American perennial and a popular homeopathic remedy. Echinacea is tough and hardy, able to withstand heat, drought, poor soil, cold and humidity. Birds and butterflies love it, but deer will leave it alone – it will also look great indoors as a cut flower, with an average vase life of one week.
Petunias come in many varieties and colors, making it a popular choice for hanging baskets and containers. Largely pest- and disease-free, sun-loving petunias grow well in all climates, are low maintenance and bloom for many months.
Cucumbers are one of the top five most popular garden vegetables to grow and come in two types: pickling and slicing; they can also be further classified as bush or vine. Slicing cucumbers can be eaten fresh from the garden, while pickling cucumbers are used to preserve as pickles.
Learn more about this year’s picks and picks from previous years at www.ngb.org.
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