Outstanding Annuals 2012


Annuals play a big role in my garden. They take the heat in stride, bloom all summer long and provide a punch of color wherever there is a lag. Perennials don't do that, and neither do shrubs. Some make more of a splash than others and those are the ones I'll be talking about here.
Passiflora 'Clear Skies'
I haven't grown passion flower before, but I won't be shying away from it anymore. Passiflora 'Clear Skies' shows up nicely against its dark green foliage. It has a light fragrance, which has convinced me that it should be sited closer to the house next time I plant it. It seems to love hot weather and a regular feeding with a water soluble plant food. 

 
Cleome 'Seniorita Blanca'
My garden will never be without Cleome, partially because it reseeds prodigiously. It also attracts hummingbirds, which I think of as one of the highlights of gardening. When Proven Winners sent me two plants of Cleome 'Seniorita Blanca' to try, I plopped them in the perimeter zone of the Monarda 'Raspberry Wine' for a complete hummingbird buffet. Not only did they hold their own, they formed a serious clump in the garden and provided an accent for everything nearby and lured the resident hummingbirds in for a midday nectar snack.
 
The introduction by Proven Winners of Calibrachoa 'Lemon Slice' is quite a breakthrough, as it's labeled the first striped Calibrachoa. And as far as I can determine, there has never been a yellow and white striped petunia before, either. I combined the plants sent to me to try together in a pot with another Proven Winners introduction, Lantana Luscious Berry Blend.  Both were did well, the Lantana with little deadheading.
Calibrachoa 'Lemon Slice'
There is something refreshing about a yellow and white flower, and Calibrachoa 'Lemon Slice' is no exception. Its flowers are as perky as a Frangipani, which I've not yet tried to grow. But as easy to grow and as long-blooming as 'Lemon Slice' has been, I'm okay with that.

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