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The Scoop

Gardening news, notes and trivia for this week.
  • A Tree Rose for Zone 4
  • Community Garden Contest
  • Veronica Evaluations

A Tree Rose for Zone 4
Bailey Nurseries has released a perennial tree rose that is hardy to USDA Zone 4. (Pictured.) The plant-breeding company tested Polar Joy ('BAlore') over three winters in Minnesota. It grows a three- to six-foot-tall single stem, topped with a rounded head of leaves and flowers, to a total height of five to eight feet. Polar Joy blooms all summer; the flowers are soft pink. It will be available at garden centers this spring.

Community Garden Contest
The 2010 Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards will give national recognition and $5,000 in plants to community groups and nonprofit organizations that are improving their local environments. The annual award, sponsored by Omaha-based Nature Hills Nursery, will be presented in April 2010 to groups and organizations that are literally “greening” their communities, parks, schools and public spaces by planting trees, shrubs and other plants. Apply by April 1, 2010. Visit for full details and application instructions.

Veronica Evaluations
The Chicago Botanic Garden has released its 33rd issue of its Plant Evaluation Notes. This issue reports on a 10-year-long study of the speedwells (Veronica and Veronicastrum species). Speedwells are generally easy-to-grow, hardy perennials that offer spiky summer flowers, often in shades of blue. Many of the evaluated species received four-star ratings. All the issues of Plant Evaluation Notes can be downloaded from