2010 "Best of" Annuals

Best of Show - Rudbeckia hirta 'Denver Daisy' from Benary

This plant was a winner in previous years and was impossible not to select again due to its outstanding performance. It was noted for the abundant flowers which were large and very showy with a long period of bloom. It was also a Grand Prize Winner in public voting through the American Garden Award Program.

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Best New Variety - Pennisetum 'Graceful Grasses Vertigo' from Proven Winners

Impressive vigor makes this plant a dramatic statement in the landscape with its large size and dark, glossy foliage. Even without a seed plume, it makes a unique focal point for any garden.

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Best Novelty - Bulbine 'Yellow Compact' from GroLink

This plant made an impression on the judges with it delicate yellow flowers on the tip of upright stems that softly wave in the breeze. Foliage also has a fine "grass-like" texture. Also comes in an orange color which combines well with the yellow.

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Best Angelonia -'AngelMist Spreading Purple Improved' from Ball FloraPlant

Prolific flower had a deep, rich purple color that continued throughout the summer and into September. Plants were vigorous and were not affected by the summer heat. The spreading habit is suitable for containers and the ground.

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Best Argyranthemum - 'Flutterby Yellow' from Paul Ecke Ranch

Plants kept a very tight growth habit even in mid-September. Flowering was very strong and was a standout even from across the garden. This variety kept blooming late into the summer.

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Best Bacopa - 'Calypso Jumbo White 09' from Syngenta Flowers

Vigorous plants were covered with large white flowers and made a very attractive presentation as it trailed over the edge of the container. Flowers in the heat of summer and had blooms throughout the plant and not just on the ends. This variety also had a great habit and foliage.

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Best Calibrachoa - 'Aloha Apricot' from Red Fox by Dummen USA

This variety had unique colored flowers that were very abundant even late in the season. Flowers bloomed throughout the plant and not just on the ends. This variety also had impressive foliage and a great cascading habit in the container.

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Best Coleus - 'Trusty Rusty' from Ball FloraPlant

Foliage was impressive with its striking colors that were contrasting. Plants displayed great vigor and were extremely uniform.

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Best Dahlia - 'Dark Angel Dracula' from GroLink

Bold, rosy wine uniform colored flowers combined with dark foliage created a very unique visual appearance.

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Best Dianthus - 'Diabunda Purple Picotee' from Syngenta Flowers - Goldsmith Seeds

Blooms were a striking bicolor with a dark eye and had a nice compact, uniform growth habit.

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Best Geranium (interspecific) - 'Caliente Fire' from Syngenta Flowers

A visually stunning plant with dark green foliage that contrasts nicely with an intense red flower. Petiols are a very dark color and are an additional asset to the rich colors of the foliage and flowers. Plant is nicely proportioned and a uniform habit.

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Best Diascia - 'Darla Appleblossom' from Syngenta Flowers

This diascia showed excellent heat tolerance and flowers continued to bloom late into the season. Flowering was very prolific and was a standout from all the other Diascia.

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Best Geranium (ivy) - 'Pacific Salmon Red' from Red Fox by Dummen USA

The vibrant flowers stood out with a unique deep salmon to almost cherry color. The growth habit was more upright than other varieties.

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Best Geranium (zonal) - 'Savannah Pink' from Red Fox by Dummen USA

This variety stood out due to its vibrant pink flowers and the blooms clean appearance. The vigorous plants produce many flowers but also maintain a very uniform overall appearance. The bright flowers contrast nicely with the dark foliage.

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Best Impatiens (seed) - 'Impreza Pink Splash' from PanAmerican Seed

Flowers were abundant all summer long and had an interesting color. Another strong characteristic was the tight, uniform growth habit.

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Best Impatiens (double) - 'Fiesta Purple' from Ball FloraPlant

Plants were a model of controlled vigor and uniformity with an excellent mounding growth habit. The plant had great double flowers with strong color.

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Best Impatiens (New Guinea) - 'Magnum Fire' from Red Fox by Dummen USA

Outstanding large flowers set this variety apart from the other New Guinea impatiens. Flowers sat just above the foliage for optimum show. The overall uniformity of this plant was very good.

