Who’s the Fairest of Them All?
Last week, for the third time in a row, I had the opportunity to judge the trial gardens at Costa Farms, near Homestead, Florida. At first blush, it seems an easy thing to do—just wander through bed after bed of beautiful flowers on a sunny Florida morning. But, in reality, it’s hard work, evaluating each plant on four important criteria: growth uniformity, foliage appeal, flower power/size, and consumer appeal. Fellow judges included Heather Will-Browne from Disney and Dr. Alan Armitage from the University of Georgia. Here are a few of my favorite picks (left to right, top to bottom) that you should watch for in your garden, this year or next.
- Lobelia ‘Techno Heat, Upright Light Blue’ from Syngenta
- Petunia ‘Blueberry Ice’ from Dummen
- Petunia ‘Littletunia Sweet Pink’ from Ecke
- Argyranthemum ‘Flutterby Yellow’ from Ecke
- Verbena ‘Royal Chambray’ from Proven Winners
- Hollyhock ‘Spring Celebrities Lemon’ from Takii
- Coleus ‘Burgundy Wedding Train’ from Ecke
- Coleus ‘Wasabi’ from Ball Flora Plant
- Viola ‘Sorbet Banana Cream’ from PanAmerican Seed
- Petunia ‘Violet Picotee’ from Ball Flora Plant
- Phlox ‘Phloxy Lady Pink’ from Dummen
- Impatiens ‘Sunpatiens’ (all varieties) from Sakata
- Pansy ‘Blueberry Thrill’ from Sakata
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