Oso Easy Italian Ice® - winner of Shrub Madness 2020
Proven Winners® ColorChoice® crowns 2020 Shrub Madness winner as the world’s only plant bracket competition comes to a close. Based on the NCAA basketball playoffs, the contest is populated with a wide variety of Proven Winners® ColorChoice® shrubs, which compete throughout the month of March for the chance to be crowned National Champion.
Coming from a crowded field of 64 contenders, the competition narrows to the Floral Four, then the final two after multiple rounds of voting. This year’s Floral Four included Scentara Pura® Lilac, Double Take Scarlet™ flowering quince, Suñorita™ rose, and Oso Easy Italian Ice® rose.
The last round of voting found Oso Easy Italian Ice rose with a firm lead over challenger Double Take Scarlet flowering quince, but the quince soldiered on and steadily gained traction. In the final hours of competition it looked like the quince might make up lost ground, but the robust rose pulled ahead and soundly defeated the quintessential quince, and was crowned the 2020 Shrub Madness National Champion.
Oso Easy Italian Ice rose looks and performs like the champion it is. Dressed the part, its orange buds open to soft yellow flowers that melt into pink blushed margins, which are set off nicely by dark green, glossy foliage. Flowers are semi-doubled, with 24-30 petals per bloom. Exceptional performance is the stuff winners are made of, and this rose has proven to be tops in that department as well. Self-cleaning, excellent disease-resistance, abundant flowers and a nice habit make it an outstanding player in landscapes and home gardens.
Developed seven years ago, Shrub Madness is one example of how Proven Winners® puts its marketing dollars to work to bring attention to its line of ornamental shrubs, and this year particularly, to stress the importance of shopping at local garden centers.
"Shrub Madness is the perfect vehicle to find out first-hand which shrubs are most interesting to gardeners this year.” Said Spring Meadow PR specialist Natalie Carmolli, “We hope that during this difficult time, the competition gave people a chance to unwind and make plans for a season of renewal, which is what gardening is all about."
When asked if the contest continues to gain traction, creative marketing specialist Shannon Downey said, “This has been a fantastic year for Shrub Madness. We set a new record with 7,159 people casting 384,535 votes; nearly 100,000 more than last year.” She continued, “Feedback shows these wildly engaged gardeners are inspired by the shrubs they saw, and our hope is they will contact their local garden centers to arrange for delivery or pick up of their favorite varieties. These independent businesses need everyone’s support now more than ever.”
This year players were once again given several opportunities to score samples of top-scoring plants including the grand prize “Floral Four and Plant Geek Swag Bag.” For more information about Shrub Madness or to obtain a winners list go to: www.shrubmadness.com/