BEG Illumination

Featured Crop Reviews


The Better Cleomes

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'Senorita Blanca' is the best white Cleome we have found

The greybeards among us may remember Cleomes as that groovy plant with the space-age flowers, deeply palmate leaves, pastel petal clusters and long whisker-like stems. As much as we love this plant, we also vividly remember the pricks of many spines. Therefore, we were very pleased when new Cleomes appeared in 2012, bred to bring this Victorian cottage garden classic into the modern age.


SunPatiens ‘Compact Fire Red’

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Dark green glossy leaves make the bright red pop

For the classic candy apple/fire engine red that is very popular we recommend SunPatiens ‘Compact Fire Red’. Compact SunPatiens is the best replacement for standard Impatiens—we get the same thick color, dark green background, and non-stop blooms from planting until frost. Here the dark leaves are glossy, too, making the red pop even more.

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Compact SunPatiens is the best replacement we’ve found for standard Impatiens

Typically compact SunPatiens grow 16 to 30 inches tall, though water supply controls the final height of the plant. With more water the garden becomes bushier and higher. Light has less of an impact on height, except for extremes in sun and shade. In mixed light situations where one end of a bed gets more sun than the other there is little to no variation in height, whereas noticeable swings occur if the water is wildly different from end to end.

Space plants about 24 inches apart for a carpet-like look, or about 12 inches apart to bunch them up and get a taller, mounded effect.

SunPatiens ‘Compact Fire Red’ is available in the 4.5 and 6-inch pot. 


Marigold ‘Safari Yellow Fire’

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French Marigold ‘Safari Yellow Fire’—a layered look in color and form

Since Marigolds like the warmer weather many people plant them among their tomatoes to discourage pests, but they also attract bees to the vegetable blooms. ‘Safari Yellow Fire’ is a French Marigold, a smaller plant with a big pincushion flower for its size. This is a personal favorite, with bright reds rimmed by a bold golden edge. Blooms have a beautiful layered look in color and form—there’s an interesting tuft at the center of the flower as new petals open over the older ones.

‘Safari Yellow Fire’ is available in the 1801L.

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