Newest Annuals for Sun and Shade

Begonia 'Beaucoup Rose' from
Green Fuse Botanicals

Torenia Kauai Rose
Pan America Seed

I love to see what's new in the horticulture world each year, as I'm sure many gardeners do. Green Fuse Botanicals has introduced another color in its Begonia Beaucoup series. Look for 'Beaucoup Rose'--you can't go wrong if it's as good as the white version, which was covered in blooms in a hanging basket last summer on my east-facing pergola.
Ball Horticultural's Patchwork Impatiens series has introduced a lavender color, but I really like the 'Patchwork Pink' for its very noticeable central blotch that carries a deeper pink highlight to give an old-fashioned flower that certain something extra.

Speaking of shade-lovers, there's a new Torenia in town. Pan American Seed has given new meaning to the term "cutie." The entire collection of Kuai Torenia - from Burgundy to Lemon Drop - makes me want to pinch their cheeks if only they had them! Check out the series here

Impatiens 'Patchwork Pink'

 Salvia 'Summer Jewel Pink' is a compact plant that looks best when planted in large groups. I love this type of Salvia for its fragrant foliage, although it might be considered an acquired taste. This variety is an AAS Winner that is also a great hummingbird magnet. Bred by American Takii.
Salvia 'Summer Jewel Pink'

 When I had more sun I liked to grow Vinca (Catharanthus rosea). One of the first introduction in the genus, also known as Madascar Periwinkle, was called 'Peppermint Cooler', a white flower with a bright red eye. The latest introduction and All America Selections Winner for 2012 is called 'Jams 'N Jellies Blackberry'. What a drama queen! (But I mean that in a good way.)

Could there be a deeper purple in a Vinca? I doubt it. Imagine this beauty with any of the 'Bombay' Celosia, bred by Kieft-Pro-Seeds, comes in a fantastic array of colors, grows to around 2-feet tall, and makes a great cut flower. 
Vinca 'Jams 'N Jellies Blackberry'

Let's say you combine the vinca with Celosia 'Bombay Filemon', Alyssum 'Snow Princess' and Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost' from Proven Winners. Give it some added punch with Supertunia 'Pretty Much Picasso', also from Proven Winners. Of course you'd have to use a pretty big pot--at least 16" in diameter to assure you have enough room.

I just might make that combination as a demonstration for my Container Creation Workshop May 12 at Taltree Arboretrum & Gardens in Valparaiso, IN.

Celosia 'Bombay Filemon'

If you'd like to see more new plants and other garden stuff for 2012, sign up for my class on April 21. What's New for 2012: Plants and More will feature a whole range of newcomers, many of which you'll decide you just can't do without.

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