The Scoop

Jens Jensen film in the making
15th anniversary of Wave petunias
New & improved Japanese tree lilac

Jens Jensen film in the making
Two Chicago filmmakers are wrapping up a documentary on Jens Jensen, who was called "the dean of the world’s landscape architects" by the New York Times upon his death in 1951. Jensen developed a prairie-style landscape to compliment the architecture of his collaborator Frank Lloyd Wright, and he created the "American Garden"—a small, idealized prairie. Carey Lundin and Mark Frazel chronicle his life and work in "Jens Jensen Harmonious World," which will air on PBS once completed. Read more and watch the trailer at www.jensjensenharmoniousworld.org.

15th anniversary of Wave petunias
Wave petunias are celebrating their 15th anniversary in the garden this year. Since their debut in 1995, they have become staples in many summer borders and mixed containers. They owe their popularity to their easy growability, vivid color and long bloom time. Each year new varieties have come out; this year they are Easy Wave Burgundy Star, with large burgundy and white blooms; Easy Wave Plum Vein, a purple flower with darler veining; and Shock Wave Denim, which starts out rich blue and fades like a favorite pair of jeans. Wave petunias even have their own fan club—see www.wave-rave.com.

New & improved Japanese tree lilac
Japanese tree lilacs (Syringa reticulata) should be more widely grown. They are handsome small trees with large, fragrant flowers and shiny, textural bark that contributes much winter interest. Perhaps they are not widely grown because they tend to flower every other year. Happily, there is now a cultivar that blooms every year: Snowdance, from Bailey Nurseries. It’s a vase-shaped tree for full sun, reaching 18 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Blooms heavily in early summer. Zones 3–7. Snowdance is available this year from garden centers that carry Bailey First Editions.

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