Classic City Awards For Annuals

Classic City Awards For Annuals

The Classic City Awards are presented in November after months of evaluation in The Gardens at UGA. Of the thousands of species and cultivars, only a few performed well enough all season to earn the coveted award. Plants are evaluated on foliage quality, flowering performance, disease and insect resistance, and most of all on the ability to sustain landscape performance through heat, humidity, drought, rain, open houses and fall football games.

All evaluations are based on a rating of 1-5, with a 5 being excellent. The plants must have extraordinary flowers or foliage that caught the eye over the season, and in general, received a final grade of at least 4.5 out of 5.0 in the final tallies. We awarded 10 winners in annuals and 10 in perennials.

Geranium ‘Calliope Dark Red’

Every year, we receive about 60 new geraniums to trial, and often, it is difficult to get excited about one more red geranium. In general, most zonals struggle in the heat of the summer, although ivies fare considerably better. Last year, we awarded Caliente, the first of the ivy-zonal hybrid series, this award. This year we are proud to do the same with its cousin, ‘Calliope Dark Red.’

In a hanging basket, it performed well all season. It pulled away from the ivy leaders with its persistent color and quality in the ground beds, where it outshone its zonal competitors with brilliant dark red color, persistent dark foliage and season-long performance.

Begonia ‘Ikon Blush White’

Every year we receive “surprises,” that is plants that quietly catch our eye every time we pass them. These are also plants that are a bit hidden in The Gardens yet when pointed out, you wonder how you missed it.

Such was the case of ‘Ikon Blush White.’ The soft light green leaves contrasted with blushes of pink and white from the flowers. It was always in flower and we never did see any problems with the foliage. We trialed plants in a basket and a container, and both performed wonderfully.

Scaevola ‘Surdiva White’

Suntory has always been on the cutting edge of new introductions, and its fan flowers have always impressed us. In the heat and humidity of the Southeast, good fan flowers are important. Last year, we presented ‘Cajun Blue’ this award. This year, we have a non-blue fan flower we can get excited about.

The Surdiva series was particularly eye catching this year, and ‘Surdiva White’ won hands down. There were many excellent blues, but having a white scaevola we could use in combination plantings made all the difference.

Purple Flash capsicum
Capsicum ‘Purple Flash’

Capsicum ‘Purple Flash’

During our open houses in June, we asked industry visitors and consumers alike to flag the plants that caught their eye. With incredible color, impressive vigor and knock-your-socks-off gaudiness throughout the garden, we were more than a little surprised when, at the end of the days, the most flags had been stuck in this planting.

Actually, we weren’t surprised long, because as we studied it more and more, the beautiful multicolored foliage, the good flowers and the dark fruit just kept looking better. The disease-resistant foliage and its easy-to-maintain dwarf habit sealed the deal.

Coleus ‘Henna’

Coleus, coleus, coleus, have we not petunia-ed these things to death yet? The answer is a resounding no, and it seems even better ones arrive each year. We had many fine coleus this season, and it was hard to pick one that was significantly better than others.

However, visitors were ooh-ing and aah-ing over this one throughout the season, even when we cut it back in late July. It is hard to describe how many and what colors are part of the leaves, but henna is one of them, to be sure. The foliage was not the least bit intimidated by the heat, humidity and full sun in The Gardens.

Diamond Heart colocasia
Colocasia ‘Diamond Heart’

Colocasia ‘Diamond Head’

During and after the Pack Trials this year, so much fuss was made over this group of plants bred by Dr. John Cho at the University of Hawaii that we had to have them. Thanks to our colleagues at James Greenhouse down the road, we obtained the entire series in June. They took a little while to get up to speed, but they soon became the foliage beacons in The Gardens. While they were all good, ‘Diamond Head’ was spectacular.

This is not a plant for in front of the front door, as it soon was 5 feet tall and equally wide. What impressed everyone was the deep black shiny foliage that stood up on its own, seldom falling over as taros are want to do.

Angelonia ‘Serena White’

We have trialed many angelonias over the years. They have all had some positive characteristics. However, few have rivaled the exceptional performance of ‘Serena White.’ The plants reached a maximum height of 15 to 18 inches and remained in a tight clump throughout the season.

‘Serena White’ blooms the entire summer without any downtime as seen in other cultivars. The plants were completely covered in clean, pure white flowers for months earning it this coveted award.

