Garden Clippings

| January 2007

Besides being a time to start fresh and resolve to do or not do certain things, to gardeners, this time of year means the mailbox will be brimming with new nursery catalogs. It also means that the winning plants from All-America Selections (AAS) have been released. And this year, AAS – an organization based in Downers Grove, Ill. – has selected four winning plants for 2007.

AAS is also celebrating its 75-year anniversary by honoring five past winners that have proven to be truly remarkable improvements for gardeners.

This years’ winners include two bedding plants – ‘Pacifica Burgundy Halo’ vinca and ‘Opera Supreme Pink Morn’ petunia; one flower – ‘Fresh Look Gold’ celosia; and one vegetable – ‘Holy Molé’ pepper.

‘Pacifica Burgundy Halo’ is a vinca that sports large, 2-inch blooms with large white centers and a burgundy halo surrounding the eye of white. This plant will grow 10 to 12 inches tall with a similar spread, which makes it a great, eye-catching choice for a container in a sunny location. Vinca is my choice of plant for those hot locations, because they seem to thrive in such locations with minimal care.

‘Opera Supreme Pink Morn’ petunia is my kind of flower. Pruning and deadheading are not a requirement of this plant for it to continue its handsome ways throughout the season. Glistening pink blooms cover this trailing plant all through the season. This type of petunia will only grow to 4 to 6 inches tall, but can have a spread up to 3 feet given a proper, sunny location. I can close my eyes and see ‘Opera Supreme Pink Morn’ as a welcome addition to a mass planting in the front of the border. I can also picture it as a container plant, because of the plant’s unique bloom color.

‘Fresh Look Gold’ celosia was selected as this year’s flower winner. This plumed celosia was chosen for its 4-inch-long and 3-inch-wide, golden flower spikes that don’t turn brown and fade as the season progresses. This “fresh look” keeps a gardener from that dreadful chore of deadheading. ‘Fresh Look Gold’ will grow to about a foot tall with a similar spread.

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