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Featured Crop Reviews


The Garvinea Gerberas

GER Sweet Smile 09bGarvinea Sweet Smile’ delivers the Gerbera look for ground plantings

Gerbera is highly popular at the florist for obvious reasons: big, vibrant daisy-like flowers with strong thick stems. It makes a good cut flower, but standard florist varieties are bred more for protected spaces inside high-volume greenhouses. What we need is the same great look with a tougher, more seasoned plant underneath for landscapes and containers. That would be the Garvinea series from Florist Holland, bred to be The Garden Gerbera. Let’s take a look at it.


Scaevola Bombay Series

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Scaevola ‘Bombay Dark Blue’

We’ve added a new series to our line of Scaevola: Bombay. It’s similar in size to the Fairy and Whirlwind series at around 8–12 inches tall. Scaevola is sometimes used as a trailing plant and Bombay falls right in the middle of the pack in that regard. It cascades 18–22 inches while Fairy trails up to 18 inches and Whirlwind can reach 24 inches.

When it comes to color, ‘Bombay Dark Blue’ is considered a red-blue—it’s actually a deep purple. Compared to pale ‘Fairy Blue’ and blue-purple ‘Whirlwind Blue’ it’s the darkest of the bunch. ‘Bombay White’ is a pure clean white set against very dark green leaves for striking contrast.

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Clean, clear ‘Bombay White’

Bombay plants form strong spirals of fan flowers, giving the appearance of heavy blooms. Whirlwinds, by contrast, generate lots of short spikes that sit in the foliage, which gives them more of a carpet of color look that blankets the tops. Think Pansies and Violas to grasp the relationship between Bombays and Whirlwinds.

All Scaevola varieties grow best in full sun; more sun equals more blooms. They grow naturally in Australia, so these plants are perfectly comfortable with hot weather and extreme heat.

‘Bombay Dark Blue’ and ‘Bombay White’ are available in the 4.5-inch pot.


Collards ‘Flash’

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Smooth broad leaves of Collards ‘Flash’

Collards ‘Flash’ is a little different as greens go. Some folks call this a Georgia-type Collard. It’s a Vates-type hybrid with very broad, paddle-shaped leaves held up by a strong central stem, similar to that of broccoli or cabbage. Smooth leaves have a wide surface, which adds up to more flavor for Southern soups and stews—and a great addition to a Portuguese soup called clad verde, a personal favorite. We are going to grow out a few heads to see how it works as an Ornamental but right now we are offering ‘Flash’ as a vegetable.

This cultivar is noted for the time it takes to bolt, leaving the plant for longer and more dependable harvests; it also re-grows rapidly. Take leaves from the bottom towards the top to extend the harvest season. Plants will get about two feet in height, but you can also pick the leaves as baby greens for a tender alternative to baby kale in a salad—‘Flash’ has a milder, sweeter flavor.

Collards ‘Flash’ comes in the 1801 flat.

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Diefenbacher Greenhouses is a supplier of annuals and creative green goods. We sell directly to Garden Centers and Landscapers in the Cincinnati Area. 

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