Oct 23, 2018
University of Georgia’s 2018 Award Winners By Jasmina Dolce

As fall is in full swing and winter is quickly approaching, many of the country’s trial gardens are coming to a close — if they haven’t already. Some, like the University of Georgia, stay open all year! I love going through each trial’s results and seeing if any of my favorites ranked high.

I recently received the results from the University of Georgia’s 2018 trial garden. They dub their top trial performers the “Classic City Award Winners.”

The trial garden provides a great source of ideas and information for students, gardeners and industry professionals. New varieties of annuals and perennials are put to the test to find those that stand up to Southeastern heat and humidity — two factors that can be quite challenging for plant performance. And all of this year’s Classic City Award Winners flourished and stood up to the heat.

To learn more about the University of Georgia trial garden, click here.

For now, here’s a handful of the 2018 award winners. For a full list, go to http://ugatrial.hort.uga.edu.

Begonia ‘Canary Wings’
Ball Ingenuity

Begonia Canary Wings

Shady garden areas become bright and vibrant with the addition of begonia ‘Canary Wings’. It boasts chartreuse leaves and bright red flowers. It is an exceptional plant for both containers and in-ground plantings.

Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Holy Smokes!’
Proven Winners

Calibrachoa Superbells Holy Smokes

Summer longevity is a must in the Southeast, as the growing season can be stretched out over 25 weeks. Holy Smokes! maintained interest throughout the whole season with its white petals that seem to be painted with purple and blue swatches and yellow centers.

New Guinea impatiens ‘Harmony Radiance Hot Pink’

New Guinea impatiens Harmony Radiance Hot Pink

This plant was grown in a location getting no more than four hours of sun in the morning, and it thrived. In the South, where so many mature landscapes need color under trees, this plant will light up those dark corners with exceptional color.

Geranium ‘Calliope Large Rose Mega Splash’
Syngenta Flowers

Geranium Calliope Large Rose Mega Splash

Geraniums are typically a hit or miss in the South. ‘Calliope Large Rose Mega Splash’ topped the list with super showy pink petals and rose starbursts. This plant will please in containers, hanging baskets or in-ground plantings. Production of flowers was non-stop.

Euphorbia ‘Crystal White’
Green Fuse Botanicals

Euphorbia is a well-known landscape plant, especially in hot parts of the country. ‘Crystal White’ has a desirable shape that is about half the size of other popular varieties on the market. Only about a foot tall, it packs a punch with flower production and has very tight branching.

Gaillardia ‘SpinTop Red Starburst’
Dümmen Orange

Gaillardia SpinTop Red Starburst

The flowers on this plant exude color with their red centers that burst into a red-orange and finish with bright yellow tips. This plant would make an excellent border plant or container planting.

Coleus ‘ColorBlaze Torchlight’
Proven Winners

Torchlight has superior qualities from its lush red and hot pink veined leaves to its seemingly indestructible growth habit. The plant was very responsive to trimming. Every time it was pruned, new leaves came back with increased color.

Salvia ‘Skyscraper Pink’

Salvia Skyscraper Pink

‘Skyscraper Pink’ is a novel plant that attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The flowers burst forth with a pale magenta calyx followed by a bright pink corolla that emerges to tower over the lush dark green foliage on this unique cultivar.

Are you growing any of these plants in your greenhouse? Which ones have been successful performers in your region? Shoot me an email at jdolce@greatamericanpublish.com, and let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

— Jasmina


Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at jdolce@greatamericanpublish.com.