What fun is life if you don’t take a risk now and then? There are interesting new introductions to the plant market this year. Here are a few that you might want to try. Just remember that these plants’ kinship to those that grow well in the Big Country does not guarantee success. On the other hand, you might find a new favorite. A simple internet search will find a supplier when you find something that intrigues you. The descriptions are summaries of the suppliers’ descriptions. Vegetables “Casper” Eggplant. This compact variety produces high yields of 5-6 inch long, smooth, ivory white fruit with a mild, mushroom-like flavor. Heirloom newly reintroduced to the market. “Shimmer” Plum Tomato. Green and gold stripes adorn the familiar red color. The flavor is sweet and succulent. “Bragger” Cucumber. Never bitter and highly productive. “Roxanne” Radish. Great taste. Smoother texture and no bleeding. “Mama Mia Giallo” Sweet Pepper. 7-9 inch long fruits. One of the earliest producers each year. “Stuff Enuff” Sweet Pepper. Big, 14 ounce peppers that are among the easiest to grow successfully. Lots of room for stuffing here! “Ring Leader” Jalapeno Pepper. Prolific, early-ripening variety. “Orange Pepperoncini” Pepper. Small, bushy plants yield a big harvest of yellow fruits that turn orange as they mature. “Riverside” Spinach. Resists bolting as temperatures rise. “Mashed Potato” Winter Squash. White acorn squash that does, indeed, look like mashed potatoes when cooked. “Charentais” Cantaloupe. Considered by many to be the best melon ever introduced because of its super-sweet tropical taste, smooth texture and exotic fragrance. Another heirloom newly back on the market. Houseplants Variegated Heart Leaf Hoya “Hoya Kerrii Variegata.” Couldn’t leave this one out. Heart-shaped leaves with creamy white borders surrounding green centers. Too bad Valentine’s Day has passed. Annuals Gold Digger Hibiscus. Stunning, large, multi-day lasting blooms. White flowers with lemon-yellow borders and bright red centers. Can be over-wintered indoors. Tickseed. Coreopsis “Enchanted Red.” Dark burgundy-red flowers trimmed in gold, blooms from May to October. “Lemonade” Cosmos. Fresh yellow petals with white centers. Perennials Dianthus “Mountain Frost Pink PomPom.” Double rose-pink flower blooms continually from spring to fall, stays neat. Sedum “Peace and Joy.” Pink-magenta, bi-color flowers on dome-shaped foliage. Betony. Stachys “Summer Crush.” Vigorous plants with white and pink blooms. Betony. Stachys “Summer Romance.” Pink-purple blooms. Spanish Lavender. Lavandula stoechas “Bandera pink.” Area favorite with soft pink flags on spikes with deep rose flowers. These are just some of the new plants for this year that I found. If you try any of these, please let us know how well they performed for you. If you have any questions about this column, or have any other garden questions, please call the Big Country Master Gardener Association’s hotline at 325-672-6048 or email us at Bcmg@bcmgtx.org. We always look forward to hearing from you. Until next time, happy gardening!