The 2022 Green Thumb Award winners have been announced by National Garden Bureau (NGB). This year’s winners include four outstanding new plant varieties and one new gardening product.
Winners of the 2022 Green Thumb Awards were chosen based on four criteria. These are: uniqueness, technological innovation, ability to solve a gardening problem or provide a gardening opportunity, and appeal to gardeners. Winners were selected by a panel of National Garden Bureau members.
“The Green Thumb Award is an exciting program that aligns well with NGB’s mission to inspire, connect and grow,” said NGB Vice-President Jeannine Bogard from Syngenta. “Our members are proud to evaluate and provide our ‘thumbs-up’ to the outstanding new garden plants and products.”
The Green Thumb Award program was created in 1998 to recognize the best new plants and gardening products available each year. The Green Thumb Awards were originally created by the Mailorder Gardening Association, which later changed its name to the Direct Gardening Association. 2022 is the first year these awards are sponsored by National Garden Bureau.
2022 Green Thumb Award Winners
Flowering Shrub: Sweetshrub Simply Scentsational
Sweetshrub Simply Scentsational is a Calycanthus shrub that produces fragrant blooms with the smell of pineapple and bubblegum. Calycanthus Simply Scentsational was selected and refined over an 18-year period by plant breeder Tim Wood at Spring Meadow Nursery. The plant’s flowers are deep maroon in color and appear in abundance through late spring and summer.
This shrub is a North American native that will grow throughout USDA zones 4-9. It will reach a mature size up to 6 feet tall and 4-5 feet wide. Sweetshrub Simply Scentsational is available at local garden centers and provenwinners.com.
Green Thumb Award for Perennials: Sedum ‘Back in Black’
Sedum ‘Back in Black’ is a new succulent with an upright growing form that features leaves that are nearly black. In late summer, the striking dark leaf foliage is joined by flowers with deep garnet centers and cream-colored petals.
Sedum ‘Back in Black’ offers a great way to add distinctive dark color to a flower bed or border. The plant reaches 18-24 inches tall, and it is hardy throughout USDA zones 3-9. This award-winning plant looks great all year long. From Proven Winners® Perennials and available at local garden centers.
Annual: Salvia ‘Hummingbird Falls’
Salvia ‘Hummingbird Falls’ is a groundbreaking plant in the Salvia genus. This heat-tolerant, trailing plant is perfect for growing in a hanging basket. It produces an abundant supply of vivid blue flowers and shiny black calyces that continue all summer. This salvia is a natural hummingbird magnet (hence the name, ‘Hummingbird Falls.’ It is a perfect hummingbird feeding plant in the yard.
Salvia ‘Hummingbird Falls’ is the first-ever cascading salvia in the guarantica type. The plant has been an absolute favorite in trial gardens across North America with a profusion of hummingbirds visiting at every site. It is cold hardy to USDA zone 8. Salvia Hummingbird Falls was entered by Plant Haven International and is available at local garden centers.
Edible Plant: Pepper ‘Candy Cane Chocolate Cherry’
Pepper ‘Candy Cane Chocolate Cherry’ stands out from other plants in the vegetable garden with peppers that are a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds. As this early mini bell pepper matures, its green fruit with a unique yellowish stripe changes to orange-green striping and then to full chocolate-cherry red. The peppers have a sweet flavor and crisp texture. Perhaps best of all, these mini peppers are perfect for fresh eating at any stage of ripeness.
But it’s not just the uniquely striped fruit that makes this pepper special. The variegated foliage of Sweet Pepper Candy Cane Chocolate Cherry stands out among other vegetable plants in the garden. This variety was developed by Pan American Seed, and seeds are available from several NGB members.
Green Thumb Award for Garden Products: Garden Soxx
The Garden Soxx ® Mesh Containment System is an efficient and unique way to plant a raised bed garden. A GardenSoxx is a three-dimensional tube made of breathable mesh that can be filled with organic compost. GardenSoxx can be used almost anywhere to grow vegetables, flowers, herbs and fruits using 70 percent less water.
Simply place GardenSoxx on bare soil, concrete, decks or patios. They are simple to use, deliver higher yields, and the mesh keeps weeds out. A GardenSox growing kit includes a 25-foot roll of 8-inch diameter mesh (which yields about 16-20 feet of planting space when filled), an EZ Filler cardboard tube, and a 25-foot drip irrigation kit with fittings for a one-row layout. Available from gardensoxx.com.
About National Garden Bureau
National Garden Bureau is a nonprofit organization founded in 1920. Its mission is to disseminate basic instructions for home gardeners. NGB publishes and sponsors the “Year Of” program annually featuring flowers and vegetables. These new introductions are especially suited to home gardens.