Acalypha ‘Bronze Pink’

For a second year, we have been enamored with acalypha ‘Bronze Pink.’ From the minute we laid eyes on it, we and all visitors were in love. The plant grew to approximately 5 feet in height, but was no behemoth. Large florescent pink and burgundy leaves graced the purple stems, withstanding any weather thrown its way.

Sunpatiens Vigorous Coral
‘SunPatiens Vigorous Coral’

‘SunPatiens Vigorous Coral’

Not too long ago, the thought of planting New Guinea impatiens in the full blazing sun was absurd. However, with Sakata’s excellent breeding and intense selection under hot, bright conditions, these plants have lived up to their billing. All of the SunPatiens series provided outstanding performance in full sun, and all could have been presented this award.
We chose ‘Vigorous Coral’ because of its exceptional ornamental value and slightly better performance. We loved the variegated foliage that complimented the deep coral blooms so well. ‘SunPatiens Vigorous Coral’ will stop you in its tracks, demanding a second look.

Petunia ‘Red Ray’

It is difficult to find a petunia that stands above others because of the sheer numbers being trialed and the improvement in all petunias in general. Petunias had more than a few problems in the garden this year, but several cultivars performed particularly well in spite of the heat, humidity and soil problems.

In particular, Danziger’s ‘Red Ray’ was outstanding. Throughout the summer, ‘Red Ray’ flowed out of its container, spilling hundreds of real red flowers for all to admire. While other petunias waned, ‘Red Ray’ withstood our climate admirably.

Leave a Reply

Latest Stories
Joe Bischoff

July 26, 2016

SAF Partners With Cornerstone Government Affairs To Adv…

A new partnership between the Society of American Florists (SAF) and Cornerstone Government Affairs ensures that SAF will continue its highly effective work advocating for issues that affect the floriculture industry. “SAF and Cornerstone together provide experienced voices on Capitol Hill to protect our growers’ interests,” says SAF CEO Peter Moran. “We’ll continue to move major policy priorities forward on behalf of small business and agriculture.” Cornerstone is a public affairs firm specializing in government relations, strategic consulting, and advocacy. Its team of more than 50 senior professionals includes former senior professional staff from both authorization and appropriations committees and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as veterans of the horticulture industry. Agricultural and horticultural issues of primary concern to SAF members include access to labor, immigration, crop protection, international trade and other matters related to the day-to-day operations of growers. Before she retired this year, SAF lobbyist Lin […]

Read More

July 26, 2016

AFE Releases New Videos Highlighting Industry Successes

The American Floral Endowment (AFE) recently released five new videos, created to highlight floriculture successes through industry collaboration, support, and participation. “Each video shares real stories from industry members on career development through scholarships and internships, and true examples of research solutions that have shaped how the industry operates today,” says Laura Shinall, President of Syndicate Sales, Inc., and AFE Public Relations and Development Chair. “We’re excited to be able to share some great success stories in an effort to increase industry participation.” The introductory video “Heard of the American Floral Endowment?” helps educate those who aren’t currently aware of AFE’s programs, while other segmented videos (retail, wholesale, grower) share how Endowment programs complement each group and why it’s so important that everyone in the industry participates: Retail Florists Share Why They Turn to AFE New Resources for Floral Wholesalers and Suppliers AFE Helping Growers Profit Ready for a Career in Floriculture or Horticulture? […]

Read More

July 26, 2016

How Your Retail Plant Sales Practices Compare

Editor’s note: Greenhouse Grower RETAILING asked growers and retailers to share their pricing methods in a survey sent out in mid June 2016. Of the 362 responses, 202 arefrom those whose primary business is garden retail. We will be sharing the results of what we learned throughout July, August, and September 2016.   Discounting plants is a finely wielded weapon for plant retailers, Greenhouse Grower RETAILING‘s Plant Pricing Survey shows. It will come as no surprise that just about everyone holds sales at some point (93%). And so it makes sense that some expertise is shown. Take this first graph as an example. The most perishable plants — small annuals and vegetables — are the most likely to be placed on sale. That seems counter-intuitive. Why place the fastest turning inventory on sale? But when we took a closer look, we found that these sales are being used to lure […]

Read More
IGC 2016 Valley Forge Casino Resort

July 25, 2016

New Products You Can See At EIGC

With all exhibitor booths sold out at both EIGC and IGC Chicago, there will be plenty of new products for attendees to check out.

