The Classic City Awards for Perennials — The Best of 2006

The Classic City Awards for Perennials — The Best of 2006

Our yearly accounting of the great stuff, not merely the very good, takes us to perennials this month. Plants that held the attention of passers-by and caught our eyes throughout the season, or when they were truly spectacular, made this list. We are in Zone 7 (7b) with lots of sun, heat and humidity. Go buy, grow and sell these fine plants. All are available through your plant distributor or propagator.

Aquilegia ‘Corbett’

Our little doll of the columbines! Another compact version of our native Canadian columbine, ‘Corbett’ can and will stand proudly next to our other proven variety, ‘Little Lanterns,’ but with pale yellow flowers instead of the typical red/yellow bicolor. It is named for the town in Maryland where it was originally found.

Aster oblongifolius ‘October Skies’

A healthy, green circular mound gives way to a purple beauty in the early fall. Dubbed ‘October Skies’ and introduced by North Creek Nursery in Pennsylvania, the slightly fragrant purple flowers envelop the plant bringing a vibrant color to the garden with the promise of cool weather.

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’

The foliage is a remarkable color purple, almost black, that remains so even during the heat of the summer. Sent to us by Skagit Garden in Washington, we have only seen it for one year. Even though we did not see the flowers, if the foliage is as good as this next year, who needs flowers?

Gaillardia ‘Oranges and Lemons’

This first-year blanket flower has been most impressive and has remained in bloom from the time we received it through Plant Haven in the spring and all the way through the summer in the garden. When others have pooped out for the summer, this remained healthy and vibrant. A bright color combination, an unusually long bloom time and healthy foliage make this plant a winner!

Lavendula ‘Violet Intrigue’

Lavenders come and go and usually do poorly in heat and humidity. However, ‘Violet Intrigue’ has been exceptional all year and better than all others. It bloomed well into fall with healthy grey-green foliage that did not show a bit of wear and tear after a long, hot summer. And you can’t bypass the fragrance, which can charm even the weakest nostrils.

Pulmonaria Gaelic Series

Each year we get a new lungwort and ask why? Lungworts are reasonable enough plants but most are mediocre in this area. The Gaelic series from Proven Winners provides large, colorful flowers and large, spotted foliage that remains healthy throughout the summer, ‘Gaelic Magic,’ ‘Gaelic Sunset,’ and ‘Gaelic Spring’ bring the old-world charm into new-age gardening.

Salvia ‘Hot Lips’

We have watched this vigorous hybrid grow 3 feet tall and equally wide in a few years, and everyone has fallen in love with it. The bicolored red and white flowers almost cover the plant in the spring and early summer and bloom well again in the fall. The plant will sell by its name alone, but the plant is an exceptional sage.

Salvia ‘Mystic Spires’

Two salvias have caught our eye for as long as we have had them. ‘Mystic Spires’ from Ball FloraPlant has been so impressive as to win this award. Upright to 2 feet tall with dull green leaves and many purple flowers all summer have made this a winner. It should be a winner in many programs. Find it, sell it and make others happy.

Tradescantia ‘White Velvet’

So, you think you’ve seen all that the hairy spiderwort has to offer? With adorable little fall-blooming tri-petaled flowers atop the eerily spider web-like foliage, what more do you need? Throw in some gorgeous purple hues to the foliage and you’ve got this new variety of spiderwort! Healthy, hairy foliage all summer with the same promise of mauve flowers in the fall, this plant just feels right to us. This should be grown far more than it is.

Tricyrtis ‘Taipei Silk’

Toad lilies are still struggling in mainstream commercial horticulture, but are well respected and sought after by gardeners. This is a spectacular flowering plant that blooms in June, the earliest of all toad lilies in the garden, and continue into October. Exceptional plant, why can’t we get others excited?

Leave a Reply

More From Perennials...
Bob_Peters

July 28, 2015

J.R. Peters’ Founder Dies At 97

J.R. Peters announced that its founder, Robert (Bob) Peters has died. Here is how his family and coworkers honored him: It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Robert (Bob) Peters, 97 years old, founder of the Robert B Peters Company. Our mentor, father and grandfather passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on July 18 in Allentown, Pa. He was a true floriculture chemist who designed and formulated the earliest Peters Fertilizer Products that still carry his name today. Born October 12, 1917 in Hanover, Pennsylvania, he was the oldest of 6 brothers. He made his home in Allentown where he started his first business, Peters Horticultural Services, in his mother’s garage in 1947. Bob was happily married for over 50 years and has 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. His passion for plant nutrition began in 1947 after he completed his service in […]

