Monday, February 13, 2012

MORE New Plants for the Garden

The National Garden Bureau has named 2012 as “the Year of the Geranium.” Burpees will be offering a yellow geranium. There are so many great long lasting yellow flowers out there already, this introduction does not appeal to me.

Last year I started growing ‘Graffiti Red’ geranium, which is an exotic and unusual appearing geranium that’s been around for a while, but is hard to find.

Graffiti Red’ geranium

They produce loads of wild looking double, star-shaped flowers. I call it my “punk” geranium.

A nice development in the world of geraniums is interspecific breeding. Zonal and ivy geraniums are both grown from cuttings. The zonals are tough, upright and vigorous.

Calliope Dark Red

The ivies are pretty for hanging baskets and window boxes, but are susceptible to oedema (water ruptures the cells of the leaves) and are generally not good in full sun. So the industry has crossed the two (interspecific) and come up with excellent new geraniums, notably the ‘Caliente’ and ‘Calliope’ series.

One new variety that I will reluctantly try is 'Plentifall' pansies. They are fragrant and are bred for hanging baskets with a trailing habit of up to 24 inches. I’m sure they are lovely, but I can’t help worrying about dead heading, once the first bloom has finished.

Photo from

Johnnies Selected Seeds is offering “Flower Sprout,” a cross of brussel sprouts and kale. The plant grows like a brussel sprout, and develops decorative, edible rosettes. This is something that will be fun to try, but it is backordered until May.

Gardening is a joy for me and experimenting with new plants is part of the fun.

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