Looking for help in choosing the best bulb, perennial, deciduous or evergreen tree or shrub, or vine for your garden? The Chicago Botanic Garden trials ornamental plants and posts the results at their Plant Evaluation Web site. The Garden's plant evaluation staff tracks a plant's performance over the course of a multiyear trial. The Web site provides an annual update, with a plant profile including one or more images plus information on flower color, bloom period, plant size, disease and pest issues, and winter hardiness. The database is searchable by scientific or common names as well as a number of plant characteristics. My only quibble is that I could not find a comprehensive list of plants that have been evaluated. Still, the information that the program does have available is very helpful. The results of their five-year trial of Oenothera species and cultivars have recently been published.
Tool or Gardening Product
If you get tired of removing suckers at the base of trees or stumps, try Sucker-Stopper RTU. This is a product made from the plant growth regulator napthaleneacetate (NAA). It can be used on fruit trees as well as ornamental plants. Available in a 22-ounce, ready-to-use spray bottle, it is applied around the base of trees or directly on the stump or pruning wound. Product literature says that the control lasts about 3 months, but I have had longer results. For additional information, including where to buy, go to: http://www.montereylawngarden.com/faqs/sucker_stopper.html.