As I consolidate the site, here are some odds and ends about plants that have been featured in past years. Perhaps some of them have made it into the garden centers and growers mainstream… others? They may have faded into memory.
AAS Winners 2007
The AAS has announced some winners for 2007. A Celosia, Petunia, Vinca, and Pepper. These are the the best performing new garden seed selections available. I am particularly interested in the Vinca â€˜Pacifica Burgundy Haloâ€™ and Petunia F1 â€˜Opera Supreme Pink Mornâ€™
The Celosia, â€˜Fresh Look Goldâ€™ is pretty and Celosias are useful feathery spires in the annualÂ choices for the garden. It is usually good for drying,Â but has a sort of ungainly look in my opinion.Â I don’t hate them, but am not a big fan of any of the Celosias.
The Petunia, however, isÂ a different matter. I have grown petunias in the “Morn” series previously and they have a delicate coloration that is very appealing. Petunias give dependable and beautiful color all summer- no matter how difficult the conditions become. So I am very happy to see this superior selection. It will be on my own list for garden purchases this spring. ” Pink shading to creamy white with a yellow throat”.
The other promising selection is the vinca, Pacifica Burgundy Haloâ€™. I have always preferred vincas to impatiens for the partial shade areas of my garden. That is because the impatiens needs much more moisture than my climate area allows, and vinca gives a similar appearance with much prettier leaves.Â As the article puts it, they have “proven heat and drought tolerance”. You need this in prairie conditions. This new offering is described as ” Burgundy with large white center” and so it will give the overall effect of variegation that such contrasts provide the eye at long range. The darker color means you might want it in the sun- vinca grows in sunshine and part shade.It is a lovely addition to groups, such asÂ container with motley combinations of plants.
The pepper I wasn’t interested in because I never grow hot peppers. In 2006 there was a pepper called Pepper F1 â€˜Carmenâ€™, I was interested in that one. It is reported that “‘Carmen’ peppers are sweet even when immature or green. One of the improved traits is the earliness to ripe red. ”
AAS Winner 2008
This year’s Osteospermum F1 â€˜Asti Whiteâ€™ AAS Bedding Plant Award Winner has to be a favorite. The Cape Daisies are wonderful plants for containers and tolerant of heat and drought, they come in an array of colors. This year’s winner is described:
“Pure white daisy flowers with blue centers are the main attraction for â€˜Asti White.â€™ The large blooms, 2 to 2-1/2 inches across are borne on stems that gracefully wave in the wind.”
For more information from the AAS site, take a look at their printable post .
Osteospermum’sÂ are fairly easy to grow and the Osteospermum site has complete information on care and “things to know” about this long blooming and drought tolerant annual. (Actually, they are perennials, but not hardy in the North, so we grow them as annuals)
I like to center the Osteospermums and give them companions with colors that repeat the center disc. For the Asti White , another year’s AAS winner, the Blue Wave petunia would be a cool and relaxing pairing, with a yellow to sparkle with both. How about a Janie marigold or trailing yellow nasturtium? Some ivy tucked into a container would be very pretty with the cool colorsÂ of this new AAS winner, as well. Proven Winners brand has a selection of beautiful colors, with my most beloved one, Lemon Symphony.
Cape Daisies pair well with lantanas and verbenas ,
Two More 2008 Winners
Viola F1 â€˜Skippy XL Plum-Goldâ€™ AAS Cool Season Bedding Plant Award Winner. Violas, though considered “cool season” plants, can surprise you with their long bloom. I love their cheerful faces in many garden situations.
Eggplant F1 â€˜Hanselâ€™ 2008 AAS Vegetable Award Winner. If you grow veggies you might want to include this mandatory component of ratatouille in your garden plans this year.
Check out this year’s winners … andÂ those from past years as well as getting seed sources for this year.
AARS Winners 2010
There are some beauties in the AARS Winners list for 2010. Several of them are Zinnias which make wonderful cut flowers, and two are exciting prairie flowers, including “Pow Wow Wildberry Echinacea”, pictured.
The AARS site gives instructions on growing from seed and flower data. For the Coneflower [Echinacea], that includes:
Genus species: Echinacea purpura
Common name:Purple Coneflower
Unique qualities: Flower color, branching and plant size
Flower size: 3 to 4 inches
Flower form: Single daisy
Plant height: 20 to 24 inches
Width: 12 to 16 inches
Garden location: Full sun
Garden spacing: 16 to 18 inches apart
Length of time from sowing seed to flower: 20 weeks for June flowering
Closest comparisons on market: â€˜Primadonna Deep Rose,â€™ â€˜Prairie Splendorâ€™ and â€˜Magnusâ€™
Each plant selected has this form ofÂ growing data included, which I found very convenient. It is easy to check if the plant will fit within the growing conditions of your garden, before you invest time considering whether to grow it or not. so many times I am tempted by plant suggestion in an article or catalog only to find with later research that it isn’t ideal for my chosen garden area.
There are three Zinnia choices: Zinnia â€˜Zahara Starlight Roseâ€™ ,
Zinnia â€˜Double Zahara Fireâ€™, Zinnia â€˜Double Zahara Cherryâ€™ .
All three would produce a bright spot of summer-long blooms alive with bees and butterflies. To grow Zinnias is a simple matter of planting seed when the soils are warm. Zinnia seeds are large and the seed packets show all the info for growing, which is usually 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep, pressingÂ down the soil. Some information and planting directions from the National Garden Bureau will complete most of what you’d like to know about these festive colored annuals. Zinnia Factsheet
Other choices which I liked were:
Snapdragon F1 â€˜Twinny Peachâ€™
Viola F1 â€˜Endurio Sky Blue Martienâ€™
-So I liked about all of them this year!