Read More
Aphids On Older Leaves

July 25, 2016

How You Can Stop Aphids By Understanding Their Interact…

Knowing which aphids target which crops and how aphids colonize and move on plants goes a long way toward setting up an effective management plan.

Read More
Jeremy Kingsley

July 25, 2016

Cultivate Keynote Speaker Highlights Seven Principles O…

In his morning keynote address at Cultivate’16, best-selling author and speaker Jeremy Kingsley noted that if you want to make your business better, the process should start with making your people better by inspiring them.

Read More
Top 100 2016 Lighting Feature Image

July 24, 2016

Horticultural Lighting Conference To Take Place In Chic…

The one-day event is designed to provide cutting-edge information on the latest technologies and techniques impacting the advancement of the horticultural lighting market.

Read More

July 23, 2016

AmericanHort Kicks Off Cultivate’16 By Announcing Major…

Even though Cultivate’16 just wrapped up, it’s not too early to find out about the many changes you can expect for 2017.

Read More
Workers

July 23, 2016

5 Reasons To Invest In Employee Training

Training and developing your employees is critical to the future success of your organization and the horticulture industry at large. Here are five reasons why your employees are worth the effort.

Read More
Pleasant View Gardens Savor Edibles

July 22, 2016

Pleasant View Gardens Targets Millennials With Savor Ed…

Taking something as ubiquitous as vegetables and herbs and giving it a fresh new look is no easy task, but Pleasant View Gardens took on the challenge with extensive research and creative marketing.

Read More
Dummen New Columbus Office

July 21, 2016

Dümmen Orange Opens New North American Headquarters In …

The new office, which officially opened during Cultivate’16, supports the company’s vision to be integrated into a vibrant and inspiring community, and provides a bright, modern workspace for its approximately 30 local employees.

Read More
BeeSmart

July 21, 2016

How You Can Get Involved In Research

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) supports scientific research and students for the advancement of the horticultural industry.

Read More
Pollen Free Lisianthus

July 20, 2016

Sakata Seed Develops World’s First Pollen-Free Lisianth…

With no stamen to produce pollen, the new Lisianthus varieties have improved flower durability and the benefit of no scattered pollen that can cause staining of flowers and machines.

Read More
Floral Greenhouse at Vineland Research Centre

July 20, 2016

Research And Commercialization Unite At The New Vinelan…

The new, pre-scale commercial greenhouse facility at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Vineland Station, ON, will help accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies and products coming out of research.

Read More

July 20, 2016

How To Prevent Greenhouse Heating Leaks

Ethylene from malfunctioning greenhouse heaters can lead to crop injury, while carbon monoxide can lead to worker illness. Know the symptoms and how to check greenhouse heaters to avoid these concerns.

Read More
Luxflora Flower Run

July 20, 2016

First-Ever Flower Run Was A Big Success, Luxflora Says

Kicking off Cultivate’16 on Sunday, July 10, Luxflora’s first annual 5K saw nearly 150 participants racing through the picturesque Scioto Audubon Park in Columbus under clear blue skies and perfect conditions. It was a great way to start the week, participants said. Congratulations to the winners of the first-ever Flower Run: First Place: Jacob Griffith Gardner Second Place: Mike Goyette Third Place: Jack Ford The top three winners — and all of the Flower Run participants — were showered with flower petals when they crossed the finish line, making for a colorful and fragrant finish to an invigorating experience. “Personally, I would consider it a grand success,” says Luxflora President Rebecca Lusk. “The overall mood was fantastic, from start to finish. There were many high fives and group hugs, numerous duo phone selfies and postings to social media, while participants enjoyed their bananas and bottled water donated by Experience Columbus. Most […]

Read More
Top 100 Breakfast Panel for 2016

July 19, 2016

Top 100 Growers Talk Labor, Automation, And Sustainabil…

More than 60 growers got up with the sun at Cultivate’16 to hear a four-person panel discuss hot topics such as labor, automation, and sustainability at Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers Breakfast, sponsored by BASF.

Read More

July 19, 2016

17 New Vegetable Intros For Greenhouse Production

New varieties of edibles introduced at 2016 California Spring Trials offer something for every type of gardener, from the beginning do-it-yourselfer to the hardcore, heirloom-only type. Check out some of the new varieties we saw at Spring Trials this year that will be available for retail in 2017.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]