Tag Archives: Favorite Flowers

Boston Flower Show Opens This Week!

ImageIt’s almost time for the Boston Flower & Garden Show!  I must admit I get so excited when the show opens.  It’s like going to Oz.  First it’s that lovely, earthy smell of mulch as you walk through the doors.  Then the vivid carpets of color from flowers in full bloom bunched close, overflowing from pots, arranged neatly.  Somewhere close by water is splashing from a fountain or wFountain and Urn of Succulentsaterfall.   And the people are abuzz – walking, talking, oohing, aahhing and yes, shopping.  The show always delivers inspiration and gets me all jazzed with new ideas for my own garden.
The Bost564on Flower Show returns to the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston this week!  It opens to the winter-weary public on Wednesday, March 13 and runs through Sunday, March 17, 2013.
This year’s theme is ‘Seeds of Change’ and will showcase new plants, methods and materials to increase the beauty, bounty and the ecological friendliness of gardens and outdoor spaces.
Since I’m a member of the Garden Writers of America, I plan to visit the show on March 12th during the Media tour.  I’ll write a ‘first look’ blog post with photos later that day.  Just for City Garden Ideas readers like you!
Tickets to the show are $20 for adults and $10 for children.  To buy tickets, click here.

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American Garden Award Winners Announced!

Hi Everyone.  Just had to share these hearty beauties with you!
The 2012 American Garden Award just announced the flower winners of their annual contest.  Each year six flower varieties are chosen by their breeders for their great garden performance.   The varieties are planted and put on display at participating gardens and the public votes for their favorite.   These are the winners and should be contenders for your garden next year. My favorite, by the way, is #2.
And the three winners are:
Grand Prize Winner
Begonia boliviensis ‘Santa Cruz™ Sunset’ from Ernst Benary of America
Begonia Santa Cruz™ Sunset lights up your garden with an abundance of scarlet/orange blooms. Its elegant softly cascading form is perfect for hanging baskets, urns or mass plantings in your garden. Surprisingly heat, drought and rain tolerant, this summer beauty thrives in any location from full sun to shade.

Second Place Winner (My Favorite!)
Gazania  ‘Big Kiss™ White Flame’ F1
from Syngenta Flowers

Gazania Big Kiss™ White Flame has huge white and rose striped flowers that cover full, bushy plants. This carefree, heat loving and drought tolerant annual loves the sun and thrives in tough conditions, all summer long. Extra large flowers and plants make high impact displays in garden beds or containers.

Third Place Winner
Petunia ‘Surfinia® Deep Red’
from Suntory Flowers

‘Finally, the true deep red petunia gardeners have been searching for! For 20 years, Surfinia® has been the best-selling vegetative petunia series in the world, offering superior garden performance with no pinching or pruning needed. Enjoy ‘Surfinia® Deep Red’ in container gardens or in the landscape from spring through fall.

Rose of Sharon – A Late Summer Bloomer

Rose of Sharon blooms through a wooden fenceRose of Sharon in 'SconsetIt’s early September and so many of the bright spring and summer flowers have faded into memory. 
Thank heaven for the Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus).  This hearty shrub offers late summer color.  Blooms can be pink, purple, white, blue, red, even lavender, depending on the variety.  If your garden space has lost its color pizzazz by mid-August, consider planting a Rose of Sharon this fall or next spring.  The shrub is easy to grow and low maintenance.  Best of all, it will provide great color and texture in the waning days of summer.

Petunia Thief On the Loose in Boston

Container Garden with Yellow PetuniasAn alert to all city gardeners:
The Back Bay flower thief has struck again!
Last year, three gorgeous dahlias were plucked from our  street-side tree garden.
This past Friday night, an entire clump of yellow petunias was lifted straight out of our side-street container.
My husband is threatening to install a close-circuit camera!
I must admit this post does sound a bit like the game of Clue…. “He was in the alleyContainer with Missing Petunias with the dahlias from the garden!”  Wish it was all just a game.

In the larger scheme of things, flower theft is small potatoes.  We made a quick trip to Mahoney’s in Brighton to find replacements.  There I learned that flower theft was on the rise all over the city!  The young man at the register told me that I was the 11th or 12th person to come to the Garden Center over the past several days with the same lament.  Misery loves company.
Container with Purple PetuniasAnd yellow petunias?  Very hard to find, just in case you were interested.  Luckily, there were plenty of healthy and hearty Proven Winner purple and white petunias for sale.  Did some serious rearranging in all my containers.  Kept the tall, white “Crystal Peak White” False Dragonhead Physostegia (sometimes called Obediant Plant), removed the Shasta daisies and nestled the new petunias with the existing English ivy.  All the plants seems happy in their warm, sunny space. Fingers are crossed that the flower thief has retired for the season.  Here’s wishing that your flowers are blooming and staying where you planted them!  Enjoy!