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Best Lantana - 'Landmark Citrus' from Ball FloraPlant

Picture perfect uniformity was the main characteristic of this variety. The mounding plants were covered by blooms all season long. The bright yellow and orange colors contrasted nicely with the foliage.

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Best Lobelia - 'Techno Heat Upright Light Blue' from Syngenta Flowers

Very floriferous, which kept blooming late into the season while keeping a clean appearance. Plants had superior vigor and no dieback. A "Best Of" winner for two years in a row.

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Best Marigold - 'Moonsong Deep Orange' from Syngenta Flowers - Goldsmith Seeds

The dark orange color was clearly the deepest orange of any marigold in the trial. Besides the striking color, the blooms had very tightly bunched petals that created a very full appearance. Plants also had a uniform growth habit.

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Best Ornamental Pepper - 'Sangria' from PanAmerican Seed

Great color was one of the key features of this entry. The peppers had an impressive combination of purple and red. The colorful show was also improved by a uniform growth habit and the fact that the peppers were held well above the foliage.

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Best Osteospermum - 'Voltage Yellow' from Ball FloraPlant

Abundant blooms and a vibrant solid yellow color caught evaluator's attention in early August. It was also complimented on the early flowering and uniform habit. The flowering was consistent throughout the summer.

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Best Nemesia - 'Sunsatia Coconut Improved' - from Proven Winners

Unlike some Nemesias, this variety was not only alive in September but still just as showy as earlier in the summer. It made a strong impression with its prolific white flowers and uniform growth habit. The dark green foliage helped bring out the beautiful white flower color and made it an easy choice for the judges.

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Best Petunia (mini-spreading) - 'Supertunia Sangria Charm' from Proven Winners

This winner was chosen for exceptional performance in the ground. The clean, green foliage contrasted nicely with the abundant unique, vibrant, red flowers. The overall appearance was superior due to a growth habit that was dense and uniform.

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Best Petunia (seed spreading) - 'Easy Wave Red Improved' from PanAmerican Seed

This variety was selected for a winning combination of clean, fire-engine red flowers and a nice upright mounding habit. The bright red color didn't fade throughout the season.

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Best Petunia (spreading) - 'Supertunia Vista Silverberry' from Proven Winners

One of the few plants in the garden that makes people notice it from a long distance away. The flower power is amazing along with the plant vigor. It always looks clean (probably because the extreme vigor and new growth keeps covering the old). Mounding growth habit rises above the surrounding varieties. Flowers have a great iridescent color. It was also noted for blooms that seem resistant to rain and overhead irrigation.

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Best Phlox - 'Phloxy Lady White' from Red Fox by Dummen USA

This was a unanimous selection as a "Best Of" winner because of a near perfect appearance due to a solid canopy of white flowers and a very uniform growth habit. Even in mid-September the plants appeared very clean and each plant was kept to very uniform height. White flowers were so prolific it was difficult to see any foliage.

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Best Scaevola - 'Bombay Dark Blue' from Syngenta Flowers

Brilliant dark blue flowers complemented the deep green plants with a compact growth habit.

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Best Verbena - 'Magelana Hot Rose (Rapunzel) from Syngenta Flowers

This was a strong blooming plant with a clean and uniform overall appearance. Large flowers were layered throughout the plant with an intense bright pink color. This variety also appeared to be mildew resistant.

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Best Vinca - 'Boa Peppermint' from Floranova

Plants were very floriferous with attractive white flowers that had a pinkish red eye. The blooms were large and had a nice contrast between the petals and the eye. This plant had good foliage and a cascading habit. The blooms covered the entire plant, not just the ends.

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Best Zinnia - 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' from Syngenta Flowers - Goldsmith Seeds

Few flowers have such an intense combination of colors as this variety. Yellow/orange petals have a cherry red color on the inner eye that easily catches the attention of any visitor. Plants are a good size for the garden and add some structure as a background plant. It was also noted for being more resistant to disease than most other Zinnias in the trial.

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Acalphya 'Bronze Pink' from GroLink

This variety is extremely unique due to the large florescent pink and burgundy leaves that graced the purple stems. The foliage had a great color combination. This plant also has great structure and vigor making it stand out in the landscape.

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