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Tue, 03/29/2011 - 08:58 — Kimberly Bird
Full steam ahead on the Flower Express!
March 28, Day 3 - California Spring Trials
—Fully rested and ready to roll! Four stops and nine company visits.
Key highlights for included: Northern Innovators, Inc.
'Patio' Gerbera great for growing and cutting. We liked this a lot and will be looking for a Texas grower to produce them for our customers.
Garvinea perennial Gerbera. Beautiful plants. These pictured have been planted and continuously flowering all year long. The Garvinea is said to be a truly dependable plant.
Skagit Gardens, Inc. had a great hummingbird garden collection including:
Phygelius 'Candy Drops' in cream, rose, red and tangerine. They require partial shade, bloom Spring to frost, grow 12"to 19" and are Zone 8 plants (10 degrees). They have clusters of blooms and a compact growing habit perfect for containers or colorful bed borders. Required care is to water regularly in well drained soils. In addition to the Phygelius, the collection includes an Agastache Nectar Series in Raspberry, Apricot Nectar, Grape Nectar, Orange Nectar and Grapefruit Nectar. The clusters of blooms are very fragrant. Salvia 'Wendy's Wish' and Fuchsia 'Flamingo Fever' has single pink, tubular flowers with green and cream sepals and a bright cream sepals and a bright orange corolla. It has an upright spreading habit and a tropical look.
Scabiosa in 'Mariposa Blue' and 'Mariposa Violet' is a fantastic plant that blooms and blooms. It's easy to grow and attracts butterflies. It has sturdy stems that are ideal for cutting and the plant has an overall compact and upright form. It's mildew resistant and makes a great border. Coreopsis Coloropsis 'Jive' is an annual with a vigorous and bushy growth habit that can take a light frost and will bloom Summer to Fall in full sun. White single blooms with a large jazzy burgundy eye offers masses of flowers and lacy threadleaf foliage.
Great for hummingbirds is the Fuchsia ‘Flamingo Fever’ with a growth height of two to two and a half feet. This Fuchsia requires part to full shade and blooms Spring until frost. Yes, that’s right Spring to frost…that’s a good long bloom time for us in Texas. The single pink, tubular flowers with green and cream sepals and a bright cream sepals with a bright orange corolla are framed by wide, dark green leaves that present an upright and spreading tropical looking plant.
Really nice Coreopsis series at Skagit worth noting include:
Coreopsis Coloropsis ‘Jive’ is a sun annual that will take a light frost. It grow 12” to 18” tall and blooms Aummer to Fall. With white single blooms and a large jazzy burgundy eye the masses of flowers with lacy threadleaf foliage grows vigorously with a bushy habit.
‘Big Bang’ Coreopsis are perennials that are heat and humidity resistant and drought tolerant (after established). They never go to seed so they reflower. ‘Big Bang’ Coreopsis requires full sun and generally grow a couple feet in height. Take your pick or consider trying them all. ‘Star Cluster’ with a large creamy white flower with overlapping petals and a burgundy red center that becomes more pronounced in cooler weather is showy for beds or borders. It blooms June to October and requires no cutting back – a nice improvement to many varieties! ‘Full Moon’ with a giant, canary yellow blossom, blooms continuously from July to October and has a well-branched growth habit. ‘Cosmic Evolution’ has large creamy white flowers with magenta streaks that radiate from the center. The color is more pronounced in cool weather (it can survive to -20 degrees) and it is great in beds and borders. Or there’s ‘Galaxy’ with large double blooms in tiers of cheery yellow petals surrounded by glossy green foliage that grows in a compact shape and blooms freely. ‘Cosmic Eye’ presents dramatic flowers of claret–colored daisies tipped in golden sunshine yellow on compact free blooming plants.
Skagit is where we rediscovered the wonderful Winter Rose (Hellebores) that we carried this year. And we are excited to find a new variety in the Gold Collection.
Champion ‘Winter’s Bliss’ is good in Zone 4 and grows 15 to 18” blooming January through March in part to full shade. The rosy buds open to white blooms with dark pink reverse. Large forward facing flowers and handsome dark foliage make wonderful perennials in Texas.
Gaillardia Commotion ‘Moxie’ has a fluted yellow petal circle, a red orange center and full semi-double flowers on sturdy dark green foliage. In full sun it grows to almost two feet and blooms long in beds and borders from June to October.
Next up Vegetalis and Floranova!
