Friday, August 19, 2016

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2017 Flower Fashion Forecast

Whether it's fashion, interior design or gardens, colors change dramatically from one season to the next . That's one of the things that makes gardening so creative and so much fun. There's always something new to try.

I recently had the privilege of attending "Cultivate" (an industry show in Columbus, Ohio) and visiting Ball Field Day (West Chicago, Il.). These are top venues to see what's new and trending in annuals. Here are some of the plant fashions that caught my eye.


Petunia and Callibrachoa ("callies") breeding continues to give us new forms, sizes and colors. Perfect example - PanAmerican's Sophistica Lime Green is just an extraordinary color! If Hydrangea paniculata 'Little Lime' sales are any indicator of lime's popularity then many people will be swooning over this gorgeous petunia of similar coloration.


Instant combinations simplify creating stunning containers and hanging baskets. Hundreds of combinations have been pre-designed for you. For example, "callies" of different colors OR different annuals of the same, but harmonious, color families are pre-planted together. You buy the combos in 6" (or larger) pots early in the season and "drop" them into your decorative container. Voila! If you consider yourself to be color-challenged a designer look is finger snapping easy with "instant combos".


Angelonia (Summer Snapdragon) has been at the top of my favorite annuals list for a long time. I love its: heat tolerance, height, range of wonderful colors and, of course, the flower longevity. Each bloom spike literally lasts for weeks. There are many different series out there, but I was knocked out by BallFloraPlant's Archangel Cherry Red. Killer.


Canna is a plant I remember from my grandfather's garden. Well, cannas are ba-a-a-c-c-c-k and better than ever. They're easy, forgiving of neglect, although they really show off when kept moist. Cannas make a bold statement with their huge leaves (green or bronze options) and big sassy flowers. They endear themselves to novice and veteran gardeners alike by flourishing in the most intense heat. Now, instead of planting big tubers there are new series being grown from seed which means you get knockout effect with easy planting of 4" or 6" pots. Cool!
   

Begonia diversity is astonishing. With Impatiens Downy Mildew still a raging reality any annual with shade tolerance (or preference) is in big demand. So, hybridizers have been busybusybusy creating begonias with results that we can all enjoy in our gardens.


Celosia (Cockscomb), especially the crested varieties, intrigue me to death. Their convoluted texture always reminds me of velvet brains. I dare you to grow them and not ever touch them. Impossible. They're way too irresistible in a tactile way. Check out the designer varieties above.



Coleus, coleus everywhere at both venues. While they thrive in partial shade breeders are succeeding with more sun tolerance. Versatile in pots or beds there's a coleus for everyone now. Coleus are for foliage so just keep those flower buds pinched off before they open and drop little blue flowers around!


Vinca (aka Flowering Vinca or Periwinkle) can be confusing. There's the annual vinca vine, hardy evergreen ground cover Vinca minor and annual flowering vinca. If you have hot sites that sometimes don't get watered as often as they should annual vinca should be a prime consideration. That's Catharanthus roseus if you're Googling already. They mound nicely and shed their spent flowers so there is virtually no maintenance. The secret is not to rush spring. Plant them in late May when you feel safe to put tomato plants out. Again, hybridizers have done wonderful things including both larger and smaller-flowered varieties.

Be a garden fashionista next spring and try what's new. Family and friends will definitely notice your new garden look. Honest, they will.

  










1 comment:

  1. This is a great venue. I was here for a party and there was so much food and it was all done so well! The decor and food both were amazing. Personally, I think the space at event space Chicago is laid out really well and the size of the venue keeps pulling great parties.

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