Allan’s Choices At Imagination Canyon

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Allan's Choices At Imagination Canyon

Skagit Gardens

Helleborus Gold Collection: You have already heard a good deal about this new series of hellebores (from me at GGTV, and others) and one can’t help but be impressed.  The breakthroughs are in upward facing flowers, handsome foliage and good colors. They flower early, look wonderful in a pot and can open up an entire early season of winter and early spring sales at the retailer.  ‘Pink Frost’ and ‘Cinnamon Snow’ are among my favorites.

Coreopsis Coloropsis series: That Skagit is making a push with annual color shows how lines between annuals and perennials are becoming more blurred.  These annual coreopsis show very well in retail containers and should provide lots of punch in the garden. ’Salsa’ appears to have the best habit and flower power but ‘Fuse’ and ‘Mango also looked  good–and more are not too far away. 

Euphorbias:  Skagit has been a leader in bringing new landscape upright perennial euphorbias to the market and their display at pack trials showed them all.  Euphorbs are difficult for some growers and their landscape life may not be particularly long in some parts of the country, but they are still good additions to the landscape.  I happen to love ‘Blackbird’ and ‘Ruby Glow’ with their eye catching dark foliage, while ‘Ascot Rainbow’ provides some wonderful variegated foliage (video on GGTV). 

Florist/Northern Innovators

Garvinea gerbera: I am not a fan of gerbera daisies.  Even as a pot crop, I find them sensitive to disease, thrips and other greenhouse goodies.  That I am a lousy grower may explain some of this, but I find I am not alone in some of these complaints.  And the greenhouse gerberas have been a disaster as landscape plants in many parts of the country.  So, when I saw the Garvinea series of gerberas claiming perenniality and landscape performance … well, let’s say I was a wee bit skeptical and asked lots of questions.  And I was answered! It was a fine contest, me asking how, when, why and how, and the folks from Florist and Northern Innovators answering my every comment.  So, let’s do this.  Let’s try out these Garvinea gerberas, with lovely colors, tough foliage and perhaps, an even tougher demeanor. I signed up to do the Trial by Georgia, I recommend others do too. 

Allan Armitage (allan@greenhouse grower.com) is a professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.

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