Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Choose outstanding flowers for your floral designs. You can’t go wrong with award winning varieties. These are also very suitable for cut flower
gardens. The following are highly recommended.
Peony Buckeye Belle
This was named Peony of the Year for 2011 by the American Peony Society. This group has been around for over a hundred years.
Buckeye Belle is hardy to zone three or four. Reaching over 2˝ feet in height with about a matching width, this has large, attractive, healthy foliage.
The blooms are semi-doubles. They’re deep maroon with the outer petals being somewhat larger. These open early to mid-season.
This variety was also named a Gold Medal Peony during 2010. This has been around since the 1950’s. Buckeye Belle’s name refers to the fact that it made its debut at Belle Center, Ohio where it was introduced by Walter Mains.
Award Winning Penstemons
Several penstemons received various kinds of awards. Red Riding Hood was named a best performer at the Dallas Botanical Garden plant trials.
The Tubular Bells series of Penstemon hartwegii did very well during trials. Wine Red Tubular Bells received a Fleuroselect Novelty award. New for 2011, this perennial blooms the first year from seed. Nearly 1˝ feet in height, it has a spread of about a foot or so. It is hardy to zone seven. These plants are quite tolerant of heat. The species is native to the American prairie. These are vigorous upright plants. The spectacular blooms look like shining jewels. They’re especially large, and as the name describes are deep wine red. They have prominent white throats.
The Carillo series of Penstemon x mexicali received two Fleuroselect Novelty awards. New for 2011, the Purple and Rose were award winners. These are about a foot tall with a matching spread. Hardy to zone five, they bloom the first year from seed. Bred from a prairie plant, these are tolerant of drought and heat. The much branched plants are upright and wide spreading. These feature very attractive, clean, healthy, deep green leaves. They start blooming during the early summer.
In addition to these two colors, there is also a Carillo Purple. This has
purple blooms with white throats. Carillo Rose has lovely medium to pastel pink blooms with white throats.