I’m Charlie Nardozzi and this is
the Vermont Garden Journal. With cold weather lingering, there’s nothing better
than thinking about the garden center in May with all the colorful annual
flower varieties decorating the plant racks. When putting together a hanging
basket, container or garden bed, there are lots of annual flower choices to
use. Here are a few new varieties to look for in your garden center this
The small flowered calibrochoas
look great in containers. They have mini, petunia-like flowers on cascading
plants that don’t need deadheading and can tolerate some shade. ‘Lemon Slice’
is a beauty with flower petals painted in a pinwheel pattern of white and
‘Samantha’ is a new yellow flowered variety with variegated white
leaves that adds even more interest to this heavy bloomer. ‘Can ‘Can Dark
Purple’ has almost jet black flowers that contrast well with the green foliage.
Speaking of petunias, there’s a new
variety,’ Blue a Fuse’, that features white and blue petaled flowers with a
touch of cream. The best part of this variety is the color patterns vary from
flower to flower so it’s like having many different varieties all in one.
Alyssum is a favorite low growing,
spreading annual flower. The new ‘Frosty
Knight’ features fragrant white flowers and variegated leaves making the plant
appear like a snow storm in summer.
If you love begonias, but don’t
have the shade necessary for them to grow well, try ‘Whopper’. This new variety
has reddish-orange flowers, and blooms as well in full sun as it does in shade.
Finally, ‘cleome’ or spider flower, is a favorite annual growing 3 to 4 feet
tall. However, it self-sows readily becoming a weed in your garden. ‘Senorita
Blanca’ solves that problem by producing only sterile seeds that can’t
germinate and it’s thornless, too.
Now for this week’s tip: having a hard time getting those seeds to
germinate indoors? Try growing the pots on a heating mat. These mats are water
proof and provide the warm soil temperature seeds need to sprout fast.
Next week I’ll be talking about
parsley and cilantro. Until then, I’ll be seeing you in the garden.