Confetti Garden

Colorful and Dynamic Containers in Alabama By Vaughn Fletcher

These designer recipes shined at the Young’s Plant Farm trial garden in Auburn, Alabama.

I look forward to attending the Young’s Plant Farm well-organized, diverse, and comprehensive trial in late May and again in August every year. The plants are trialed in raised beds, garden planters, hanging baskets and landscape beds. The performance criteria of the trial entries includes flower number, flower quality, vigor, uniformity, heat tolerance, and insect and disease resistance. There are additional criteria when considering designer recipes: timing, color theory, uniformity and component balance.

There were over 140 breeder recipes in the container trial. The unrooted cuttings were stuck week 9, transplanted week 12 into 12-inch containers, and moved to the trial garden week 16. One salient feature of these combinations is the introduction of new and improved varieties every year, which upgrades and improves the vibrancy and stability of the flowers, as well as overall presentation and summer performance. Many of the recipes are new for 2022, and those that I have chosen to highlight were based on my early visit on week 21.

Ball FloraPlant

Ball FloraPlant MixMasters

This multi-species sun combination has been improved and upgraded for next year with the new petunia ‘CannonBall Purple’ replacing ‘SunSpun Burgundy’ and complementing the current components verbena ‘Firehouse Purple’ and calibrachoa ‘Cabaret White’. The purple and burgundy colors are enhanced by the reflective power of white creating an impactful combination. The attributes I have seen in the CannonBall series in the trials are consistent with my container trial at home. This was one of my first container plantings this spring in early April. The plants were exposed to light frost, cool night temperatures and excessive rain for two weeks and continued to grow, develop excellent lateral branching, and flower early and profusely. This series will definitely upgrade the MixMasters and promote early flowering, improved timing and season long performance. 

Green Fuse Botanicals

Green Fuse Compatibles

The Green Fuse Botanicals Compatible program offers a creative and diverse assortment of varieties designed for balance, timing, texture, early flowering and summer performance. The mono species Piñata Compatible is not new, but it has been in many regional trials the past few years and I believe it is the prototype of the Cruze Control series. The three components are calibrachoa Grape Delicious, Orange and Yellow. This combination is consistently a top performer and demonstrates earliness, which is indicative of the entire series, exceptional balance, short internodes, larger flowers and outstanding heat tolerance. The series has 19 varieties and offers a wide palette of colors and patterns. The calibrachoa market is teeming with incredible diversity and a plethora of remarkable selections, and the Cruze Control series has risen to the occasion with an exceptionally durable and unique class.

Dümmen Orange

Confetti Garden Dummen

The calibrachoa TikTok series burst onto the market last year with four multicolored and impactful varieties: Blue, Grape, Rose and White. Dümmen Orange offers a large assortment of calibrachoa classes featuring solids, bicolors, multicolors and star patterns. The TikTok series is a complete new class with a yellow starburst eye, dark center and lighter outer petals. This series grabs your attention and provides the vigor and flower power necessary in combinations and hanging baskets. Four Confetti Garden TikTok recipes have been introduced for 2022, Clockworks (pictured), Star Ship, Time for Fun and Time for Summer. Clockworks combines ‘TikTok Grape’, ‘TikTok Rose’ and verbena ‘Empress Flair White’, a semi-upright and compact variety with a controlled habit.

Selecta One

Selecta Trixi

This multi-species Trixi has been a bestseller in the program and has been upgraded for 2022 with a more compact, earlier and controlled habit, which was evident in the trial. This designer combination consists of calibrachoa ‘MiniFamous Neo White’, petunia ‘Starlet Magenta Star’ and verbena ‘Blues Magenta+Eye’. What distinguishes this Trixi from many other recipes is the texture, the contrasting and vibrant colors, and the white eye of the Neo White, which accentuates the white throat of the Blues Magenta+Eye.

Ball FloraPlant

Ball FloraPlant MixMaster

The most significant improvement in this multi species sun combo is the addition of petunia ‘Bee’s Knees’. This improved color and summer performer will replace ‘SunSpun Yellow’. The SunSpun series has been discontinued and replaced by the new CannonBall series consisting of seven vibrant colors with improved timing, earliness and compactness. Many of the new colors are components in new recipes for 2022. The additional components include calibrachoa ‘Cabaret Golden Yellow’ and the new verbena ‘Firehouse White Improved’.


Passion Combo Westhoff

Two new Chameleon mixes have been introduced for 2022, Blackberry Tart Mix and Rapunzel Mix, which was in the trial and was floriferous, well balanced and captivating. The calibrachoa world was transformed with the introduction of this series in 2016. The multicolored transitional flowers facilitated the creative application of these unique varieties in quarts, mixed containers and hanging baskets creating striking color combinations. There are more than 20 varieties in the collection, and growers chose colors that are essential components in their design strategy. The three varieties in the Rapunzel combination are Tart Deco, Pink Diamond and Blueberry Scone. These three Chameleons are top sellers. I highlighted Tart Deco in my March article last year for its vibrant yellow eye and dark pink petals, and its summer performance in regional trials. The multicolored Blueberry Scone, with dark centers, a yellow throat, and speckled white and purple petals is a showstopper. Many of the improvements and new introductions since 2016 offer a more compact basal branching habit, improved timing and greater color reflectance, creating increased brightness, color saturation and floriferousness, which results in greater visibility and increased sell through on the retail bench. The new Chameleon colors for 2022 are Avant Garden, Sunshine Berry Improved, and two new Chameleon mixes. In addition, four new Passion combinations have been added for 2022 bringing the total to 20.

