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

More From ...
Bill Lewis grower manager at Delray Plants

August 31, 2015

Delray Plants Takes Preventative Approach To Pest Control With Biological Controls

The 300-acre nursery in Venus, Fla., has made biologicals its first line of control when dealing with pests.

Read More
Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation logo

August 31, 2015

Gloeckner Foundation Awards 15 Research Grants

The Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation recently awarded 15 grants totaling $149,776. Fred C. Gloeckner had a keen interest and firm resolve to facilitate innovation and improve practices in floriculture. It was this vision that inspired him to start The Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation, Inc. 55 years ago. Since the foundation’s inception, more than 66 institutions have been awarded grants for this purpose, and the foundation’s support of floriculture research has totaled $6,525,642. The following grants were recently awarded: $14,000 – Kansas State University, to study the effect of the entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana and the rove beetle, Dalotia coriaria, in suppressing populations of the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis $12,264 – North Carolina State University, for expanding leaf tissue nutritional standards in bedding plants $12,000 – University of Florida, to illuminate Lilium floral fragrance $11,842 – Stephen F. Austin State University, for its herbaceous perennial species trial garden $10,000 – Iowa […]

Read More
Feature image The 2015 Perennial Plant Of The Year, Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo.’

August 27, 2015

The Perennial Plant Association’s Regional Symposium Will Be This October In Dallas

The Perennial Plant Association plans to hold its Regional Symposium October 5 in Dallas, Texas, in conjunction with the All-America Selections/Home Garden Seed Association's Summer/Fall Summit held October 5 to 8.

Read More
Latest Stories
Bill Lewis grower manager at Delray Plants

August 31, 2015

Delray Plants Takes Preventative Approach To Pest Contr…

The 300-acre nursery in Venus, Fla., has made biologicals its first line of control when dealing with pests.

Read More
Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation logo

August 31, 2015

Gloeckner Foundation Awards 15 Research Grants

The Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation recently awarded 15 grants totaling $149,776. Fred C. Gloeckner had a keen interest and firm resolve to facilitate innovation and improve practices in floriculture. It was this vision that inspired him to start The Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation, Inc. 55 years ago. Since the foundation’s inception, more than 66 institutions have been awarded grants for this purpose, and the foundation’s support of floriculture research has totaled $6,525,642. The following grants were recently awarded: $14,000 – Kansas State University, to study the effect of the entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana and the rove beetle, Dalotia coriaria, in suppressing populations of the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis $12,264 – North Carolina State University, for expanding leaf tissue nutritional standards in bedding plants $12,000 – University of Florida, to illuminate Lilium floral fragrance $11,842 – Stephen F. Austin State University, for its herbaceous perennial species trial garden $10,000 – Iowa […]

Read More
Feature image The 2015 Perennial Plant Of The Year, Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo.’

August 27, 2015

The Perennial Plant Association’s Regional Sympos…

The Perennial Plant Association plans to hold its Regional Symposium October 5 in Dallas, Texas, in conjunction with the All-America Selections/Home Garden Seed Association's Summer/Fall Summit held October 5 to 8.

Read More
september_grow_rodale institute

August 25, 2015

Hospitals Are Getting Into The Organic Food Business

Growers investing in the organic food movement could serve a growing new area with vegetable transplants and starts, as well as produce, as hospitals begin to prescribe healthy diets and nutrition, and even go so far as to grow their own food. As part of a new phenomenon among progressive hospitals, health professionals are beginning to realize that without health and nutrition, programs and techniques may be done in vain or worse — obsolete. As more patients seeking a healthy diet turn to nutritionists, who recommend sugar-free, alkaline diets to prevent disease and aid in recovery, hospitals recognizing this trend are taking action. St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem, Pa., recently contracted with the nearby Rodale Institute to manage an organic farm, established in 2014. The hospital, part of a six-campus network, aims to provide excellent healthcare, part of which includes educating patients about the benefits of a plant-based, organic diet. […]

Read More

August 21, 2015

Proven Winners Announces Roadshow Events For 2015

Proven Winner's Roadshow Events, held across North America, provide growers and retailers with the opportunity to learn how to grow Proven Winner's newest varieties and receive information about industry trends.

