2012 "Top Performer" Perennial

Helleborus x ballardiae ‘Gold Collection®’ series, (Gold Collection® Lenten Rose series) - from Skagit Gardens

The two plant varieties in the ‘Gold Collection®’ series were both praised for their early blooms in March. ‘Cinnamon Snow’ had flowers with a deep pink blush with a yellow interior and ‘Pink Frost’ had flowers with a light pink blush on chartreuse petals. Judges noted that plants held their flowers facing more upright toward viewers than other Helleborus. The dark green glossy foliage looked great all year long in Colorado’s low humidity. Plants would be a wonderful groundcover for a shady area. Planted in 2010.

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Monarda ‘Fireball’ PP #14,235, (Fireball Bee Balm) - from McGregor Plant Sales

Plants were prolific bloomers in July with wine colored blooms. Plants were sturdy with no lodging even with overhead irrigation. Judges noted that ‘Fireball’ had superior mildew resistance than other Monarda. Vigorous plants would be great for the back of a perennial border. Bred by Hubertus Gerardus Oudshoorn. Planted 2010.

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Buddleia davidii ‘Buzz™’ PPAF series, (Buzz™ Butterfly Bush series) - from Pacific Plug and Liner

Buddleia davidii ‘Buzz™’ PPAF series, (Buzz™ Butterfly Bush series) - from Pacific Plug and Liner The entire ‘Buzz’ series was noted for their excellent flower production and dense growth. The range of colors in this series was: Blue Violet, Ivory, Pink Purple, Violet and Magenta. Judges noted that all in the series were exceptional, but agreed that the ‘Magenta’ was their favorite. ‘Magenta’ has a vivid eye catching color that is unique to any other Buddleia out on the market. Compact plants would work well as a mixed border plant. Bred by Thompson & Morgan. Planted in 2010.

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Phlox paniculata ‘Pina Colada’ PP #19968, (Pina Colada Perennial Phlox) - from McGregor Plant Sales

Flowering is robust from late June through September and the showy blooms have overlapping, pure white petals. Plants were impressive with exceptional dark green foliage and uniform compact growth habit. Spent flowers drop off the flower panicles and gave plants a clean look throughout the season. It was bred by Jan Verschoor, Holland. Planted in 2010.

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Phlox paniculata ‘Classic Cassis’ PPAF, (Classic Cassis Perennial Phlox) - from McGregor Plant Sales

'Classic Cassis’ has a long bloom time with their big bold flowers. Bright pink flowers with shades of mauve start in June and continue through August. Plants have nice green foliage that stays clean throughout season. Planted 2010.

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Baptisia Decadence TM ‘Lemon Meringue’ PPAF, (Lemon Meringue Baptisia) – from Walter's Gardens/ Proven Winners

Early blooming plants show off their yellow blooms in May. Judges noted that the blooms have a clear crisp flower color that is unique to Baptisia. Even though blooms are brief the plants have an open airy habit and nice foliage to enjoy the rest of the season. Planted in 2011.

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Anemone ‘Pretty Lady Diana’ PP #22,332 (Pretty Lady Diana Windflower) – from Blooms of Bressingham

Plants were very floriferous with deep pink blooms in August through September. ‘Pretty Lady Diana’ had compact uniform growth habit. Judges noted that the plants would not take up a lot of space and would be great for a small garden or in a mix border. Bred by Yoshihiro Kanazawa. Planted in 2011.

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Echinacea ‘Balsomsed’ PP #23105 (Sombrero TM Salsa Red Coneflower) – from Darwin Perennials

Compact plants had superior branching that filled up nicely after only one winter. Each plant was packed with lots of hot red flowers. Judges noted that the plants were very floriferous with a long season of bloom. The red flowers held its color for a long time making it quite a show. Bred by Jianping Ren. Planted 2011.

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Geranium ‘Eureka Blue’ PP #22,270 (Eureka Blue Cranesbill) - from Blooms of Bressingham

Bright violet flowers on plants from late May through July. Judges noted that although this variety is ‘ultra vigorous’ it holds up its shape through the growing season. Plants have good healthy foliage all season long. Bred by Brian Kabbes. Planted 2011.

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Hibiscus Summerific TM ‘Cranberry Crush’ PP #21,984 (Summerific TM Cranberry Crush Rose Mallow) - from Walter’s Gardens/ Proven Winners

Deep red blooms start in July on uniform plants. The glossy leaves are deeply lobed and have an attractive dark red hue. Judges noted that these plants give a garden a dramatic tropical effect. Plants would be great for late summer color in the back of a border. Bred by Clarence H. Falstad. Planted 2011.

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Nepeta ‘Novanepjun’ PP #23,074 (Junior Walker TM Catmint) - from Conard-Pyle Co

Vigorous plants bloomed all season long with bright lavender flowers. Judges noted that plants were a great intermediate size at the size of 24 inches in height and 32 inches in width. Plants filled in space quickly making a great ground cover. Bred by Michael S. Dobres. Planted 2011.

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