Sunday, January 8, 2017

A New Year and New Plants

My brother lives in San Francisco and he doesn't understand Vermonters' penchants towards bright and flashy flowers.   I explain that our growing season is short and we want to pack in as much showy bloom as we can.  Along with craving hot weather and bright days we crave color.  What follows are a few of the new bright blooming flowers I will be offering this year, started from seed.  

One catalogue calls Dianthus Jolt Cherry "...a shocking blaze of super charged color all summer long." I like this new series of dianthus because it is easy to grow, branches out nicely and makes a good "cut." It is a cross between Sweet William and annual dianthus. It is 16 - 20 inches tall and continues to set flowers all summer without setting seeds. And it is very flashy.

Dianthus Jolt Cherry from PanAmerican Seed

The Select Seeds catalogue says of nasturtium Cherrelle "...our new favorite double nasturtium with great flower power, outstanding in early summer and early fall when the summer heat wanes.  "This is a large-flowered new introduction with full-bodied double flowers held well above the unspotted green foliage. It is semi-trailing.

Nasturtium Cherrelle

Profusion Red zinnia won both the All American Section (AAS) and Fleuroselect Award for 2017. The Profusion series of zinnias are prolific bloomers of 2" flowers.  They are disease resistant, easy to grow, and continuously bloom  all season.  Judges appreciated the true red color of this zinnia which doesn’t fade in summer.

Red Profusion Zinnia from Sakata 

I like using begonias for hanging baskets,  in particular the newer sun tolerant versions.  Because they do not have a robust root system they don't need as much water as other plants in baskets.  Santa Cruz looks terrific in a hanging pot, but the falling flowers can be messy and are best used as outdoor baskets.

Santa Cruz Begonia

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