Read More
Figure 1. Mustard microgreens grown under sole-source (SS) lighting using light-emitting diode (LED) arrays.

August 21, 2015

Sole-Source LED Lighting In Horticulture: Microgreens P…

In Part 2 of a four-part lighting series highlighting the multiple uses of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), researchers examine the effects of sole-source LED lighting on microgreen production to achieve the highest quality crop possible in an energy efficient manner.

Read More
Farwest2015

August 20, 2015

Farwest 2015 Offers Tours And Showcases Vegetables, Fru…

Three 2015 Farwest offsite tours, planned for Wednesday, August 26, offer a range of focus for the industry from nursery/greenhouse growing to landscape and garden retail.

Read More

August 20, 2015

Syngenta Plans To Divest Flowers Business

Changes on the breeder front continue as Syngenta announces it intends to divest the Flowers seed business from its Lawn and Garden operating unit. According to an August 19 press release, “divestment would enable the new entity to play a leading role in the consolidation of the home gardening market, which is taking place in response to changes in the distribution and retail channels, driven by shifts in consumer preference.” The high-quality and profitable Flowers business will be sold in its entirety, including Syngenta’s seed and vegetative flower genetics, as well as its facilities in Gilroy, Calif., and offshore, says Paul Minehart, Syngenta’s head of corporate communications for North America. Differences in the corporation’s offerings and little overlap with the agricultural seeds and crop protection side of the business are the primary reasons behind the sale, Minehart says. “Flowers is a premium, consumer-focused business,” he says. “Syngenta is a market leader […]

Read More
AmericanHort logo

August 20, 2015

David Savoia To Serve As AmericanHort’s Interim P…

Following Michael Geary’s announcement that he has resigned as president and CEO of AmericanHort, the association has announced that CFO and Senior Vice President for Operations David Savoia will serve as interim president and CEO while the board conducts a search for a new staff executive. Craig Regelbrugge, the senior vice president for advocacy and research, will support Savoia with the association’s external affairs. Geary announced August 12  that he will be leaving his position after September 30 to serve as CEO of the Society for Marketing Professional Services, an organization dedicated to creating business opportunities in the architecture, engineering and construction industries. “As some of you know, I grew up connected to the horticulture industry so this was not an easy decision for me,” Geary said in an eMail. “I have loved working with our organizations and our talented members, staff and partners. However, my choice to return full time to Washington, D.C. will allow me […]

Read More

August 19, 2015

Greenhouse Growing Recommendations For Lobularia

Modern-day Lobularias are garden classics with good vigor and long bloom times. These growing recommendations will help keep your crop in prime condition.

Read More
Janeen Wright

August 19, 2015

Why A Step Backward Can Propel Your Greenhouse Business…

Taking a step backward to reflect on the past and plan for the future helps you confidently move your growing operation forward from a position of power.

Read More
LuckyLotsAbelia_featured

August 18, 2015

Farwest Show New Varieties Showcase Will Spotlight 2016…

Featuring a spectrum of new market introductions, the 2015 Farwest Show, August 27-29 in Portland, Ore., will display 49 plants in the New Varieties Showcase, a mainstay favorite every year on the show floor. Seventeen companies from all corners of North America, the Netherlands and Canada have submitted material that covers the best and brightest of perennials, shrubs, conifers, shade and flowering trees and edibles being introduced for 2016. This year’s entries will display the prized characteristics that growers and retailers are seeking— new features, improved performance in production environments and landscape, compact sizes, enhanced disease resistance, performance in urban settings and drought tolerance. In particular for garden retail benefit, consumer appeal for this year’s showcase is excellent with choices for spectacular foliage, blooms, seasonal interest and overall wow factor. Check out the slideshow for a sampling of the new varieties. Plants are creatively displayed in retail fashion and well tagged with full descriptions, compliments of showcase […]

Read More
Geary-Michael

August 18, 2015

Michael Geary Is Leaving AmericanHort

AmericanHort president and CEO Michael Geary announced last Wednesday that he will be leaving his position at the end of September to serve as CEO of the Society for Marketing Professional Services. “I am writing to share with you that on October 8 I will begin a new professional chapter as CEO of the Society for Marketing Professional Services, an organization dedicated to creating business opportunities in the architecture, engineering and construction industries,” Geary said in an email. His last day with AmericanHort will be Sept. 30, 2015. “As some of you know, I grew up connected to the horticulture industry so this was not an easy decision for me,” he said. “I have loved working with our organizations and our talented members, staff and partners. However, my choice to return full time to Washington, D.C. will allow me to be closer to my family and aging parents and to re-engage with another industry […]

