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...
National Garden Bureau California Vegetable Summer Trials

May 26, 2016

California Summer Vegetable Trials In August Will Cover A Wide Range Of Crops

The National Garden Bureau is once again organizing summer vegetables trials this August in California, giving attendees the opportunity to visit with several breeding companies.

Read More
Eason 2017 Perennials Guide

May 25, 2016

Eason Horticultural Resources Releases New Perennials Guide And Spring Trials Report

The two guides are available in digital and print versions and offer information from several breeders.

Read More
Echinacea ‘Butterfly Rainbow Marcella’

May 25, 2016

15 New Perennials For Bees, Butterflies, And Other Pollinators

These 15 new perennials, available for retail in 2016 and 2017, will produce colorful flowers and foliage year after year, providing habitat and food for bees, butterflies, birds, moths, and other pollinators.

Read More
Latest Stories
National Garden Bureau California Vegetable Summer Trials

May 26, 2016

California Summer Vegetable Trials In August Will Cover…

The National Garden Bureau is once again organizing summer vegetables trials this August in California, giving attendees the opportunity to visit with several breeding companies.

Read More
Eason 2017 Perennials Guide

May 25, 2016

Eason Horticultural Resources Releases New Perennials G…

The two guides are available in digital and print versions and offer information from several breeders.

Read More
Echinacea ‘Butterfly Rainbow Marcella’

May 25, 2016

15 New Perennials For Bees, Butterflies, And Other Poll…

These 15 new perennials, available for retail in 2016 and 2017, will produce colorful flowers and foliage year after year, providing habitat and food for bees, butterflies, birds, moths, and other pollinators.

Read More
P.Allen Smith Cut Flowers

May 25, 2016

Sakata Seed America And P. Allen Smith Extend Partnersh…

Sakata is taking its partnership with plantsman P. Allen Smith a step further to create the P. Allen Smith Home Grown Cut Flowers Collection, a selection of premium cut flower seed hand-picked by Smith and bred exclusively by Sakata.

Read More
Coleus Fancy Feathers Pink (Terra Nova Nurseries)

May 23, 2016

Take A Sneak Peek at Terra Nova Nurseries’ New Coleus F…

A brand-new collection of Terra Nova Nurseries coleus varieties called the Fancy Feathers Series is now available to growers for online orders. The series produces narrow, feather-like leaves and offers a mounded habit.

Read More
Rotary Botanical Gardens, Wisconsin

May 16, 2016

All-America Selections Summer Summit In Madison, WI, Wi…

Registration is now open for the 2016 Summer Summit, which takes place in August and features a focus on the locally grown movement.

Read More

May 10, 2016

13 New Native Plants And Nativars For Going Green [Slid…

Native plants are becoming a bigger part of living green, as consumers become more aware of the role regional native plants play in promoting biodiversity in the garden, in urban landscapes, and in habitat restoration. Here are 13 new native plants breeders are offering to consider for your product mix.

Read More
Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Ginger Love’ (Aris Greenleaf Plants)

May 10, 2016

12 New Ornamental Grasses For Low Maintenance Garden Ap…

Nothing says low maintenance like ornamental grasses. They add texture, movement, and all-season color to the garden. Check out 12 new ornamental grasses and grass-like varieties for growing in your greenhouse or the garden.

Read More
Blueberry ‘BrazelBerries Perpetua’ (Fall Creek Farm & Nursery)

May 9, 2016

Why Star Roses And Plants Is Buying The BrazelBerries P…

The purchase includes the brand, variety portfolio, and grower network, and allows Star Roses to capitalize on increased berry consumption among consumers.

