11 Top-Notch Perennials

Achillea 'Peachy Seduction'

We take great pride in the trials at the University of Georgia (UGA). We don’t trial for the sake of trialing, to make us look good or to give us something to do. We trial in the steadfast belief that what we do makes a difference.

When we provide real data under real-world conditions, we do so in the belief that someone – breeders, growers, retailers and consumers – will pay attention.

Quality is not limited to fertility standards and spacing; quality is also what consumers, from landscapers to buyers, see when they have a little money to spend.

So, in the belief that what we do does make a difference, here are the Classic City perennial award winners for 2011. These are the very best perennials in the trial gardens, based on year-round performance and/or eye-clutching beauty.

The Perennials

All are winter hardy to at least Zone 5, unless otherwise noted. The companies associated with each plant either bred the plant or supplied it to UGA. However, your broker should be able to obtain all of these winners.

Achillea ‘Peachy Seduction’ (Blooms of Bressingham)

We have been evaluating yarrows for some time and they seem to improve every year, but this one really stood out. One of our students said it reminds them of their grandmother’s antique lace, which we felt was a lovely description of this yarrow. Plants were consistently full of flowers throughout the spring season. A great plant in the garden and one that also works well as a cut flower.

Baptisia ‘Prairie Twilight Blues’ (North Creek Nurseries)

Another plant we seem to talk about too much, waiting for the market to catch up. With the fabulous breeding going on in the genus, there are at least a half dozen that could go on this list. This was one of the best and caught the eyes of commercial and private visitors for its vigor and handsome flowers.

Echinacea ‘Green Jewel’ (Walters Gardens)

A truly green flower! We have loved this coneflower bred by Future Plants for a couple of years. The entire plant is covered in medium-sized single flowers all season long. This year it was about 1 1/2 to 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide. We had dozens of different coneflowers, but people invariably chose this one.

Echinacea PowWow (Ball Horticultural Co.)

With so many coneflowers, it is not surprising that there was more than one for this popular list. We loved the compact size, the ease of production and the handsome flowers. Commercial people eyed it greedily, and gardeners loved the habit.

Helleborus ‘Pink Frost’ (Skagit Gardens)

The new hellebores are nothing short of spectacular. Bred by Heuger Trading Co. of Germany, plants provide upright early pinkish flowers that are truly handsome. Their earliness may be a bit of a problem in the landscape but a boon for retailers wanting pot plants for early sales in the store. A number of fine selections are available, including ‘Ruby Glow.’

Hibiscus ‘Cranberry Crush’ (Walters Gardens)

I have mentioned that I believe hardy hibiscus are underused. Now I see a plethora of new cultivars available. This one is moderate in size and could be used in smaller landscapes (but certainly not dwarf). Large, bright deep-red flowers cover the plant. It is a hibiscus and certainly not immune to Japanese beetles. Other great hibiscus include ‘Royal Gems’ (Fleming) and ‘Peppermint Schnapps’ (Blooms).

Nierembergia ‘Summer Splash White’ (Suntory Flowers)

I have already written about this plant, and its cousin ‘Summer Splash Blue.’ They are likely only perennial to Zone 7, but that is sufficient territory for good sales. Easy to grow, early to flower, persistent in flower and eye catching, it was one of our Plants of Distinction for four weeks running.

Phlox ‘Cosmopolitan’ (Darwin Perennials/Ball)

This phlox was stunning all season long. It has an amazing deep-pink color that stands out from across the garden. The blooms come on strong, and they last throughout the balmy summer days here in Athens. Last year, we chose ‘Peacock White,’ and we think this one is just as wonderful. A great standout in the garden!

Rosa ‘Mother of Pearl’ (Conard Pyle) and Rosa ‘Golden Celebration’ (David Austin)

We are trialing dozens of roses in the trial gardens, and oh what joy to see so many performing so well without being overrun by leaf spotting and other diseases. These two were favorites all summer (and last year as well).

Sedum ‘Maestro’ (Walters Gardens/Proven Winners)

Greenish purple foliage frocked with pink flowers throughout the season, this sedum sure was a show stopper. Plants performed without a hitch considering they are located in one of the hottest and driest spots in the garden. Growing to about 1½ feet with a spread of 2 to 3 feet, the beauty was a prize winner at all of our seasonal events.

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...

February 4, 2016

Poinsettia Growers Discuss Their Recent Trials And Triumphs

Growers from Pennsylvania, Illinois, and North Carolina describer their experiences trialing everyone’s favorite holiday season flora.

Read More
Rhododendron ‘Dandy Man’ (Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs)

February 2, 2016

Spring Meadow Nursery Partnering With Proven Winners Europe To Introduce New Flowering Shrubs

The expansion creates a cohesive brand for what is now a global market, immediately introducing more than 24 shrubs to the European market, with the potential for 125 or more in the future.

Read More

February 1, 2016

12 New Poinsettias For Holiday Growing

Poinsettias are still a consumer favorite during the holidays for home décor and gift giving. For greenhouse growers looking to get a jumpstart on purchasing young plants for the 2016 poinsettia growing season, there is no shortage of great varieties to choose from. Here are 12 new varieties to keep in mind for holiday product offerings.

Read More
Latest Stories

February 4, 2016

Poinsettia Growers Discuss Their Recent Trials And Triu…

Growers from Pennsylvania, Illinois, and North Carolina describer their experiences trialing everyone’s favorite holiday season flora.

