Combination baskets — mixing plants that years of research show have complimentary colors, habits, flowering time and longevity — have been all the rage in recent years at the California Spring Trials. When viewing the displays at the Trials, the fictional Lake Wobegon comes to mind, where “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking and all the children are above average.” In the case of California Spring Trials, all the plants are significantly above average.
So how would some of the magnificent combination plantings fare in the real world, with a little more heat and perhaps a few storms? In the real world, these combinations would be planted and maintained by people who may not really know what they are doing. About as far from the coast of California as one can go, I have just the real-world place to test all these plants — the Trial Gardens at UGA. I am always blown away by their beauty in California, and I look forward to providing exposure to such efforts, so we receive, plant per directions, hang them in the gardens and watch.
By the time you read this, lots of people will have visited, and they will have their own grades concerning the plants’ performance. As for me, right now, I am quite impressed. No doubt there are some combinations that are more eye catching than others. Some are fuller than others, some likely won’t persist as well as others, but in the main, they keep getting better. I should note that I was not at all impressed last year.
Here are just a few photo examples of our trials, but you can see and learn more about this on GGTV at GreenhouseGrower.com/July2012. It is early, and Greenhouse Grower and I will provide updates throughtout the season.
Please come visit our Lake Wobegon in beautiful Athens, Ga. The official open house is June 20, but it is open anytime. Bring your notepaper and a camera.