Read More
Wave Petunias Team

May 3, 2016

Hot Pink Wave-Rave Van Making Its Way To The Big Apple …

Imagine driving down the road, minding your own business, when you’re passed by two smiling, waving, happy women driving a hot-pink van that’s adorned with petunia and pansy flowers. That’s not something you see every day, but motorists in the Midwest and Northeast may catch a glimpse of the Wave-Rave van this week as Ball Horticultural Co.’s Claire Watson, Product Marketing Manager, and Katie Rotella, Marketing Communications Manager, make their way to a media tour and plant giveaway in New York City. Watson and Rotella visited Cleveland’s WOIO Channel 19 news on Tuesday morning to tell consumers about Wave Petunias and Wave Pansies, and remind them to visit their local garden centers to purchase gifts for Mother’s Day this weekend. Check out this clip on Periscope. After the morning news, the ladies stopped by to visit the Greenhouse Grower staff at Meister Media Worldwide in Willoughby, OH. Next stop: Chelsea Garden Center in Brooklyn, NY, where […]

Read More
National Garden Bureau CAST 2016 Bloggers

May 3, 2016

5 Things Gardens Bloggers And Writers Learned At Califo…

For the second year in a row, the National Garden Bureau hosted five popular garden bloggers and writers on a trip to California Spring Trials. Here’s what each of them had to say about their experience.

Read More
Chick Charms

April 29, 2016

Kelly Norris: Why The Plant Collector Market Is Set To …

In his latest column for Greenhouse Grower magazine, Kelly Norris says there are more plant collectors out there than we think, which opens the way for the gift plant market to explode.

Read More
Pennisetum Fireworks

April 28, 2016

Why Ornamental Grasses Are Great For People In Condos A…

Allan Armitage says breeders need to do a better job of making growers, brokers, and garden centers aware of better ornamental grass cultivars for the increasingly shrinking garden space.

Read More
Andropogon gerardii Blackhawks (Intrinsic Perennial Gardens)

April 27, 2016

Know Your Market When Choosing Ornamental Grasses

Growers have no shortage of choices in the ornamental grass market. Narrowing down the selection comes down to finding the right plant for the right purpose.

Read More
Bee on Bidens

April 25, 2016

Breeders Go The Distance To Bring New Plant Varieties T…

Breeders are meeting the demand for new varieties that perform and sell well by extending trialing to engage the grower community, using advanced technology, and encouraging international collaboration.

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

April 20, 2016

Growers And Breeders Are Always Looking For A Better To…

While edibles become more diverse, there's one goal that hard-core gardeners and urban foodscapers share.

Read More
Syngenta Pentas

April 20, 2016

Syngenta Flowers Opens Its Perennial Genetics To The Ma…

California Spring Trials 2016 visitors to Syngenta Flowers found the breeder company and its employees happy and excited for the future, in the wake of the announcement of its acquisition by ChemChina. Now Syngenta Flowers is ready to move forward with its breeding efforts in geraniums, pentas, and other crops, and it is opening its perennials offerings to the whole supply chain for a better chance to get those plants to retail.     Syngenta Wants To Revolutionize Geranium Breeding The big news in this year’s trial, says Karl Trellinger, Technical Services Representative at Syngenta, is the change in Syngenta’s breeding efforts in geraniums and pentas. The Calliope geranium series, long considered a premium line in the market, is getting a makeover. Growers have told the breeder that they love the colors available in the Calliope series, but the plants are just too vigorous for smaller containers and combinations. As […]

Read More
Petunia Vista Bubblegum (Proven Winners)

April 20, 2016

Proven Winners Funds Gardening “It Couple,” Names Plant…

Since 1992, Proven Winners has been changing the gardening game, and it’s not stopping now. With new plants, improved series, and interesting retail customers, the brand aims to make planning easier for growers, and make gardening easier and more fun for consumers. At its new 2016 California Spring Trials location at Kirigin Cellars in Gilroy, Proven Winners had the space and a beautiful setting to lay all of its offerings out, from new and improved varieties in annuals, perennials, and shrubs, to marketing and retail programs. Check out the slideshow below for highlights.   Proven Winners Is Flexing Its Marketing Muscle One of the ways Proven Winners is working toward better use of its products and gardening in general, is by supporting the gardening authorities that gardeners of all ages trust on social media. Director of Marketing Marshall Dirks says while searching for influential gardeners, he came across a young […]

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