Selecta One

Trixi Selecta One

This has been one of my favorite Trixis since its introduction with its striking and contrasting warm color tones. It has become one of the top selling Trixis in the program. The combination of petunia ‘Headliner Red’, the new calibrachoa ‘MiniFamous Uno Yellow+Red Vein’ and verbena ‘Lascar Mango Orange’ creates a colorful recipe that pops and radiates power and energy. The new ‘Uno Yellow+Red’ is an exciting upgrade to the previous variety. It offers darker red veination and darker yellow tones creating a subtle richness to the Trixi designer recipe. ‘Lascar Mango Orange’ possesses a two-tone mango-orange color unique among verbena varieties currently in the market, and it has demonstrated superior garden performance in previous regional trials.


Durabella Danziger

This DuraBella duo of petunias ‘Cascadia Purple Ice’ and ‘Capella Neon Pink’ manifested earliness, significant flower size, vigor and a stunning flower canopy. The semi-trailing Cascadia series has been in the market for well over 11 years with 17 unique varieties with diverse flower patterns, including rims, bicolors, picotee types and solid colors. The compact and early flowering Capella series offers 16 varieties including four new colors for 2022: Hello Yellow, Coral, Rose and Sangria. The petunias in this recipe complemented each other with the warm Neon Pink and cool Purple Ice.

Ball FloraPlant

Ball FloraPlant MixMaster

A new multi-species sun combination for 2022, Great Escape provides high impact and is vivacious and vibrant. It features calibrachoa ‘Cha Cha Diva Hot Pink’, petunia ‘Bee’s Knees’ and verbena ‘Firehouse Burgundy’. The components in this combination were outstanding performers in the trial last year and very popular in spring production programs this spring. The novel Diva Hot Pink calibrachoa was introduced for 2021 and has one of the most unique multicolored flowers in the calibrachoa market. Many of the MixMasters have been upgraded with the addition of petunia ‘Bee’s Knees’, one of the most versatile, eye-catching, and stable yellow petunias in the industry. Combining these components with the mounded verbena Firehouse has created a textural and colorful MixMaster.


Danziger Durabella

Danziger entered the breeder designer recipe program with the DuraBella series last year, and they were a significant presence in regional trials throughout the country and in spring programs. I highlighted some of the top performers in my Plant Peddler and Mast Young Plants trial articles last fall. They are composed of duo and trio component recipes and with Danziger’s extensive portfolio of genera and species, the opportunity to develop creative, contrastable and colorful combinations is substantial. The DuraBellas will be expanded in 2022 with seven additional duo plant recipes and over 20 trio plant recipes. The components of this recipe are petunia ‘Scoop Lemon’, petunia ‘Ray Fuchsia’ and calibrachoa ‘Colibri Pink Flamingo’. The timing, balance, color pattern and floriferousness of this combination was bright and vibrant.


Sakata SuperCal Mix

I have highlighted the summer performance of this interspecific series in numerous articles over the years. The SuperCal Premium series offers four new colors for 2022: Purple Dawn, Sunset Orange, Yellow Sun and Pearl White. Sakata will offer five SuperCal designer kits for 2022: Autumn Spice, Bonfire, Garden Magic, Citrus and Summer Sensation. SuperCal Premium Girl Mix is experimental but was a top performer in the trial and gave me the opportunity to showcase two of the new varieties, Yellow Sun and Pearl White. This series is well matched with basal branching, a semi-mounded habit and large flowers. The summer performance of this series is exceptional and has received high marks in trial evaluations for many years. I have evaluated late summer basket trials throughout the country, and the SuperCals stand the test of time. The series offers versatility in spring production programs with earliness, a more compact habit and larger flowers. The series demonstrates versatility with spring production in quarts, baskets and mixed containers.

Ball FloraPlant

MixMaster Ball FloraPlant

This new sun combo mono species MixMaster is composed of petunias ‘ColorRush Pink’ and ‘ColorRush White’. This is the most vigorous petunia series in the Ball FloraPlant portfolio, and it demonstrated this attribute and its propensity for prolific flowering in the trial. This dynamic duo combination is all that is required to manifest a vigorous flower canopy, exuberance and attention-grabbing color. This series now comprises nine matched colors, including Merlot Star Improved, Red and Yellow. Many of the varieties have been outstanding summer performers in large containers and landscape beds. The ColorRush series was the recipient of the University of Georgia Plant of Distinction award in 2019.


SuperCal Sakata

This SuperCal mix is also experimental, but it’s important to highlight three of the new introductions for 2022: Yellow Sun, Purple Dawn and Pearl White. This combination demonstrated the attributes of the Premium series, which are timing, radial symmetry, uniformity, large flowers, earliness and, most importantly for the consumer, intense, bright and distinctive flowers with outstanding garden performance in all regions of the country.

Dümmen Orange

Dummen Confetti Garden

This new Confetti Garden trio mix was striking, vivid and reflected texture, balance, component timing and captivating flower colors. This recipe combines petunia ‘Surprise Raspberry Jam’, a new variety for 2022, calibrachoa ‘Aloha Kona White’ and verbena ‘Empress Flair Burgundy’. The different hues of ‘Raspberry Jam’, the high saturation and richness of ‘Empress Flair Burgundy’, and highly reflective ‘Aloha Kona White’ attracted my attention. The three flower classes in this confetti garden are consequential and notable in the Dümmen Orange annual program and are utilized in many of the Confetti Garden recipes, quarts, baskets and combinations in spring programs.


Vaughn Fletcher

Vaughn Fletcher is president of Fletcher Consulting. He has been in the horticulture industry since 1971, working in many areas including landscaping, garden center and greenhouse production, greenhouse and nursery sales and sales management. He can be reached at [email protected]

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