Early Spring 2013


Geranium Cascade ‘Mini Lila’

Cascade LilaOut of the Cascade line, ‘Lila’ is considered one of the top performers among European-style trailing geraniums, which feature a single floret instead of a double floret but masses and masses of color. It used to be that both Americans and Europeans bought the same type of hanging geranium, and we are trying to re-introduce this basket style into the market. The Ivy Geranium got its start this way, and it is still the quintessential style of basket geranium in Europe today.

American breeding over the past few decades has led to changes in the ivy geranium. One problem with the old genetics was bloom shatter; when rain or breezes came along, the petals would shatter and fall off easily. Americans began to breed their ivy geraniums to hold the petals tighter to the blossom. As an offshoot of that breeding, ivy geraniums began to develop double florets but they would not produce as many of them. Over the years, this style of basket geranium became the norm for Americans to purchase.


Celosia ‘Tornado Red’

Celosia Tornado RedMost people are familiar with the dwarf varieties of Celosia. ‘Tornado Red’ is not one of those varieties. Whereas the typical celosia will grow to about 12 inches tall, this one will reach about 2 feet. The comb itself will measure about 6–9 inches across.

We first learned about ‘Tornado Red’ from a neighbor down the road, who kept planting it for several years. Every summer the plant looked good; it didn’t fade, it didn’t go out of bloom and it didn’t get tired. It was a great plant when we passed it on the road, and it was even more interesting when we stopped and asked about it.


New Vincas for 2013

Vinca BGWe have several new vincas coming up for the 2013 season. If you want a large number of something you see, you will want to place a PreOrder by the end of December. We will lock our production numbers on vincas by the first week of January.

Vincas are an important part of the landscapers toolbox, and it is a popular plant for the home gardener as well. In this area, we like to alternate beds between petunias and vincas to suppress the petunia soil diseases - just like a farmer rotates his fields every year or so for better yields and quality. Vinca is a very no-maintenance plant, just like the petunia. In fact, vinca likes the soil even a little drier, which is better for beds that are not irrigated.


Verbena Wildfires (For Landscapers)

Verbena Dark PurpleFor landscapers, the verbenas you really want come from the Wildfire Series. Not all verbenas are created equal. Wildfires are more vigorous, so they really fill in a big bed fast. We are growing them in 4.5-inch and 6-inch pots only, because they WILL fill out. Our small pot will grow about a foot tall in short order, and it will color up about 18 to 24 inches of garden.

Wildfires also love the high heat of summer. They start out blooming in late May and June, but Wildfires really pump out strong August color when other verbena wilt under the stress. In fact, they do better in the strong direct sun, so they are perfect candidates for those parking strips, islands and other hard-to-fill places in commercial plantings. The color only starts to taper off in late September.


Divine Series of New Guineas

DivineAll the articles that discuss Downy Mildew, especially the ones in the popular press, always mention that the disease DOES NOT affect New Guinea Impatiens. It is a completely different species and New Guineas are highly resistant to Downy Mildew. This publicity will guarantee that the public will be asking about New Guineas.

If you plan to offer New Guineas as a possible substitute for impatiens, we would recommend the Divine series. These are pure New Guineas bred to resemble standard Impatiens as much as possible. The plant is compact so it grows to about the same height, the flower power is good, and they are not hybrids. The Divines do not have any of the vulnerable wallerina genetics in them.