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In Your Garden: New and newsworthy flowers

Gardeners are drooling over the 2014 seed catalogs. There are so many new flowers and shrubs, and we want them all. Here are a few new annuals and perennials to look for.

Glimmer Heatwave Salvia is happy even in hot dry conditions. That’s because part of the Heatwave series were bred in Australia. This one gets 2 to 3 feet tall. The creamy, blush tipped blooms really show up against the nearly black stems.

For begonia lovers, look for Crackling Fire Red Begonia.  She is not only easy to grow, but are loaded with flowers, and have a sturdy, upright habit that prevents breakage. It will also grow in full or part sun.

Heavenly Blue petunia is the next generation of petunia breeding. It creates a perfect marriage of color, habit and performance. They grow fast and bloom all summer till a hard frost. For a petunia with a flat habit, there is Supertunia Flamingo. She is heat tolerant and disease resistant and will grow 8 to 16 inches tall and 2 feet wide.

Then there is the petunia’s little cousin, in looks anyhow, the calibrachoa. Superbells have bright, large blooms.  They are disease resistant and heat tolerant. A new color, Pomegranate Punch, is a true deep red with a black-red center and a yellow throat. This plant is a perfect container flower, with a mounding habit, getting 10 to 14 inches tall and spreading 14 to 18 inches wide. The brighter colors attract hummingbirds that come for a sip.

If you like catmint but not the wild, sloppy look, Cat’s Meow is for you. It is tidy, dense and stays nice and rounded all season. It is low maintenance, drought tolerant, deer resistant, and long blooming with well-branched stems of sky-blue flowers. A perennial that looks good all season. It is 20 inches tall and up to 3 feet wide.

If you need a tall accent plant in your flowerbed, try Glamour Girl Border Phlox. It is powdery, and mildew resistant, unlike many of its sisters. She blooms 3 feet tall with hot coral-pink panicles on dark purple stems.  Give her room as she gets up to 2 feet wide. A zone 3 girl.

If you love delphiniums, but can’t keep them from fainting in strong winds, the New Millennium Dwarf Stars delphinium is your girl. She blooms in all the colors of her taller cousins, purple, pink, blue, mauve, lilac and cream, but gets less than 2 feet tall. She doesn’t need staking and is hardy to zone 3.

If you need yellow and red accents, look to the coreopsis. Daybreak has red petals with gold tips. It is a little girl, only 8 to 10 inches tall.  She blooms from late May through to October. Red Satin, her taller sister, is 15 to 18 inches tall and up to 2 feet wide. She is deep wine to ruby red with orange centers. She blooms in late summer, needs to be cut back in midsummer to keep blooming until frost.

Don’t drool on the pictures in the catalogs. Makes it too hard to separate the pages when they dry. The local nurseries will have many if not all of these plants come spring. They probably drooled too when they saw them.

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