Jun 26, 2019
Industry Top Picks in GeorgiaBy Jasmina Dolce

Each year, the University of Georgia welcomes members of the industry along with the general public to tour its spectacular trial gardens.

Led by John Ruter and managed by Brandon Coker, the gardens showcase plants from almost every breeding company in the world. Its primary functions are to research and teach, and to evaluate new crop introductions.

A main stop along the annual Southern Plant Tour, the UGA Trial Garden Open House took place this year on June 5. Brandon Coker said, “I cannot tell you how many people have said this is the best garden in years in terms of color and overall vigor. I have found this surprising because I thought last year could not be topped.”

According to Coker, weather leading up to the open house was very hot and dry during the month of May. The temperature reached over 90° F on 15+ days. On the day of the open house, weather was cool and overcast in the morning — but quite muggy — and the sun was out with 90° F the remainder of the day.

More than 50 industry professionals attended the open house — from breeding companies, local landscapers, local colleges and universities, and more. Each attendee was given 10 flags used to pick the 10 plants they liked best.

This year, there was an obvious winner: Echinacea ‘Sombrero Tres Amigos’ from Darwin Perennials. The other plants on the list below were the remaining top plants (in no particular order).

Echinacea ‘Sombrero Tres Amigos’
Darwin Perennials

Echinacea Sombrero Tres Amigos - Darwin

Agapanthus 6-5
Dr. John Ruter, University of Georgia

Agapanthus - Georgia

Portulaca ‘Pazazz Apricot’

Portulaca Pazazz Apricot - Danziger

Petunia ‘Headliner Dark Saturn’

Petunia Headliner Dark Saturn

Leucanthemum ‘Early Daisy White’
Dümmen Orange

Leucanthemum Early Daisy White - Dummen

Dahlia ‘City Lights Purple’

Dahlia City Lights Purple - Selecta

Agastache ‘Poquito Butter Yellow’
Terra Nova Nurseries

Agastache Poquito Butter Yellow - Terra Nova

Petunia ‘Supertunia Mini Indigo’
Proven Winners

Petunia Supertunia Mini Indigo - Proven Winners

Lantana ‘Lucky Sunrise Rose’
Ball FloraPlant

Lantana Lucky Sunrise Rose - Ball

Salvia ‘Grandstand Red Pink Lipstick’
Green Fuse Botanicals

Salvia Grandstand Red Pink Lipstick - Green Fuse

Begonia ‘Betulia Red’
Ball Ingenuity

Begonia Betulia Red - Ball Ingenuity

Have you grown or trialed any of the above varieties? How did they perform in your region? Shoot me an email at [email protected] 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 [email protected]

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