Read More
Rhododendron ‘Dandy Man’ (Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs)

February 2, 2016

Spring Meadow Nursery Partnering With Proven Winners Eu…

The expansion creates a cohesive brand for what is now a global market, immediately introducing more than 24 shrubs to the European market, with the potential for 125 or more in the future.

Read More

February 1, 2016

12 New Poinsettias For Holiday Growing

Poinsettias are still a consumer favorite during the holidays for home décor and gift giving. For greenhouse growers looking to get a jumpstart on purchasing young plants for the 2016 poinsettia growing season, there is no shortage of great varieties to choose from. Here are 12 new varieties to keep in mind for holiday product offerings.

Read More

January 27, 2016

Costa Farms’ Season Premier Provides Sneak Peek A…

Costa Farms presented the 2016 Season Premier at its 2-acre Trial Gardens in Miami, FL, in the third week of January. The event showcases varieties from breeders of all sizes to growers and major retail buyers, providing a look at what genetics are coming to the market and how they’ll perform in retail settings and in the landscape, when consumers bring them home. The mild winter climate in South Florida allows Costa Farms’ Research and Development Department to simulate the spring growing conditions of various regions in the country. Because each group of visitors to Costa Farms’ Trial Gardens wants to see what the new plants look like in the environments that matter to them, Season Premier offers several areas within the Trial Gardens that highlight different ways to look at the wealth of new varieties. The New Product Showcase offers a way for retailers to see how plants will […]

Read More

January 26, 2016

Beekenkamp And Danziger Partner To Distribute Poinsetti…

Danziger is continuing to expand its portfolio of products to the U.S. market with the addition of poinsettia cuttings of Beekenkamp’s varieties.

Read More

January 24, 2016

Positive Consumer Experiences Help Advance The Orchid C…

HGTV HOME Plant Collection plans to expand its Fresh Style product line through a partnership with Green Circle Growers (Oberlin, Ohio), which will supply decorative orchids, tropical plants, and indoor garden combinations. Greenhouse Grower asked Maxwell Sherer about Green Circle's orchid program, the latest trends he’s seeing, and where he thinks orchid growing is headed in the future.

Read More
Sansevieria in Corner of home

January 21, 2016

Tropical And Indoor Foliage Plants Emerge As A Lifestyl…

Consumers are incorporating houseplants into their everyday lives, which is driving the trends toward smaller-size plants and unique products that appeal to a younger demographic.

Read More
Pollinator-Conference-NC State

January 20, 2016

How To Promote Pollinator-Friendly Plants This Spring

Following last year’s launch of the National Pollinator Garden Network, groups like the National Garden Bureau and others remind growers that offering pollinator-friendly plants is a great way to keep up with consumer demand.

Read More
Caladium Painted Frog Series (Plants Nouveau)

January 17, 2016

16 New Foliage Plants To Round Out The Garden

Every garden needs a good mix of flowering and foliage plants for an attention-grabbing show of thrillers, fillers, and spillers. These new foliage varieties will not only act as a lush backdrop for colorful blooms, they can also stand on their own with their noteworthy textures and colors.

Read More
California Coast

January 13, 2016

Mark Your Calendars For The 2016 California Spring Tri…

It’s time to think about registering for the 2016 California Spring Trials. You won’t want to miss any stops along the way, so use this quick reference to help with planning for your trip.

Read More
David Roberts Bailey Nuseries Feature Image

January 12, 2016

Bailey Nurseries’ David Roberts Says New, Novel Varieti…

Roberts was recently hired by Bailey Nurseries to be the General Manager and Breeder for Plant Introductions, Inc., which Bailey acquired last year.

Read More
Kelly Norris - feature

January 11, 2016

Kelly Norris: Questioning The Purpose Of New Plants

Norris asks if the time has come to rethink new plant introductions, or how we market them to consumers.

Read More
Weeks Roses Miss Congeniality

January 11, 2016

Weeks Roses Introduces New Lineup Of Roses For 2016

Weeks breeds and grows a wide range of rose bushes, all of which are field tested for many factors.

Read More
CAST2015_Floranova_Vegetalis_Ageratum Cloud Nine Blue

January 8, 2016

Floranova Opening New Chile-Based Research Station, For…

Floranova has announced it is building a new research station in Chile that will open in mid-2016. As a result, the company will not participate in the 2016 California Spring Trials, but says it will be back in 2017.

Read More
Streptocarpus 'Yellow Blue Eye' (Green Fuse Botanicals)

January 5, 2016

15 Flowering Foliage And Tropical Plants For The Home A…

Tropical and foliage plants are the ultimate lifestyle plants because they enrich the environment and provide mood-boosting benefits. Take into account some of these new introductions for a crop mix that helps your customers realize the true benefits of plants.

Read More
BallSeed-WebTrackToGo-app Feature Image

January 5, 2016

Ball Seed Launches WebTrack To Go App For Mobile Phones…

The app is available for free in the Google Play and iTunes app stores, and serves as a companion to Ball’s full WebTrack business management system.

Read More
Terra Nova Garden Decorating Guide

December 31, 2015

Terra Nova Nurseries Releases New Garden Decorating Gui…

The guide’s wheel-shaped design groups new plants by color and was inspired by the Pantone Matching System color guide.

Read More
Northwest Horticulture offers four different mixes of sedum tiles for green roof projects. Photo courtesy North West Horticulture Feature

December 29, 2015

Growing Succulents Never Goes Out Of Style, Here’…

Succulents are more popular than ever, and with good reason. Learn why these tough, low-maintenance plants are a hit with consumers and deserve a place in your greenhouse, then check out the accompanying slideshow for the latest in succulent trends.

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