Read More
2016 SHSG covers.indd

July 28, 2015

SHS Griffin Releases 2016 Catalog In Print And Expanded Digital Formats

SHS Griffin has announced the release of its annual seed and plant catalog for the 2015-16 season. Available in both print and digital formats, the 2016 catalog features more than 400 new and improved varieties from the industry’s leading breeders. The 262-page print catalog covers the company’s full seed portfolio — more than 3,400 cultivars of annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses, herbs and vegetables. From the SHS Griffin vegetative offering, the complete spring-annual assortment from Syngenta Flowers is featured, alongside new introductions and top sellers from nine top suppliers such as Proven Winners, Dümmen Orange and Suntory. More than 120 vegetative perennials from Syngenta Flowers are also included, including several SHS Griffin exclusives. The SHS Griffin 2016 digital catalog includes all of the product information and photography from the print edition, and more. For the first time, SHS Griffin has added a range of digital-only bonus content: detailed crop culture, quick […]

Read More
Cal-Poly fields

July 28, 2015

Cal-Poly To Preserve Campus Agricultural Land

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo will no longer consider development of nearly 43 acres of prime agricultural land just west of its campus core, as the university proceeds with the two-year process of updating its campus master plan. In May, the university had released an update to its Master Plan that indicated that almost all of its orchards, horticulture facilities and field sites may be repurposed for future development of university housing and other campus infrastructure. Most of the land in question is classified Class 1 farmland. The acreage is used now for lemons, grapevines, mandarin oranges, a deciduous orchard and silage for the university’s livestock. The proposed changes would have directly affected the current orchard plantings and other long term plans for the department, according to a letter from Scott Steinmaus, the horticulture and crop science department head. Steinmaus encouraged industry members to submit their comments to the university. An […]

Read More
Latest Stories
Kaleidoscope Abelia (Plant Haven International)

June 17, 2015

PlantHaven International Launches National Campaign To …

PlantHaven International has partnered with BlueSkye Creative to initiate a national consumer ad campaign that carries across radio, video, print and social media to increase sales of Abelia Kaleidoscope.

Read More

May 1, 2015

18 New Grasses To Grow

Ornamental grasses fit in with the needs of today’s landscapers and consumers better than ever. Whether your customers are looking for creative solutions for patio containers or a mass planting in a landscape, some of the 18 new varieties included here are sure to meet the need.

Read More
Basil_Persian-AAS2015_620x329

April 15, 2015

All-America Selections Launches New Perennial Trial

All-America Selections (AAS) in partnership with Perennial Plant Association (PPA) will launch an herbaceous perennial trial, with entries due this July. It will follow many of the basics of the recently launched AAS Vegetative Ornamental trial. Entries accepted will be herbaceous perennials propagated from seed, cutting, tissue culture or bare root.

Read More
Lurie Garden Millennium Park

April 14, 2015

Eco-Conscious Landscapes Fast Track The Rise Of Grasses…

The re-focused emphasis on green infrastructure projects, naturalistic design and sustainable landscaping opens the way for growers to source more native plants and grasses.

Read More

April 13, 2015

Look At What’s New At Terra Nova Nurseries

Terra Nova Nurseries, a world leader in plant breeding and genetics, during the last 10 months collaborated with select editors of Martha Stewart Living magazine to plan a feature story and photo spread about heucheras and heucherellas. And see the eight new varieties that are now available to growers as pre-ordered liners.

Read More
Hydrangea 'Endless Summer BloomStruck' from Bailey Nurseries

March 17, 2015

Michael Dirr Slated To Address Attendees At Hydrangeas …

Dr. Michael Dirr to deliver the keynote address at Hydrangeas 2015 conference, hosted by the Cape Cod Hydrangea Society in partnership with Endless Summer Hydrangeas. The conference will take place at the historic Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, Mass.

Read More
Lavandula-Superblue

March 10, 2015

How To Determine When To Buy Herbaceous Perennials In V…

Exposing herbaceous perennials to cold temperatures, also known as vernalization, can yield a range of effects, especially on flowering. Beth Engle of SHS Griffin covers whether vernalized liners or unvernalized plants make the best sense for your sales windows.

Read More

March 4, 2015

California Spring Trials Preview: 32 New Perennials For…

Perennials are hot and if this preview of the 2015 California Spring Trials is any indication, there are going to be some great new perennial introductions for 2016. We contacted the breeders who will be displaying their new varieties in California in April, and they gave us a sneak peek. Check out the slideshow to see some of the new perennials making their debut to the trade this spring.

Read More
Lavandula 'Meerlo' (Sunset Western Garden Collection)

March 3, 2015

Why You Will Still Grow Today’s Big Perennial 10 Years …

What will be the next big perennial? Breeders say it takes more than a splashy plant to distinguish itself in the market. Therefore, the question is not what will be the next big perennial, but rather what perennial performs well enough in the garden to have staying power in the market for years to come.

Read More
Heuch Pink Fizz_featured

March 2, 2015

Intergeneric Crosses Are A New Perennial Trend

Intergeneric crosses, oddities some botanists say are an impossibility, have made serious inroads in the perennial world.