There was a feast for your eyes and your mouth at Vegetalis. Who knew vegetable plants could be so beautiful in the landscape? Well let me tell you, they are.
Salpiglossis – ‘Royal Yellow’ or ‘Royale Chocolate’ – there’s a mix.
Zea ‘Field of Dreams’ is a gorgeous corn plant that has beautiful foliage and actually produces popping corn! How fun?!? It looked fantastic in containers.
Did Peter Piper Pick a Pepper?
I couldn’t tell you for certain but I know Vegetalis did!
- New – ‘Chenzo’ 20, a really nice growing shape that produces 400+ peppers with thin walls making them easy for drying.
- New – ‘Loco’, a sweeter and trailing a thicker skin pepper good in salads.
- New – ‘Basket of Fire’, producing 800+ yellow, purple, orange and scarlet peppers over a season that are 80,000 in heat (just short of jalapeño) and they dry well.
- New – ‘Pompeii’, a sweet pepper that grows compact and produces peppers that go to bright orange.
Bam! That’s four smokin’ hot new peppers.
|'Basket of Fire'||'Pompeii'|
Come on, y’all know I’m looking out for us Texans on this trip so I had to put a laser focus on these spicy finds. Who better to grow fabulous peppers than Texas gardeners? These goodies are brand new but be looking for them at Calloway’s and Cornelius Nursery garden centers Spring 2012.
Not as hot on the taste buds but just as hot in appeal…patio vegetables.
Vegetalis had some standout Tomatoes. ‘Freefall’ producing purple and white fruit. ‘Cherry Fountain’ overflowing with foliage and fruit. ‘Tumbling Tiger’ offering up a very hardy and tasty crop. These are F1 hybrids which means they are bred from two individual parent lines for more uniformity, disease resistance, better production and higher quality fruit.
What’s most impressive about the stop is the gorgeous use of vegetables in the garden and the mixing of flowers and edibles. Such a creative and fun approach to gardening!
Next stop! Greenheart® where things were really coming up roses, literally!
First step into the place and you’re surrounded by rose options.
Star roses/Star Plants by the Conrad-Pyle Co. who proudly introduced the Knock Out® Family of Roses rolls out a line of this beloved collection.
Perfect for Texas, the Garden Treasures™ Roses are referred to as pot boilers, they just keep throwing up blooms. Add 12” of sparkle with these lovelies in sun to part shade areas that receive a minimum of six hours of sun.
Give the gift that keeps on giving with Table to Garden™ roses.
My Bouquet™ with elegant blooms for patio and vases. Blooms singly and in clusters for added value on the patio and in arrangements. Mix and match colors to enjoy in every room in the house!
The Balconia® Collection comes in electric, hot pink, neon, raspberry, Toscana and white. These roses thrive in fertile, rich soil that is moist and well-drained. Water deeply then allow to dry slightly between watering. Remove spent flowers often to encourage re-blooming. Prune roses at the end of the dormant season.
Into the next greenhouse and we find New miniature Cyclamen for planting in mass in the landscape!
‘Winfall’™ provides a lot of color Winter and Fall and offers greater cold tolerance.
Calloway’s and Cornelius typically carry ‘Laser’ Cyclamen. They perform well and our Texas gardeners continue to come back for more year after year. These beauties are particularly popular in Houston. Houston gardeners love their Cyclamen! The Laser series are intermediate in size and are more heat tolerant. New this year is the ‘Friller’ mix in rose, purple, flame mix, salmon, white and scarlet. New colors also in the Syngenta/Goldsmith standard size Cyclamen.
Red Fox, a true grower series showed Aretes Upright Ribera ARA Mojo makes my heart flutter so enchantingly.
Calloway’s and Cornelius offer Confetti Gardens in a variety of mixes but several of the new mixes were quite exciting. Coming soon New – Confetti Garden ‘Witches Brew’ and New – Confetti Garden ‘Red Winged Black Bird.’ So creative and fun!
Starting mid-April Spring 2011 Calloway’s and Cornelius will feature the new mixes discovered at last year’s Spring Trials.
New for 2012
- Red Fox Magnum Pink – huge flowers on this New Guinea Impatien!
- Garden Party Collections Like These!
- Graziosas – Wow! The foliage is very interesting.
Continue the journey! Read Day 4 Calloway's and Cornelius highlights from the 2011 Spring Pack Trials!