New Flower Varieties
04/08/11 5:55PM By Charlie Nardozzi
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The Vermont Garden Journal is back with weekly organic gardening advice from horticulturist Charlie Nardozzi.
There's an old saying a bride should wear something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue at her wedding. Well, you can do the same thing in your garden by selecting certain new flower varieties that are old, new, borrowed, and blue and don't have to get married. Here are a few new flower varieties that will help fulfill this vow.
Something old would be an heirloom with a new twist. Old fashioned varieties of morning glories such as 'Grandpa Ott' grace many garden fences and pillars. A new variety called 'Split Second' features the same strong growth habit, but has peony-shaped double, rose-pink flowers on 6 foot tall vines. Grow morning glories where you can see them before noon since their flowers close in the afternoon.
Here's a truly unique new annual flower. 'Senorita Rosalita' cleome grows 2- to 4-feet tall with lavender pink flowers. However, unlike other cleome it doesn't have thorns on the stems and the seeds are sterile, so they don't self sow. No more weeding out hundreds of baby cleomes each spring.
Something borrowed would be a flower that's usually a vegetable. Most people think of eating corn, but 'Field of Dreams' is an ornamental corn that grows 4- to 5-feet tall and has stunning white and green variegated leaves with a touch of rose color. It looks great planted in the back of a border or in a container.
And finally for something blue, how about 'Big Blue' sea holly. 'Big Blue' grows 30 inches tall with iridescent blue flowers and stems making this a blast of blue in your perennial garden.
For this week's tip, to keep your tomato seedlings healthy, when they're 2 and 1/2 inches tall, brush the tops back and forth 10 times daily with your hand to keep them short and stocky. They'll have less transplant shock when planted in your garden. Next week on the Vermont Garden Journal, I'll be talking about sun chokes. For now, I'll be seeing you in the garden!