Allan's Picks At Ecke Ranch
After visiting Paul Ecke Ranch, what did Allan Armitage think the best new introductions were?
April 11, 2010
Allan's top three picks at Ecke Ranch are:
Geranium 'Fusion Flame' - I was immediately drawn to this plant by the color, not red, not scarlet. but sort of an indescribable rosy redish. Then the second reason I was pleased to see this plant was because of the hybrid parentage, between zonal and ivy. I have seen highly succesful genetics combining these species in Calientes and Calliopes from Syngernta breeding, and am excited to trial these in the gardens this year. Habit looks good, color is literally indescribable, so if the third leg of the tripod, performance, works, Ecke has a winner.
New colors in Crescendo osteospermums (Yellow and Light Purple) - Osteos always look good in California but have had problems maintaining the hype once they are planted in the wild outdoors. Crescendo has been a good performer in many areas of the country so I am not worried in adding a little hype myself to these two new colors. Eye popping clean colors and large flowers really made these show out.
Dragon snapdragons - Wow, a series that brings to the table quite spectacular colors, a nice dwarf habit, and then throw in subtle fragrance, these were another show stealer. I saw three cultivars in the series today, 'Peachy Dragon', 'Rosy Dragon' and 'Buttery Dragon'). I expect to see a lot of these in spring gardens next year.
Allan Armitage is a professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. You can eMail him at allan@greenhouse grower.com.