The Reiger Begonias

Featured Crop Reviews

09
March
2020

Super Hero Marigolds

TAG Super Hero Orange 1
All the Super Heros, like ‘Super Hero Orange’, have very dense flower heads

We remember French Marigolds from our childhood as short plants with balls of yellow either lining the garden in the front or mixed in with the vegetables. Today, however, some of the biggest consumers of Marigolds are landscapers and public works departments, for equally professional reasons: big beds with heavy color; results that appear in a few short weeks; a long blooming window that just doesn’t care about the season, and durability suitable for public areas. Marigolds are also non-toxic so they are safe around pets and small children.

For a classic French Marigold with modern genetics we recommend the Super Hero series from the German firm, Benary. The original Hero series has its roots in California as far back as the 1930s, but we are more interested in Benary’s 2017 refresh of the line. Their goals are the reasons why professionals want these French Marigolds.

16
March
2020

Pansy ‘Cool Wave Strawberry Swirl’

PAN Cool Wave Strawberry Twist 1
‘Cool Wave Strawberry Swirl’ is a dappling Pansy with colors that ebb and flow

‘Strawberry Swirl’ from the Cool Wave series of Pansies is one of the dappling Pansies we wrote about recently. Its colors ebb and flow across a mass planting in a random garden style. On this variety the faces may have yellow cheeks, go totally red, or show up with streaks. A rare bloom has a nearly pure yellow face with light streaks of red along the top—that one is hard to find, but it’s in there.

Here is an interesting tidbit: the pink-to-yellow ratio is controlled by temperature. In cool weather, we get more flowers with pink caps. In warmer weather, we get bigger yellow faces.

PAN Cool Wave Strawberry Twist 2
Impressive spread—Cool Wave overflows this container and forms a ledge

‘Strawberry Swirl’ shows off one of the better features of Cool Wave—strong stems that lift up the plant. On certain cultivars, like this one, those stems can be extra stiff allowing for some impressive spreads. When the plant overflows the container it forms a kind of ledge. Spreading for Cool Wave means spreading, it doesn’t mean trailing.

If you recall, the Cool Wave is a blend of Viola and Pansy to create a thicker carpet of color over the top with minimal green showing. Notice that the flowers are Pansy-style. Cool Wave is a big series, and some of the individual cultivars have pretty interesting quirks.

Pansy ‘Cool Wave Strawberry Swirl’ is available in the 8-inch pot and the hanging basket.

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