UGA Trial Gardens announces 2017 Classic City Awards

Echinacea Sombrero Granada Gold – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

Echinacea Sombrero Granada Gold – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

The University of Georgia Trial Gardens’ announced the 2017 Classic City Award winners: Caladium Classic ‘Candyland’ by Robert Hartman from Classic Caladiums, Calibrachoa Colibri Plum by Danziger, Canna Toucan Scarlet from Proven Winners, Catharanthus roseus (Vinca) Mega Bloom Strawberry, Celosia Asian Garden by Murakami Seed from All-America Selections, Coleus FlameThrower ‘Spiced Curry’ by Ball FloraPlant, Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Aloha’ by John J. Cho from Proven Winners, Echinacea Sombrero ‘Granada Gold’ by Darwin Perennials, Petunia Supertunia Hot Pink Charm by Jessica Boldt from Proven Winners, Salvia Cathedral ‘Sky Blue’ by Green Fuse Botanicals, and Scaevola Scampi Blue by Green Fuse Botanicals.
Unpredictable Georgia summers
The 2017 Classic City Awards represent plants that thrived during the punishing conditions of an unpredictable summer in Georgia (US). “June was a wet month. We had rain almost every week. When it’s cloudy and wet, plants like petunias, ptilotus and geraniums struggle in different ways,” said Brandon Coker, manager of the gardens.
Thriving versus rotting
“For example, the dry-loving ptilotus(Amaranthaceae) thrived in early summer, but when June brought frequent rains, the three varieties of plitotus at the gardens completely rotted. However, when plants like ptilotus thrive in the dry weather, other plants, like dahlias and chrysanthemums, need at least daily or twice daily watering to survive. To balance these needs, the gardens overcome rainfall challenges by keeping the plants on a watering schedule based on their individual needs.”
Research and development of new ornamentals
The University of Georgia Trial Gardens serve an important purpose in the research and development of new ornamental varieties. They provide variable, real-world conditions for testing new varieties developed by commercial nurseries and academic breeders. This testing provides third-party, verified data for consumers, retailers, breeders and many others.

The following comments and pictures are from the University of Georgia Trial Gardens
Caladium Classic ‘Candyland’

Caladium Classic ‘Candyland’ – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

Caladium Classic ‘Candyland’ – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

“Candyland” from Classic Caladiums holds true to its namesake with its ruffled leaves that have either light or heavy pink dapples of color in its white and green leaves. Usable in both filtered and full sun, this plant was a delight to behold and worthy of many second look. Also, a valuable plant where deer feeding pressure is high.”
Canna Toucan Scarlet
Canna Toucan Scarlet – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

Canna Toucan Scarlet – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

“As the name implies, this canna is deep red, but the foliage is nearly black, which provides a beautiful contrast. The flower heads stand tall above the foliage line and when one bloom falls, another is ready to open. Don’t be discouraged if the plant starts off slow. At the gardens, the plants started off slow, then exploded in a continuous floral display in July that continued well into September.”
“The dark, almost black foliage has given this flower even more pop – it stops people in their tracks. The large flower heads also bloom well above the foliage line so that they are all clearly visible and when one flower is done blooming there is another bud ready to open.”
Catharanthus roseus Mega Bloom Strawberry
Catharanthus roseus (Vinca) Mega Bloom Strawberry – photo University of Georgia Trial Gardens

Catharanthus roseus (Vinca) Mega Bloom Strawberry – photo University of Georgia Trial Gardens

“Catharanthus roseus (Vinca) Mega Bloom Strawberry by AmeriSeed is a plant worthy of special recognition because if you want a flower for you neighbours to be jealous of this is it. Large pink flowers with an electric pink center attract more than just hummingbirds and butterflies. You’ll find people wondering how you are keeping this plant so tidy and how it is that your managing to have it in constant bloom every single day.”
Celosia Asian Garden
Celosia Asian Garden – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

Celosia Asian Garden – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

“Celosia Asian Garden from All America Selections grown by Murakami Seed has large vibrant pink spikes emerge in dense clusters on this super showy, compact plant. Uses for this cultivar are almost endless because it makes a great cut flower, works well in a garden bed, is a perfect thriller for containers and is one of the top pollinator plants in the garden. It also stands up very well to heat, humidity, rain and pruning thus making this plant well suited for any southern garden.”
Coleus FlameThrower Spiced Curry
Coleus FlameThrower Spiced Curry – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

Coleus FlameThrower Spiced Curry – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

“One of our personal favorite plants out of everything this year is the Spiced Curry Coleus from Ball FloraPlant. This wonderfully vibrant foliage plant is the total package having both wildly attractive green/orange/purple foliage color and a nearly perfect growth pattern. This plant is also very stylish with its purple veins and serrated purple margins giving it a one of a kind color configuration in any garden or landscape.”
Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Aloha’
Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Aloha’ – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Aloha’ – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

“Foliage plants play just as an important role in the garden as do flowering plants. Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Aloha’ from Proven Winners has shown us that leaf color can be just as “bright” as any flower with its large glossy black leaves that turn to glossy black leaves with green veins. Its compact form is also highly valuable for corporate and residential planting beds where a bold thriller is needed.”
Echinacea Sombrero Granada Gold Darwin Perennials
Echinacea Sombrero Granada Gold – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

Echinacea Sombrero Granada Gold – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

“Of the three Sombrero varieties planted last spring, all of which were good performers, Granada Gold was the best and stood out among the bunch with its perfectly-rounded yellow cones and deep gold petals. The plant also produced a prolific amount of blooms with some plants having 13 flower heads open all at once. In addition to stunning floral presentation the flowers lasted much longer on this cultivar than the two other plants in the series.”
Petunia Supertunia Hot Pink Charm
Petunia Supertunia Hot Pink Charm – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

Petunia Supertunia Hot Pink Charm – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

“Petunia Supertunia Hot Pink Charm, bred by Jessica Boldt and submitted by Proven Winners has a clear purpose in life and that’s to bloom without ceasing and to just be perfect. Medium-sized hot pink flowers have adorned this plant ever since April when it was planted. This petunia does not have the largest flowers and it is not the most exotic color but if you do not plant this in your garden you will be missing one of the most prolific and best mounding petunias you’ll over own.”
Salvia Cathedral Sky Blue
Salvia Cathedral Sky Blue – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

Salvia Cathedral Sky Blue – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

“Blue is a popular color in any garden or landscape. With Salvia Cathedral Sky Blue from Green Fuse Botanicals one gets a plant that helps draw out all the other colors in the garden like your reds, pinks, and whites. This lower growing form salvia stayed in constant bloom from May until September which in itself is an above average trait for any blooming plant. Potential uses for Sky Blue include mass planting, containers, bedding, accent plants and it adds great texture to cut flower arrangements.”
Scaevola Scampi Blue
Scaevola Scampi Blue – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

Scaevola Scampi Blue – photo: University of Georgia Trial Gardens

“Green Fuse Botanicals has given us a super, long-lasting Scaevola that provided the garden with a burst of color throughout the growing season. Scampi Blue stayed a height of 12” from June until late August and retained its vibrant blue color the entire time. Many gardeners have an abundance of white, pink and red in their gardens so having a great low-mounding blue flower finishes off any flower bed or container.”