All-America Selection winners include new salvia, coneflower and groundcover Shasta daisy
|Carpet Angel is a new groundcover Shasta daisy, among the just-announced 2023 All-America Selections perennial winners. (Photos courtesy All-America Selections)|
Gardeners are always looking ahead. We have to! It takes time to go from seed to bloom or harvest.
So, in the middle of Summer 2022, we’re looking forward to Summer 2023 and the new varieties we’ll see (and grow) next year.
Whetting our appetite for new flowers is the announcement this week of the first 2023 All-America Selections winners. The AAS committee dribbles out its winners list, and the first to be revealed are three perennials that are improvements on old favorites.
National perennial winner is a pretty blue sage that can handle both extreme cold and blast-furnace heat. Blue By You salvia ( https://tinyurl.com/m5bm86cd ), developed by Chicago-based Darwin Perennials, offers six months of bloom with little effort.
|Blue By You salvia is a national AAS winner.|
A hybrid between Salvia nemorosa and Salvia pratensis , Blue by You is a bee magnet. It needs average irrigation and grows about 20 to 22 inches tall. Another plus: Deer don’t like it.
Two regional winners also were revealed: A hybrid coneflower and a groundcover Shasta daisy.
Artisan Yellow Ombre echinacea ( https://tinyurl.com/5xyxwy6w ), developed by PanAmerican Seed (which does a lot of plant breeding and testing in Yolo County), is an improved coneflower with strong, straight stems – great for cutting. Named the Southeast and Northwest regional winner, it grows 24 to 30 inches tall and blooms continuously for months.
(Both Darwin Perennials and PanAmerican Seed are part of Ball Horticultural.)
“Artisan Yellow Ombre is a great plant for anyone wanting vibrant color all season long in their perennial garden, or to use as a cut flower,” says the AAS committee.
Artisan Yellow Ombre coneflower was named a regional winner.
Other colors in the Artisan series of coneflowers (so far) include Red Ombre and Soft Orange.
The most unusual All-America Selection winner may be the groundcover Shasta daisy Carpet Angel ( https://tinyurl.com/5n873mun ); it was named the West regional winner. The only AAS winner of its kind, it’s also the first AAS winner for breeder Green Fuse Botanicals of Santa Paula, Calif.
“Green Fuse Botanicals’ First Light Perennials is a program of first-year flowering perennials that are day-length neutral, meaning earlier blooms that continue all season long,” explains the AAS committee. “Large 3-inch flowers boast a second inner frilly bloom adding to the unique look of Carpet Angel.
"Growing only to a height of 6 inches, this unique Leucanthemum can act as a groundcover spreading up to 20 inches wide. Fantastic branching on this new AAS winner means more flower stems sporting beautiful pure white blooms that look like angels dancing over a carpet of dark green foliage. A little deadheading of spent flowers will reward you with even more blooms.”
Look for these plants in nurseries and plant catalogs next spring.
Learn more about All-America Selections and how these plants were tested: https://all-americaselections.org/ .
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Dig In: Garden Checklist
For week of March 26:
Sacramento can expect another inch of rain from this latest storm. Leave the sprinklers off at least another week. Temps will dip down into the low 30s early in the week, so avoid planting tender seedlings (such as tomatoes). Concentrate on these tasks before or after this week’s rain:
* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.
* Knock off aphids with a strong blast of water or some bug soap as soon as they appear.
* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.
* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.
* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.
* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to help corral blossom blight.
* Feed citrus trees, which are now in bloom and setting fruit.
To prevent sunburn and borer problems on young trees, paint the exposed portion of the trunk with diluted white latex (water-based) interior paint. Dilute the paint with an equal amount of cold water before application.
* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.
* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.
* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.
* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.
* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.
* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.
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