Spring 2015


The Holiday Red Carpet

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Lush Poinsettias lay a multi-colored carpet in this greenhouse

It’s time to fill your Poinsettia inventory, as most of the season’s plants will be moving over the next several weeks. We grow our Poinsettias for big bracts with crisp edges for a lush, full canopy of color over the top. We have a wide selection in a number of categories so let’s take a stroll along the Red (and beyond Red) carpet in the greenhouses for a look at what’s shipping.


Back to the Future with Beacon Impatiens

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Elmer explains our bed of Beacon Impatiens at Field Day 2019

We could say that the past decade has been a quest to find an acceptable replacement for Impatiens but nothing quite fits the bill. There have been contenders—New Guineas, Begonias, and Salvias—but nothing caught on like the original. Here we settled on SunPatiens as the best work-alike, but the truth be told, nothing does the Impatiens look quite like an Impatiens. In our hearts, we want the real thing, Impatiens walleriana. We know our buyers want it as well, because we continue to grow traditional Impatiens for the people who still buy them and love them, downy mildew and all.

Now along comes the Beacon series of Impatiens from PanAmerican with new breeding that brings us back to the future: our beloved walleriana has been updated with disease resistance. Beacon represents the return of the king, armored up to face the new horde of barbarians that crowd around the garden gate.

We’ve also noticed that tucked into this regime change there is a new concept for the market: the premium Impatiens.


Colossus Pansies

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A big bloom of Pansy ‘Colossus Yellow Blotch’

Syngenta bred the Colossus Pansy for the southern market where heat is an issue during the Pansy season. Our autumns in Cincinnati are on the edge of that zone—not too hot, but close enough that we can take advantage of the edge Colossus brings to the table. There are lots of Pansy varieties out there but here are three solid reasons why we like Colossus for our area:


A New Age of Salvia

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One of five Salvia gardens grew next to the benches along the hill

If you visited our Display Beds this year you saw a lot of Salvias—a lot of cultivars with a lot of changes. We planted over 20 different varieties across five beds, the most we have done. Now, when we say changes we aren’t talking about small variances in color or size. These are significant movements into new hybrids and better specimens all around. In our opinion, the breeders have given us a New Age of Salvia.

A couple of decades ago, these choices didn’t exist. Salvias of the world were easily divided into two camps: the perennials like ‘May Night’ and ‘Caradonna’, and the annuals like the Vista series and ‘Victoria Blue’. Anything in-between was considered odd, or odds-n-ends. Back in those days the choices were snoozy, but we can’t say that anymore.


Autumn Carex (and a Juncus)

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Carex ‘Toffee Twist’ tops an autumn combination (right)

To get a better sense of the bronze Sedges like Carex ‘Toffee Twist’ and ‘Red Rooster’, let’s take a look at them compared to a Rush, Juncus ‘Blue Arrows’. These grasses like the sun, handle water fluctuations, and perform well in a wide variety of soil types—in that sense, they are the same. They can work indoors or outdoors, in containers or in landscapes. We offer them in the same 4.5-inch and one-gallon sizes. All three do the same job, but they show up to work with their own distinct habits.

Visually they are very different. ‘Blue Arrows’ is blue while the others are coppery; it is straight while the Carex are tousled. Once we see their contrasts in action, we can appreciate the uniqueness their individual quirks bring to our designs. Since they anchor so much of our autumn work we thought we’d explore their personalities.