12
September
2011

Summer Trials

trial_gardenA few weeks ago we attended several of the garden trials held by the growers and universities in Michigan. Garden trials offer growers like me an opportunity to see the new cultivars in their mature form, and to talk directly with the breeders and propagators about their plants.

Here are some highlights from this year’s trial gardens:


BIG SERIES OF BEGONIAS

begonias

We have a special fondness for Begonias here at Diefenbacher, so we are very interested in the Big Series, which truly is BIG—bigger blooms and bigger foliage. Plants are more vigorous, which makes them wonderful for landscaping. In the ground, Big Series Begonias fill out a space—they’ve got volume. As with most Begonias in this class, they can tolerate both shade and sun.


ANGELONIAS

angelonias

Extensively trialed at Rakers, the Serena Series is great for taller applications. Plants have a smaller bloom, so use lots of them for coverage. ‘Angel Mist Spreading’ works well for a lower planting—it holds its blooms above the foliage for a nice presentation of color.


DARK DAHLIAS

dahlias

‘Mystic Dreamer’ and ‘Mystic Enchantment’ are two stunning Dahlias with bright colors set against very dark foliage. The yellow version (‘Illusion’) has been an award winner at the Cincinnati Zoo for several years.

 

CLEOMES IN STYLE

cleomes

Cleomes have received new attention from the breeders, and the new cultivars have a wider color palette with stronger garden performance. In this photo, you can see ‘White’, ‘Apple Blossom’ (a blush pink), ‘Lavender’ and ‘Magenta’.

 

IMPROVED GAILLARDIAS

gaillardias

We saw a number of Gaillardias following the trend of “annualizing perennials” at Rakers. Blanket Flowers are strong plants that bloom all summer long, with little need of improvement. The difference here is that deadheads leave behind a small puff of yellow, giving plants a much longer, attractive lifespan—they look pretty good!

 

ZINNIA ‘UPROAR’

zinnia

First in a series, this variety grows about chest high and boasts a strong fuchsia color. ‘Uproar’ demonstrates a much better resistance to powdery mildew while maintaining very vigorous growth. It is a standout in color compared to other Zinnias in the bed.

 

RUDBECKIA ‘TIGER EYE’

rudbeckia

There really is no other Rudbeckia that performs so well. ‘Tiger Eye’ exhibits a long bloom time, high density of blooms, great vigor and it does not get floppy. Side-by-side comparisons just accentuate its strengths.

 

BEGONIA ‘BRAVEHEART ROSE BICOLOR’

braveheart

‘Braveheart Rose Bicolor’ is unique for a landscape Begonia. A lot of bicolors appear washed out or their color looks muted. ‘Braveheart’ looks great from a distance and even better up close. Garden performance in the trial was strong.


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Diefenbacher Greenhouses is a supplier of annuals and creative green goods. We sell directly to Garden Centers and Landscapers in the Cincinnati Area. 

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