A new age has begun in the gardening world with the introduction of product lines such as Altman Plants Top Performers. Thanks to science and modern hybridizing the music in the garden no longer refers only to the chirps of a goldfinch, chatter of a chipmunk, or the babbling of a brook. The flowers are now singing with unprecedented colors and vigor through procedures like vegetative propagation and virus indexing for increased health and hardiness. Who knew a couple of years ago what a Sutera (Bacopa) was? Now from the humble beginnings of the plain white Bacopa, hybridizers have developed an array of colors: pinks, blues, lavenders even red. Calibrachoa, a tropical cousin of the Petunia, was until recently unknown to the general gardening public but has added a new note of excitement with its hardiness, flexibility and ever increasing color options.
The ordinary garden of the past is no longer acceptable to many garden enthusiasts. Today’s discerning gardener searches for plants that will satisfy his or her need for aesthetic fulfillment, and at the same time be “eco” friendly. Cacti and succulents, the relatively unknown treasures of the deserts and mountains, are providing fantastic new possibilities for today’s landscapes. The rich palette of colors, combined with dramatic and unique shapes, gives the artist every conceivable tool necessary to create not only incredibly beautiful desert scapes and rockeries but also unique mixed plantings, which might include silvery epiphytic herbs, xeriphytic ornamental grasses or even miniature conifers.