Grow these new blooms to add some spark to your garden
1 of 6Photo by E. Spencer Toy
A new look for Echinacea
Certain flowers beckon you closer for a better look. ‘Quills and Thrills’ coneflowers, with delicately trumpeted, light pink petals ruffled at the tips, have that magic. This drought-tolerant perennial grows to 2 feet tall and wide. Available from independent garden retailers.
2 of 6Photo by Thomas J. Story
‘Senorita Blanca’ cleome is the most-asked-about new plant in Sunset’s test garden. White blooms (pale pink in cooler climates) cover a mound 2 to 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Unlike older varieties, this annual doesn’t have sticky foliage with an unpleasant odor. No deadheading needed. Find it at independent nurseries.
3 of 6Photo by Thomas J. Story
Tiny yet mighty bougainvillea
Gardeners who love vivid bougainvilleas but don’t have space for huge vines are in luck. ‘Baby Sophia’ stays small enough for a pot (16 inches high and wide will do). Its variegated white-and-green foliage forms a mound only 2 to 3 feet tall, tipped with blooms of shimmery pinkish orange. Available at garden centers everywhere.
4 of 6Photo by Thomas J. Story
Truly different geranium
A breeding breakthrough, ‘First Yellow’ trumps the overly saturated reds and pinks of other geraniums with blossoms that are the soft hue of whipped butter. Snip spent blooms to keep flowers forming all summer. The plant stays compact at 12 to 15 inches tall and 10 to 18 inches wide. Available only from Burpee (burpee.com).
5 of 6Photo by Thomas J. Story
High-style highway daisy
The newest addition to the 3D African daisy clan, Osteospermum ‘Berry White’ is a two-toned beauty whose purple center bursts from white petals. Unlike other African daisies, these stay open all day and night. The perennial grows 16 inches tall and 2 feet wide. Available at garden centers everywhere.
6 of 6Photo by Thomas J. Story
Tips on growing them
Set all these plants in full sun. Give regular water to start; once established, most thrive with little water (‘First Yellow’ geranium prefers regular irrigation). Grow ‘Baby Sophia’ bougainvillea in a container filled with fresh potting soil; give it moderate water and feed regularly with an organic fertilizer.