Read More
Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Arizona Apricot'

February 25, 2015

National Garden Bureau Designates 2015 As Year Of The G…

Gaillardia, also known as the blanket flower, is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) and a long-blooming pollinator plant. It is fitting that the National Garden Bureau has specified 2015 as The Year of the Gaillardia.

Read More
Athena Brazil Salvia 'Brazilian Purple'

February 18, 2015

ForemostCo And Athena Brazil Unite To Supply Unrooted P…

ForemostCo, Inc. and Athena Brazil have forged a working relationship to support each other in the unrooted perennial cuttings market for North America. The partnership, geared toward accommodating increasing demand for unrooted perennial cuttings in North America, adds diversity to a recently consolidated market.

Read More
Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo'

February 17, 2015

Geranium Hybrid ‘Biokovo’ Dubbed 2015 Peren…

Geranium xcantabrigiense ‘Biokovo,' a naturally occurring hybrid of G. dalmaticum and G. macrorrhizum, is the Perennial Plant Association's top pick for 2015 Perennial of the Year. Learn why this tough, landscape geranium took home the prize.

Read More
Lychnis 'Petitie Jenny'

February 2, 2015

Variety Showcase: A Dainty Debutante

Lychnis flos-cuculi ‘Petite Jenny’ is a dwarf form of the popular Blooms of Bressingham® variety Lychnis ‘Jenny.’ This double-flowered little beauty was discovered by Paul Gooderham at Bressingham in a patch of its parent, ‘Jenny.’ ‘Petite Jenny’ produces masses of large, fluffy, double flowers like ‘Jenny,’ but with a more diminutive habit. The species goes by the common name “ragged robin,” but there’s nothing unkempt about ‘Petite Jenny’. An easy-to-grow, tidy little plant, it is suitable for any sunny or lightly shaded border and is also a good container candidate. Garden Performance Mass of bright pink double blooms beginning in mid-May. Sterile blooms provide a longer flowering period Erect, leafy flowering stems Forms compact, bushy clumps just 14” tall with an 18” spread Attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and is deer-resistant Ideal for containers, front of borders, informal cottage gardens and as cut flowers’ Sun or part shade USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to […]

Read More

July 29, 2014

PlantHaven Introduces New Whetman Dianthus Varieties Fo…

PlantHaven introduces three new Whetman dianthus varieties for 2015.

Read More

June 26, 2012

Fruit Punch Dianthus Kicks Up Proven Winners’ Pro…

Proven Winners has announced the release of the Fruit Punch series of hardy dianthus in USDA Zones 4 to 9. This crop is easy to produce and provides color on retail shelves from late spring into summer, often reblooming in fall for the home gardener. Members of this series are all fully double and fragrant, blooming in rich shades of deep red, pink and bicolor flowers. Dianthus ‘Apple Slice’ and Dianthus ‘Coconut Punch’ produce bicolor flowers with deep red edges and pink or white petals. Both of these cultivars are about 10-to-12 inches tall and offer longer flower stems, which are great for cut flowers. Dianthus ‘Black Cherry Wild’ and Dianthus ‘Pomegranate Kiss’ are shorter, more compact cultivars that stand just 6 inches tall in full bloom. D. ‘Black Cherry Wild’ produces deep-velvety-red flowers with a very thin white edge. D. ‘Pomegranate Kiss’ offers unique almost tie-dyed looking flowers in […]

Read More

February 24, 2012

PlantHaven Introduces New Scent First Pot Selection Fro…

Dianthus ‘Coral Reef’ is a new Scent First pot selection from Whetman Pinks. ‘Coral Reef’ boasts a mass of spicy, deep-coral flowers with white picotee on short, sturdy stems. Like all varieties in The Scent First series, this variety joins a family of fragrant, bushy and perpetually-flowering plants. The glaucous foliage forms a compact habit with a height and spread of 8 to 10 inches. No vernalization is required for blooming. Dead head and feed ‘Coral Reef’ regularly to encourage fast repeat blooming from May through September. This dianthus is ideally suited for containers, borders, mass landscape planting or cut flowers. For more information about Dianthus Coral Reef, visit PlantHaven.com or email new.plants@planthaven.com.

Read More

December 21, 2011

Dianthus ‘Early Bird Radiance’ From PlantHa…

Dianthus ‘Early Bird Radiance’ has rich crimson blooms supported on sturdy, upright stems. The Early Bird series are early, long-flowering and fragrant. Masses of double blooms are borne above the dense, mounding, grassy blue-green foliage with a flowering height of approximately 9 inches. Spring or autumn planted baskets or containers will repeat flower all summer if dead headed and fed regularly. No vernalization required for blooming and they are hardy to USDA Zone 5 (-20°F or -28°C). Plants thrive best in loose, well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soils in full sun or part shade. Early Bird dianthus can be used as border plants, in containers or as cut flowers. With a clove fragrance, this selection attracts butterflies and has the added bonus of being deer resistant. For more information about Dianthus Radiance, visit www.planthaven.com or email new.plants@planthaven.com.

Read More