During May, 2003 and the following months, I would like for you to look for extraordinary plants in the landscape that have some of the following attributes: flowering length, color of bloom, trunk or bark coloration, drought tolerance, ease of propagation, annual growth per year, fall color, evergreen, plants that do not normally grow here, freeze tolerance, heat tolerance, salt tolerance or poor soil tolerance. What else could I have missed? These plant selections can be any plants: turfgrass, fruiting trees, ornamentals and even vegetables.
You decide what you like in a plant and submit a photo, either through the mail (The Noble Research Institute, Attn: Dooly Barlow, 2510 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, OK 73401) or through e-mail (email@example.com).
Identify the photograph by site, address, county, state and, of course, owner name. I will select a plant photo from submitted entries (and give identification if allowed by the photo owner) to be printed in future editions of Ag News and Views Hort Tips as a plant to look for with special attributes. These may be attributes that others want to know about. If so, I will investigate putting them on the Foundation's Web site for all to have an opportunity to share.
The land-grant universities do this type of promotion with nursery stock. Very basically, they start much the same way. A nurseryman keeps looking at a feature a plant expresses that is true each year, propagates them if he can, and sells them with the help of promotion or proper introductions.
We probably have some of sharpest readership in our regional agriculture world, and surely they can submit five to 15 plants a year to start studying the merits of these plants.
To get things started, here's my submission: Thuja Green Giant is an evergreen and is fast growing, making it an excellent candidate for a screening plant (see photo).
Tips for photos are from our staff photographer, Broderick Stearns, who is an accomplished photographer and instructor. Send photos only as we do not have a mechanism or staff to handle live plants.