As tradition dictates, the 2003 winners for next year’s growing season have been chosen from the following: All-America Selections, Fleuroselect and All-America Rose Selections. Judges for all three associations used a standardized grading system that scored how well the variety performed during the trialing period, measuring disease-resistance, hardiness, color and novelty in test gardens across the United States.
The unique plant feature of Agastache foeniculum
‘Golden Jubilee’ is the golden foliage that gently modulates to
lime-green on the lower leaves, creating pronounced and commanding colors in
the garden. Golden Jubilee performs well in full sun or partial shade and will
initiate buds during the long days of summer. Dense spikes of lavender-blue
florets crown the plants and contrast with its golden foliage for a striking
display. Another feature is the strong mint fragrance when leaves are crushed.
Mature plants can reach 20 inches tall and spread 10-15 inches.
‘Can Can Scarlet’ is a full-flowering, vibrant red carnation that
is bred to perform in the garden. This vigorous, easy-to-grow variety produces
large, double flowers on strong, 16-inch stems, and when used in larger
plantings, produces a sensational sea of uniform color (also awarded by
‘Corona Cherry Magic’ is the first Dianthus with a capricious
bicolor pattern of variable cherry-red and lavender. Plants will flower early
and will produce 2-inch flowers. Corona Cherry Magic was tested in the
greenhouse as well as the trial grounds, for plant quality and bedding plant
performance, and it was rated superior. Corona Cherry Magic flowers freely
throughout the growing season. Mature plants reach 7-9 inches tall, spreading
about 8-10 inches in a full-sun location.
The first white flowering Eustoma that thrives in a sunny
garden, ‘Forever White’ exhibited superior garden performance in
AAS Trials across North America. The 12-inch, compact branching plant flowered
from spring to fall, with 2-inch, ivory-white blooms that covered the plant at
various times throughout the growing season. Because of the branching habit,
fewer plants or plugs are needed to produce a full, high-quality pot plant.
Gaillardia ‘Sundance Bicolor’ is an unusual
bicolor containing mahogany-red and yellow flowers. The 2-inch, globe-shaped
composite flowers are primarily double. Proven at trial ground locations,
Sundance Bicolor shows heat and drought tolerances and is low maintenance, with
no pinching or staking. Judges also noted that Sundance Bicolor has the
potential for nonstop blooming throughout the growing season, and plants are
A stately plant reaching 3-5 feet, Pennisetum ‘Purple
Majesty’ ornamental millet has wide, purple leaf blades and is
embellished with 8- to 12-inch flower spikes that mature to reddish-purple seed
spikes. The immature or Á mature seed spikes can be cut and used in
floral arrangements. Left on the plant, the spike attracts birds that snack on
the seed. Purple Majesty is very tolerant of heat and drought.
Trailing Petunia ‘Blue Wave’ has dark blue,
velvety, 2-inch blooms that cover the plant for the entire growing season. From
planting to frost, Blue Wave provides a steady stream of color in any full-sun
garden. The spreading habit is similar to ‘Purple Wave’, with the
potential for Blue Wave to spread 3-4 feet in one growing season. Mature plant
height can be 4-7 inches. Plants also recover quickly from severe weather (also
awarded by Fleuroselect).
Petunia ‘Merlin Blue Morn’ offers gardeners a
unique bicolor pattern. The 2-inch single blooms are white with a soft
transition to velvety blue on the edge. This bicolor design has consumer appeal
and will translate into impulse sales since it stands out among other
multiflora petunias. The blue and white pattern of Merlin Blue Morn is
desirable due to the cooling effect of these colors on a hot summer afternoon.
‘Prairie Sun’ has a stunning light/dark yellow combination, sturdy
upright stems and excellent weather resistance. It produces the unique color
combination of a dark green “cone” at the center and golden-yellow
petals with pale edges. Its stems grow to a height of approximately 31 inches
and flower abundantly from July until October (also awarded by Fleuroselect).
Dark Red’ is described as the “best red yet in vinca” by an
AAS Judge. The velvety, opulent deep red color is distinctive, and each large
2-inch bloom has a contrasting small white center. Jaio Dark Red was tested in
greenhouses and given high scores for the compact branching habit and earliness
‘Can Can Scarlet’ (See AAS’s ‘Can Can Scarlet’
Trailing Petunia ‘Blue Wave’ (See AAS’s
‘Blue Wave’ for description).
‘Prairie Sun’ (See AAS’s ‘Prairie Sun’ for
Viola x cornuta
‘Sorbet Orange Duet’ stands out from the vast assortment of violas
and pansies for its stunning color combination of purple and orange and for its
compact, mature appearance in the pack. Sorbet Orange Duet also tends to be
hardier and more weather resistant than its pansy relatives. Its stems reach a
height of 7-8 inches with single flowers reaching approximately 1-1.5 inches in
‘Merleau’ is first-year flowering, producing spikes of
purplish-blue flowers 100 days after sowing. Growing to a height of 15.5 inches
in the garden (almost eight inches in pots), its compact form and floriferous
habit won the praise of the Fleuroselect judges, who particularly recommended
this variety for its outstanding pot performance.
Hybrid Tea lovers will find the pureness of
‘Whisper’ and its white color most attractive. Developed by Colin
Dickson in Ireland, Whisper enchants the viewer with classically formed flowers
of creamy white contrasted against dark green, semi-glossy leaves. Very
resistant to disease, this rose will grow up to 5 x 4 feet and boasts 5-inch
‘Hot Cocoa’ is a novel, brownish-orange
floribunda washed with smoke on the top and a deep rusty orange on the
underside. Large 4-inch flowers hold their color and tolerate heat very well.
Tom Carruth hybridized this vigorous, disease-resistant rose by crossing
‘Playboy’ and ‘Altissimo’ with ‘Livin’
‘Eureka’, which is nearly as wide as it is tall,
provides a sparkling hedge-type look with its glittering gold hues. Plants
reach a height of three feet and produce 4-inch, apricot-yellow flowers in
groups of three or five. Eureka will become very popular because of its
abundant blooms, re-blooming ability, glossy green leaves, easy-to-grow vigor
and light fragrance. The Kordes Company hybridized Eureka from ‘Bernstein
Rose’ and ‘Sun Flare’.
The 2003 Grandiflora winner, ‘Cherry Parfait’
has white petals with a broad red edge.
Excellent in all climates, Cherry Parfait’s loose habit makes it a
perfect companion plant for perennials and shrubbery. Seemingly always in
bloom, this bicolor rose is attractive throughout the season and is accented by
dark foliage. Cherry Parfait was hybridized by the famed house of Meilland from
a combination of ‘Meidanu’ and ‘Macman’ with
AAS, Fleuroselect and AARS unfurl the red carpet for the 2003 royalty of the green industry.unfurl the red carpet for the 2003 royalty of the green industry.