Proven Winners - Some of the Best and Brightest

Pat Seibel shows off one of the humongous planters he
designed for The Grand Garden Show on Mackinac Island.
As I mentioned yesterday, I visited Four Star, the biggest supplier of Proven Winners annuals. Pat Seibel, who is in charge of the display gardens, took me through the grounds and introduced me to the newest and best varieties.

There is a new Lobularia in Proven Winners town, bred to be even more heat tolerant than the "Princess" series, 'White Knight' also boasts a more compact and reserved habit.

Although not a new introduction, 'White Knight's' brother Lobularia 'Frosty Knight' really caught my attention. With variegated foliage, it's a little less floriferous, but more than makes up for it by its ability to brighten up a mixed container.

Lobularia 'White Knight'
Lobularia 'Frosty Knight'
Lobularia 'Frosty Knight' up close

Lobularia 'Frosty Knight' with Nemesia 'Sunsatia Lemon'

Pat is also in charge of creating the dozens of mixed planters lining a long pergola on the grounds. Visitors were asked to vote for their favorites, and it's a good thing, the form held five blanks for each example, because it was hard to choose.
Many of the combination planters held new varieties, or those that were best-sellers or great performers, especially in the Midwest. One of the benefits of putting together the mixed planters is to learn which plants tend to become "thuggish" when mixed with less vigorous varieties. One of my favorites included Dichondra 'Silver Falls' and Begonia 'Gryphon' flanking a Calibrachoa. The way it was designed prevented any one of them from overwhelming the others.
Dichondra 'Silver Falls', Calibrachoa Superbells 'Pomegranate Punch' and Begonia 'Gryphon'.

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