We are halfway through the summer growing season and hopefully you have tried out plants competing in the 2013 American Garden Awards selection. In growing these flowering plants in your own garden, you have first-hand experience to greatly inform your choice. The American Garden Awards voting ends August 31, 2013.
A second choice is to see these beauties up close and personal in a public garden near your home. This list of display gardens will help you find a participating garden nearby. Until then, here is a quick run-down on the plants, some key characteristics and other points of consideration.
Impatiens ‘SunPatiens® Compact Electric Orange’
The impatiens plant, SunPatiens® Compact Electric Orange, is part of a series that includes many colors. The New Guinea hybrid plant has dense branching and remains compact and bushy in the landscape. But, the SunPatiens® Electric Orange is a big plant. It grows up to 36” tall in the ground and 24” tall in a confined space. Gardeners who grow average New Guinea impatiens in containers will want to upgrade to a larger pot to hold this beauty all summer.
In some regions, downy mildew has been a problem for the home gardener. In a 8/24/2012 article in Greenhouse Grower magazine, the technical aspects on the issue of Downy Mildew in growing impatiens were discussed. Gardeners can look to New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri) as a viable alternative to our favorite bedding plant for shade (Impatiens walleriana.) One drawback is in finding impatiens in plastic multipacks at your local garden center: Gardeners have long loved the basic impatiens plants for their bountiful color inexpensively packaged.
Petunia ‘Surfunia ®Summer Double Pink’
I still love petunias after all these years. But, if you are looking for a solution to that wet-tissue appearance in your garden after a rain, this one will help.
The flowers on Surfunia® Summer Double Pink grow smaller and tighter. They will withstand rain, and once dried up; the blooms will fall on the ground. The plant with its 40” – 48” spread will look good in a container even in 90°F. The plant grows up to 16” tall.
Verbena ‘Lanai® Candy Cane’
If you like award winning plants, Verbena ‘Lanai® Candy Cane’ might be on your list. This verbena was “Best in Class” performances award winner in the 2012, garden trials and has been nominated for the Medal of Excellence by plant industry professionals.
A plant with the name of a candy deserves to be the centerpiece of a patio table. This verbena grows blossoms good enough to eat, as long as the plant is organically grown. The verbena behaves well in all the usual suspected environments: extreme weather, drought and where powdery mildew prevails. I love the large bloom for its star pattern of red and white, stays under 10” and attracts bees and butterflies.
The Zinnia ‘Zahara™Cherry’ is a simple mounded upright plant with bright red flowers. Like all zinnias, Zahara™Cherry attracts bees and butterflies.
It is a shorter type of zinnia that grows up to 18” tall. In 2010, the Double Zahara Cherry was chosen by All-America Selections as one of their Bedding Plant winners.
You will not miss the chance to stay gardening, whether you cast your vote for one and grow others or grow them all.