I've been observing the annual trial gardens at Michigan State this summer, and as the season is starting to come to an end, it is time for some of my thoughts on what looks cool.
Pelargonium 'Cherry Picotee' Grandiosa series, from Dummen
Back in April, when I visited the California "pack" trials, I commented that these regal-type Pelargonium seemed to be a huge trend. Historically, regal pelargoniums have been lovely, but demand cool temperatures. So, I am pleased to see that the Grandiosa series from Dummen has looked stunning in the gardens all summer -- and it was an unusually hot summer too! Well, hot by Michigan standards: we spent a lot of time in the 80s, and even hit 90 a couple times. Who knows how they would do with a real Texan summer.
Dianthus 'Noverma Clown' from Kief-Pro Seeds.
I loved this annual Dianthus -- I've never seen anything quite like it! Charming, round sweet William-type heads of flowers in a confetti of different colors. I think each individual flower opens white, and darkens as it ages. A great take on a classic flower. I sure hope I can find a source for seeds for my garden next year.
This cool, dark purple, almost black, annual vinca is from the All-American Trials section of the garden, so no cultivar name yet. I really love the color -- quite different from any vinca I've seen before. And they are such great, tough, annuals. I hope it wins the All-American selection so I will be sure to be able to find it everywhere!