Top Flowers by Engh Floral

Angelface® Blue

Angelonia angustifolia hybrid

Summer Snapdragon

A great new series for Proven Winners, these Angelonias have been bred for flower performance as well as a great upright branching growth habit. Large flower size and garden performance make these an exciting addition to our summer flowering collection. Angelonias in containers make full blooming specimen plants that are great for the patio and yard. Planted in the landscape, Angelonias will WOW gardeners with their beautiful shape and structure and will flower well into the fall. The flower stems also are great for making vase arrangements providing enjoyment for 10 days or more.

I’ve said it a thousand times – I am a plant nerd. I am constantly falling in love with new plant introductions. Still, I am discriminating. I shy away from anything that strays to far from the original. Over hybridized blooms in fancy shapes and colors leave me cold. I guess that is why I am so fond of how plant breeders have improved angelonia or summer snapdragon. The new varieties are better performers than their parents, but they are not so changed that they are unrecognizable as angelonia.

Angelonia looks like a perennial, but blooms with the abundance of an annual. The tall spikes of small orchid shaped flowers are reminiscent of some of my favorite cottage garden plants such as larkspur, foxglove and salvia. Unlike these more traditional mixed border blooms, the spires of angelonia are sturdy and don’t require staking.

Duration Annual
Bloom
Time
Planting
to Hard Frost
Zone(s) Annual
except in zones 10-11
Hardy
Temp
30°F
(-1°C)
Exposure Full
Sun
Flower
Color
Blue-purple
Foliage
Color
Green
Water
Needs
Normal
Height 18-24″
(medium)
Growing
Tips
Self-cleaning,
no dead-
heading necessary
Maintenance Easy
Spacing 12-14″
Habit Upright
Uses Landscapes
and containers

Use in combinations, window boxes and landscaping


Calibrachoa – Superbells

The Calibrachoa Superbells ® Blue, ‘Calibrachoa hybrids’, is a fantastic annual hybrid from Proven Winners. Calibrachoa is very similar to a minature Petunia. This vigorous fast growing plant produces hundreds of vividly colored blue flowers that bloom from spring until first frost. Calibrachoa Superbells are easy to grow. Place them in full sun, shade will severely limit the number of flowers. Superbells can be grown in patio pots, window boxes and in beds. Calibrachoa are popular for hanging baskets because of their cascading habit. Superbells are self cleaning, you do not have to pinch off spent flowers. Superbells Calibrachoa is more heat resistant than most of the Calibrachoas. It can take the heat of hot southern summers making it a good replacement for petunias, and they can be perennial in zones 7 and warmer. You can expect hummingbirds to visit your garden when you plant Calibrachoa because they love the large trumpet shaped flowers and it’s good nectar source.

For zones 9-11, this plant can also be a perennial.

Plant Facts

Mature Height: 6-10″
Mature Spread 24-36″
Mature Form: Trailing
Growth Rate Fast
Sun Exposure Full Sun – Partial Sun
Soil Moisture Widely Adaptable
Soil Type Widely Adaptable
Flower Color Blue
Foliage Color Gren
Zones 3 – 11


Intensia Phlox

Phlox seem to be blooming everywhere now, already making the springtime sizzle. The two you mostly see are the creeping Phlox subulata and the Louisiana phlox, or Wild Sweet William, known botanically as Phlox divaricata.

The Intensia phlox series blooms from early spring until fall frost. Because of this long bloom season, the bright colors of Lavender Glow, Lilac Rose, Neon Pink and Cabernet have an endless choice of companion plants.

How would you like to have a phlox that starts blooming in the early spring and lasts until fall frosts? Though this seems pretty far-fetched, if you visited the Fall Flower and Garden Fest in Crystal Springs last year, you may have noted the prettiest flowers were a group of phlox. There were about four colors in the Intensia phlox series that caused the commotion.

The Intensia series is brought to us by Proven Winners and was among the top two or three plants in trials across the country. In our trials, it bloomed from spring until frost. The parentage of this new phlox has not really been made public, though it’s pretty much known to be a Phlox drummondii, the annual phlox native to Texas.

But this is where it gets confusing. The Phlox drummondii is seed produced and is normally a spring and early summer bloomer. The Intensia series is vegetatively produced, packed with vigor and blooms as a tiny plant and keeps blooming all season. In many cases it has taken on perennial qualities.

If you have been to the Fall Flower and Garden Fest, then you have noticed that we plant just about everything on raised beds. As I write this, we are expecting another downpour of 2 to 3 inches of rain similar to what occurred a couple days ago. We had more than 6 inches of rain in January and again that much in February. Raised beds really help the water get in and out without causing root rot problems.

Whether you want the great new Intensia phlox, Mystic Spires Blue salvia or some of the new lantanas, you need good drainage and aeration for your plants.

The colors in the Intensia series are bright. Look for Lavender Glow, Lilac Rose, Neon Pink and Cabernet. Because of this long bloom season, choices of companion plants are endless. For much of the season they will be 10- to 12-inches tall, getting slightly taller by fall.

At this height, plant in drifts perhaps in front of gloriosa-type daises like Indian Summer or Prairie Sun. Plant drifts next to Becky Shasta daisies, Magnus purple coneflowers or lime green forms of coleus. This long season of bloom allows them to be partnered with yellow lantanas, so look for the new Lucky Pot of Gold or Lucky Yellow.

If you can’t find the Intensia series at your garden center, watch for the new Astoria series coming from Suntory and Jackson and Perkins. These, too, have been performing well in trials and are vegetatively propagated.

With all the new plants arriving at your local garden center, you have to admit it is a great time to be a gardener

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