Read More

August 18, 2015

University Of Florida Will Offer Online Course For Grow…

The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) next online course, “Nutrient Management for Container-Grown Crops: Level 1” will be offered in English and Spanish. For grower staff who are irrigating and fertilizing greenhouse crops, but have not had formal training in horticulture, the course can help teach them the “why” of making better crop management decisions. The class will be offered Aug. 24-Sept. 18, 2015. The UF/IFAS Extension recently started providing online courses designed for people already working in the ornamental plant industry. This year it offered nutrient and greenhouse management courses for the first time, with a good response (85 and 110 students in the two courses so far, with about half from outside the U.S.). The courses run for four weeks, cost $200 per participant and include a personalized certificate of completion. Each week there are two streaming classes and one activity (about a 3-4 hour commitment per week), […]

Read More
Cayman

August 17, 2015

21 New Blooming Potted Plants For Trouble-Free Greenhou…

Blooming potted plants brighten up almost any occasion. With new colors and an abundance of blooms, these 21 new introductions add a unique, finishing touch to even the most diversified crop mix. Here are 21 new varieties available in 2015 that will hit retail in 2016.

Read More

August 15, 2015

Ball Horticultural Co. Buys Conard-Pyle/Star Roses And …

Ball Horticultural Co. plans to add Conard-Pyle/Star Roses and Plants to its family of breeding and distribution companies, according to a press release dated August 14, which announced the company’s recent acquisition of the famous introducer of Knock Out Roses and other perennials and woody plants to the market. Ball plans to capitalize on the expertise of its Ball Ornamentals woody ornamentals division, as well as Conard-Pyle’s market-leading position as a top rose breeder to strengthen its product line. The sale is scheduled to close by the end of September 2015. Conard-Pyle’s in-house breeding division NovaFlora, along with its intellectual properties and the distribution, production and administration facilities of its wholesale division are also part of the acquisition. NovaFlora is the driving force behind the Star Roses and Plants brand. “Conard-Pyle has been the leader in roses in its market and has been actively diversifying its offering with other woody […]

Read More
GrowIt! App Wins Gold At Design100 2014 US Mobile & App Design Awards

August 14, 2015

GrowIt! Announces Student Winners For Friends & Fam…

GrowIt! Garden Socially announced the two grand-prize winners of its 2015 Friends & Family app contest. Horticulture students Brett Weiss and Sarah Swofford will receive all-expenses paid trips to Chicago, Aug. 17-20, to attend the IGC Show at Navy Pier. They’ll have access to educational seminars and the tradeshow and get quality networking time with industry influencers. The spring contest was open to horticulture students who competed to see who could get the most followers on the GrowIt! platform. Five finalists were selected, and from those five, two grand-prize winners were chosen. Weiss is a student at Ferrum College in Ferrum, Va. He picked up his love for plants at an early age and never really let go. This summer he had the opportunity to intern at Disney World in the horticulture department. Swofford will graduate from Texas A&M University this August. She’s had the opportunity to work in several different facets […]

Read More
Lighting 2015 August Feature Image

August 14, 2015

Customizing Crop Foliage Color With LEDs: Ornamental Cr…

Do you find that your purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) crop is often green to light purple? What if we told you there is a quick solution to enhance and darken the foliage of purple fountain grass or other floriculture crops? In this second article of a four-part series highlighting the multiple uses of high-intensity light-emitting diodes (LEDs), we will discuss our research methodology and findings for enhancing the foliage color of ornamental crops with end-of-production (EOP) supplemental lighting (SL) in the greenhouse. Many ornamental crops that greenhouse and nursery growers produce vary in size, shape and color. These variables are often influenced by the growing environment. For example, leaf color (intensity, distribution or both) of ornamental crops such as purple fountain grass is a key component that often influences the consumer’s perception and ultimately an impulse purchase. The red or purple pigmentation of purple fountain grass leaves is […]

Read More