Here are some of the noteworthy plants and products for outdoor living that we discovered last month during iLandscape, our annual industry trade show.

New Plants:

Fiber Optics Buttonbush

Fiber Optics Buttonbush is a variety of the native shrub with showy globe-shaped flowers. Bears fruit and nectar that supports wildlife. Prefers wet locations. 5-6’ h. Full sun.

Summer Ruffles Rose of Sharon

Summer Ruffle Hibiscus is a distinctive, smaller Rose of Sharon with dark pink to lavender flowers and leaves that are blueish green with a creamy white margin. 3-4’ h. Full sun.


Above and Beyond Rose is a vigorous, disease-resistant climbing rose with clusters of orange to peach to yellow flowers. 10-14’ h. Full sun.

Low Scape Chokeberry

Low Scape Mound Chokeberry is a compact version of the native chokeberry, growing only 1-2 ft. in height, with dark green, glossy foliage, white spring flowers, black berries and red fall color. 1-2’ h. Full sun-part shade.


Technito Arborvitae is a denser, shorter version of the popular Techny Arborvitae, evergreen with a compact pyramidal shape. 8-10’ h. Full sun.

New Products:


Solaire Infrared Grills use infrared radiant energy to cook faster, making food juicier and more flavorful than traditional grills. Hardcore charcoal grillers say the Solaire Infrared Grill delivers the closest taste of charcoal of any gas grill.


The Outdoor Plus is an American manufacturer of distinctive fire pits such as the Coronado Gas Fire Pit above, made from durable glass fiber-reinforced concrete that resembles wood grain, and available in several colors and sizes. Propane or natural gas fuel options are available.

Husqvarna Robotic Lawn Mower

Husqvarna’s Robotic Auto Mower is an electric, emission-free, weatherproof lawnmowing robot that finds its own way back to the charging station when it needs more power. It’s also protected by a PIN code and anti-theft alarm, with a programmable timer, auto-shutoff and re-direct, and easy mower height adjustment. Can handle slopes up to 35%.


Aesthetic Metals is a local fabricator based in Rockford, Illinois, which creates plasma and laser-cut steel and aluminum metal screens and decorative elements for the home or garden.

Out Deco Panels

Out Deco Modular Decorative Screen Panels are an attractive alternative to fence or lattice, made of Australian hardwood compressed with resin for a natural appearance and weather durability. Panels have a 10-year material warranty.

Kodah and Miros

Above photo shows a retaining wall and fire pit built with Kodah Retaining Wall units. The large slab on the floor is Miros.

Kodah Retaining Wall, from Rosetta Stone, resemble large slabs of snapped limestone. They’re beefy, 6-inch thick wall units, available in lengths of 12”, 21”, 30” and 42”. Available in 4 colors: Auburn Ridge, Fond du Lac, Slate Gray and Walnut (special order).

Miros Slab, from Rosetta Stone, is a massive, 42” x 42” x 4” concrete patio paver that is the largest hardscape slab in the industry. Fit stone or moss between stones to create a low maintenance patio. Available in 2 colors (Sand, Gray).

Ocean Grande

Ocean Grande, from Techo-Bloc, is the manufacturer’s latest dry-cast slab using a new high-definition technology that provides an extremely tight surface texture. Slabs are 19 ½’’ x 32 ½’’ x 2-3/8″, and the texture was inspired by the veins left behind on sandy ocean shores. Perfect for pool decks, this concrete surface is slip-resistant and stays cooler under the feet on hot summer days due to its unique relief and light color pallet.

Slick ice rink

Slick Synthetic Ice allows you to instantly build your very own ice rink on a level concrete surface, any time of the year. It’s constructed of lightweight yet sturdy, 4′ x 4′ jigsaw-piece panels that are composed of pure resin, and has a life expectancy of 30 years.