New All-America Award Winning Flowers

4 New Flowers have won coveted All-America Selections Awards for 2011. Seeds are available now. All 4 flowers could be started from seeds planted indoors. I wouldn’t hesitate to plant seeds of the new perennial Gaillardia ‘Arizona Apricot’ directly outside in April or May. Plants will be available later in the spring from many greenhouses and garden stores.
Gaillardia ‘Arizona Apricot’ has apricot colored flowers, which is a distinct new color for Gaillardias or Blanket Flowers. The 3 inch daisy flowers are deep apricot in the center fading to lemon yellow on the edges. Most perennial flowers do not bloom the first year from seed, but Arizona Apricot blooms the first year and has a long blooming season. Plants are compact and grow about 12 inches high. It is relatively maintenance free and drought tolerant once established. If old flowers are removed it will encourage repeat blooming.
Viola Shangri-La Marina is an early-flowering, mounding viola with a vibrant new color. 1link text½ inch flowers have light blue petals with a velvety dark blue face and a narrow white outer edge. This hybrid variety produces more flowers than typical violas. There is no need to remove dead flowers because the 6 inch plants are self-cleaning. In the Northwest most violas are planted in the fall but are also available for spring planting. Violas do well in both sunny and shady areas of the garden.
Ornamental Kale ‘Glamour Red’ is the first Kale to ever win an All-America award. ‘Glamour Red’ has fringed leaf edges with a unique shine that makes them stand out in beds and borders. Flower heads grow 10 to 12 inches across and about the same height. Ornamental Kale is best planted in the fall because it requires cool temperatures to develop color.
Salvia ‘Summer Jewel Red’ was rated superior because of its early bloom and large number of flowers. Plants bloom continuously from planting time until fall frost. Plants grow about 18 to 20 inches tall at maturity. Red flower spikes are a magnet for humming birds. Birds love the seeds which mature summer to fall. Salvia grows well in areas too shady for other annuals, but also does well in the sun.

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