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Neighbors Growing Together | May 26, 2017

Garden Talk - Looking at some of the top new flowers for 2017

By JEAN THOMSON | Feb 02, 2017

Last time we covered the All-America Selections in edibles, so this time we’ll look at ornamentals. This year’s choices are replete with pinks and reds.

Celosia Asian Garden offers bright pink blooms on sturdy stems, with blooms persisting right through early frosts. This three-foot plant, called “a pollinator-magnet,” tolerates drought and heat well.

Dianthus Interspecific Supra Pink F1 provides “novel mottled pink flowers sporting frilly petal edges.” This is a prolific re-bloomer that doesn’t even require deadheading. At just under a foot in height, it is a compact source of color spring through fall.

Judges found Verbena EnduraScape Pink Bicolor to be “tough as nails,” “the first verbena that can tolerate drought and heat plus survive cooler temperatures down to the low teens.” This is a fabulous choice for edging in the landscape or for use in containers.

Vinca Mega Bloom Pink Halo F1 and Orchid Halo F1 differ only in color. Both feature a large white eye on three-inch blooms, making for a striking look even from a distance. The flowers are held nicely above the foliage. These are vigorous plants, and they are pollinator-friendly.

Now we’ll turn from pinks to reds. Zinnia Profusion Red is one that some gardeners have been awaiting. A vibrant true red, it is the fourth color in the outstanding Profusion series. Like other zinnias, it is pollinator-friendly, and it is suitable for both edging and containers.

Finally, the AAS judges have singled out Geranium Calliope Medium Dark Red. They cite its outstanding velvety color and its great branching habit with strong stems. This geranium works well in containers and holds up well through heat and drought.

It’s not likely that any gardener would want to use these All-America Selections as a shopping list. However, if you’re looking for a really good performer in a certain category of edibles or ornamentals, one of these plants may offer just what you’re hoping to find.

 

 

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