Featured Crop Reviews
Melampodium ‘Million Gold’
Known as the butter daisy, melampodium produces small, rich butter yellow flowers in the classic daisy shape. The true strength of this plant is its heat tolerance. Blooms cover the plant continuously through hot, dry or even humid conditions during the high summer months, right up until the hard frost in the fall. If you need color and soil coverage during the worst of the summer heat, consider butter daisies—their bright, cheery flowers are ideal wherever low-maintenance is important.
Two New Bicolor Petunias
We’ve added two new bicolors to our 2014 petunia line: ‘Cha-Ching Cherry’ and ‘Rose and Shine’. We think of petunias as the swimsuits of the flower world—buy them in the spring, enjoy them in the summer and throw them out in the fall; next year, try something different. In our experience, strong patterns and distinctive floral patterns generate better petunia sales—it’s strictly a fashion business. To that end, we always keep our petunia line fresh and current with new introductions, like this year’s flashy additions:
Rocky Mountain Geraniums
A couple of weeks ago in Field Notes we discussed the new genetics that are re-invigorating the geranium cultivars. These days, the best geraniums are new and patented and the older varieties are pretty much obsolete, so we believe the new genetics are creating a revival in the crop. However, sometimes an older series offers characteristics that are so superior they stand up to the test of time—we’re talking about the Rocky Mountain geranium.
This is not a general-purpose geranium that you might plant in a small yard. It’s a big brute of a geranium that will fill in the space around it. In many ways, the Rocky Mountain is not a homeowner’s geranium but a serious landscaper’s plant for the commercial market. To give you some idea of its size, we recommend planting most geraniums 12 inches apart. When it comes to the Rocky Mountains, we recommend 18 inches—they are about 50% larger than the usual varieties.
Evolvulus ‘Blue My Mind’
For summer bloom in a stunning shade of blue there is nothing like evolvulus. Although we admire the flowers for their exceptional blue color and all-summer performance, we don’t grow any of the species or the usual cultivars. Generally, the blooms are too sparse, the flowers are too tiny, or the plant is too unreliable for greenhouse production. ‘Blue My Mind’, however, is the first variety we’ve seen that buyers will actually want—it denotes a significant improvement to the genus.