2014 "Top Performer" Perennial

Blue Boa Agastache from Terra Nova® Nurseries (Agastache x hybrida ‘Blue Boa’PP24050)

Non-stop flower power resulted in a season long splash of bright lavender color that covered the plant in blooms from top to bottom. Excellent vigor and a relatively large growth habit would make this a good choice for the back of a perennial border that needs color. Besides all the beauty, this plant is also recommended for its drought tolerance and ability to attract bees and butterflies. This entry was also given the “Too Good to Wait” award in 2013. Planted in 2012.

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Leilani Coneflower from Terra Nova® Nurseries (Echinacea spp. ‘Lelani’ PP23526)

Tall, vigorous plants “wowed!” visitors with the prolific display of “warm, buttery yellow” flowers. Blooming occurred over a long period and the plants maintained superior controlled vigor for good uniformity and overall appearance. Planted in 2012.

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Profusion Coneflower from Eason Horticultural Resources (Echinacea purpurea ‘Profusion’)

Flowers had a unique appearance and overall shape due to many petals with a nice shape and a large, dark center. The dark stems also complemented the flower petals and dark center. Plants were compact but flowering was very profuse and lived up to its name. The light lavender petals also faded nicely into a “antique” lavender color that was also very attractive and extended the bloom time. Planted in 2012.

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Georgia Plum Coral Bells from Terra Nova® Nurseries (Heuchera x hybrida ‘Georgia Plum’PP24507)

Plum colored foliage was impressive all season and did not show any signs of fading. Besides the plum color, foliage also had a nice silver sheen for good color impact throughout the growing season. Plants were very uniform and had excellent growth habit. Predominantly grown for the foliage, the light pink/plum flowers were few but still attractive. Planted in 2012.

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Midnight Marvel Hibiscus from Walters Gardens/ Proven Winners® (Hibiscus x hybrida ‘Midnight Marvel’PP24079)

The flowers and foliage made a spectacular combination. Dark bronze foliage made a perfect backdrop to the beautiful flowers with a rich, red color. Many flowers came into bloom together and created a good visual impact. Plants were vigorous but maintained a nice size without getting too large as observed in some other Hibiscus. Planted in 2012.

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Electric Avenue Coreopsis from Creek Hill/Eason (Coreopsis verticillata 'Mayo Clinic Flower of Hope'PPAF or ‘Electric Avenue’)

The Perennial Trial Committee likes to award ‘Top Performer’ to plants that have been in the ground 2 winters and 3 growing seasons. This plant impressed the Perennial Trial Committee so much that they designated the category name: “Too Good to Wait Performer”. Bright yellow flowers were very showy and flowering was solid all season. Plants were vigorous, uniform and maintained good stature from spring to fall. Fine textured foliage and a nice flower shape contributed to a very pleasing overall affect. This is good plant for attracting bees. Overwintering survival was impressive with no losses despite a difficult winter in Fort Collins, CO during 2013-2014.

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Beyond Blue Fescue from Skagit Gardens (Festuca glauca 'Casca11' PP #23307 )

The Perennial Trial Committee likes to award ‘Top Performer’ to plants that have been in the ground 2 winters and 3 growing seasons. This plant impressed the Perennial Trial Committee so much that they designated the category name: “Too Good to Wait Performer”. This fescue is considered to have the best “blue” color out there! Plants are larger that F. ‘Boulder Blue’ but maintain a nice “ball” shape and do not open in the middle. Flower stems fade and disappear amongst the foliage for a superior appearance. This is an improved variety over older ones for foliage color.

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Sunrosa™ Red Rose from Suntory® Flowers (Rosa x hybrid Sunrosa™ Red)

Constant red flowers and impressive growth habit make this plant attractive all season. Glossy dark green foliage had no signs of chlorosis or disease. Red flowers did not fade and bloomed steadily from mid-June through October. Small foliage and a dwarf compact growth habit make this a good choice for the smaller or mid-size landscapes. The compact growth habit is maintained without any pruning. The Perennial Trial Committee likes to award ‘Top Performer’ to plants that have been in the ground 2 winters and 3 growing seasons. This plant impressed the Perennial Trial Committee so much that they designated the category name: “Too Good to Wait Performer”.

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