City Garden Planting #2 – Daisies, Petunias and More

Daisies, petunias and garden supplies on the stoopChoosing plants for my garden is a creative and exciting process.  Visiting a garden center, discovering healthy plants with great colors and textures, arranging them together until they look just right…  that’s fun for me.  It’s a good thing I like this process since I have to do it at least three to four times between April and September.   City life is hard on plants.  
Last week I had to do something quick.  All of the impatiens in my tree garden and containers were wilted, leggy and needed to be replaced. 
I drove to Allandale Farm in BrooklineAllandale Farm Logo to purchase plants to add new color and variety.  If you don’t know Allandale, it’s Boston’s last working farm and worth the trip.  You can get fresh produce in the main building and usually they have a terrific assortment of flowers that thrive in city environments – vibrant pots of dahlias, daisies, impatiens, petunias and more.   Unfortunately, the flower selection this day was slim.  White Shasta Daisies and Yellow Petunias in Black Container It took some looking but I found six pots of lively white and yellow Shasta daisies and two hanging planters of yellow, purple and red petunias.   I thought I could easily break up the petunias and plant the flowers in the containers and tree garden.  Overall, the daisies look great and are doing fine.  The petunias… well, they are more of a mixed bag.   About half of the transplanted petunias are doing well.  The other half are struggling to thrive in one container and the street side tree garden.  Ugh.  I thought they looked hearty.  My bad.  My counsel would be to buy potted petunias.   Using flowers from a hanging planter as a shortcut might seem like a good, money saving idea but I don’t recommend it.  More replanting this weekend.   Need to get my pictures off to the Mayor Menino Garden Contest by July 13th!  Will visit Wilson Farm in Lexington to scope out their plant selections.  Really want dahlias.  More on Wilson Farm and my plant choices next time.  Enjoy!

Cast Your Vote for the 2012 Flower of the Year

American Garden Award

Hello Everyone:
Here’s something fun to do…
Cast your vote
and help choose the most popular North American flowers of 2012!

This year there are six entries.  Voting is open until August 31st and the top three vote-getters will be announced this fall.  If you like what you see, all of these flowers should be available at your local garden center.

Angelonia angustfolia ‘Serena Blue’         Begonia boliviensis ‘Santa Cruz Sunset’
by PanAmerican Seed                                by Ernst Benary of America
                  
Gazania ‘Big Kiss™ White Flame’             Petchoa x hybrida ‘SuperCal Pink Ice’
by Syngenta Flowers                                by Sakata Ornamentals
                
Petunia ‘Surfinia® Deep Red’                 Sunflower ‘Goldie’ F1
by Suntory Flowers                                 by Seeds By Design
               

There are two ways to vote:
– Visit Massachusetts Horticultural Society (or 27 other public gardens across the United States) and see these beautiful flowers first hand.  Then you can text your vote as instructed on the signs in the gardens or use the postage-paid postcards provided by the garden.
– Go to www.americangardenaward.com and click on the voting link.

My favorite is the showy Garzania “Big Kiss” White Flame Pink Ice.  If you’d like to share your choice, that would be great!

Red Ruffled Tulips Startle and Delight in Window Boxes

Just had to share this!  Walking tonight in Boston’s Back Bay, I was stopped in my tracks by a trio of spectacular window boxes.  Night was falling but the red Ruffled Tulips with tinges of yellow stood out boldly.  The tulips were paired with bright yellow daffodils, red ranunculus amid a backdrop of flowering branches.  Just gorgeous!  The Ruffled Tulips, also known as Parrot Tulips, are so unusual!  Downright frilly!   Pairing them with friendly yellow daffodils makes the display inviting. Daffodils are probably the easiest and most dependable flower to grow and win me over every year.  The ranunculus was a lovely, colorful surprise.  That flower has multi-layers of paper thin petals.  It’s a hardy, cool weather perennial and is perfect for window boxes and containers.  The flowering branches give the window boxes height and added dimension.  The same flower and branch arrangement were seen on the stoop container.  Outstanding.  So far, this window box wins my vote for best display of the Spring season!