As much as time and space allow I grow several of our annuals in my own yard to check on how they perform.  My favorites this year are:

Sunpatiens

#1a – Impatiens ‘Sunpatiens’ – looks like a New Guinea impatiens but grows in full sun – These are vigorous, flower non-stop and require no special care.

 

Geranium - Calliope Dark Red

#1b – Geranium ‘Calliope Dark Red’ – Great bloom, super color and disease-free foliage.  The best container plant I used in 2010.

Heliotrope - Scentropia Blue

#3 – Heliotrope ‘Scentropia Blue’ – No annual has a better scent.  This variety bloomed well, the foliage stayed disease free, and the blue color is excellent.

Bracteanthia

#4 – Bracteanthia (Straw Flower) ‘Strawburst Yellow’ –Clean foliage and season long bloom with large, bright yellow flowers.  The only straw flower I’ve ever been impressed by.

Honeydew Melon 'Lambkin'

#5 – Melon Honeydew ‘Lambkin’ – I liked it last year in a cool July and it is just as good this year in the heat.  Good yield, even better flavor.

We are very fortunate to have the West Madison Agricultural Research Station right here in Verona.  This station is open to the public, and we encourage you to take advantage of all they have to offer. This UW Demonstration Garden allows us to see how hundreds of plant varieties are doing on a regular basis. 

In addition, every year we visit trial gardens throughout the country to see how thousands more are performing.  This information, combined with our experiences, help us decide what America’s best flowers really are and which ones we will grow for you in the future.  You can help by letting us know your favorites (and/or disappointments) from your own yard and garden.  Email me at abflunde@yahoo.com.  Thanks for your help – Al Lunde