Thanks to Overdevest Nurseries’ David Wilson for sharing his expertise on what to look for to find quality new plants.

As we walk through garden center displays, surf online or visit other gardens, it’s only natural that we find ourselves gravitating towards plants that have appealing colors or pleasing features. Then as we consider the ones that catch our eye, comes questions like: Will it grow in our area? How big will it grow?  Is it right for the spot we have in mind? How long will it flower for? Is it hard to grow, and does it need any special care and attention?

Then after discounting the ones that fall short of our selection criteria, comes (for some of us more thrifty shoppers) the more calculating consideration of does it represent great value? Is it something that is going to last? Is it going to perform well? And, will it provide years of pleasure without a lot of attention and work?

Of course, nowadays we have the worldwide web at our disposal, and with a few clicks of a mouse or taps on our cell phone, we can do our research even before we set foot in the garden center! But, as we all know, any research is only as good as the information available and that’s where the Handpicked For You® program is so valuable.

For within The Handpicked for You® community of hundreds of independent garden centers, leading regional production nurseries and the world’s foremost plant breeders there’s a wealth of information, experience and resources that we can draw on. For instance, there’s over 60 Handpicked for You® certified plants, ones that come with a valued Trustmark that offers the assurance of greater garden success!

But that’s not all, for behind these “tried and trusted” beauties comes another tier of plants known as Handpicked for You® “First Look” plants. These are exciting new selections that have gone through initial testing procedures and are currently under consideration for Handpicked for You® certification.

What’s neat about this is that for the first time, we as home owners have a say in whether these new plants go on to become fully certified Handpicked for You® plants or not.

As you visit garden centers, you will be able to easily recognize them. They have this tag attached, letting you know that it’s a new and promising selection and that you are invited to report on their performance in your garden.

Assuming these “First Look” plants measure up to the demanding Handpicked for You® criteria they will in time, become certified Handpicked for You® selections.

So, as you visit your favorite Handpicked for You® garden center keep an eye out for these “First Look” plants because amongst the new and promising selections of trees, shrubs, evergreens, roses, perennials, ornamental grasses etc. there’s sure to be some cutting-edge beauties, and you could be amongst the first in your area to have them in your garden.