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Cool Colors and Tonal Greens

Each year we introduce new plants for the upcoming season, and 2016 is a banner year for new Proven Winners®.  We have 43 new annuals and I want to give you a quick introduction to each of them.  However, with 43 plants I am going to break them into three different groups based loosely on color. 

Contributors: Kerry Meyer

The first group features cool hues and chartreuse foliage, the second group will feature fun and flirty bi-colors and the third group will contain bright, bold hot colors.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I am going to include tons of pictures with ideas to inspire your own creativity.

Now for the necessary disclaimer, these plants are brand new, appearing for the first time ever at garden centers and they are likely to be a bit hard to find.  It can take 3 years, or more, for a plant to really get a good foothold in garden centers and become easier to find.  If you can’t locate them locally, we do offer most of them for sale via our online plant store

Cool Hues and Chartreuse Foliage

Let’s start with the Endless Browallia.  It is always exciting to be able to add great new shade plants and Endless Illumination which is lavender-blue and Endless Flirtation which is bright white are wonderful plants for shade – including deep shade and dry shade.    They work in both landscapes and containers, where their trailing habit makes them fun to play with in combinations.

Endless Illumination container

Endless Illumination in the landscape

Endless Flirtation  container

Off the Beaten Path combination

It’s always fun when you get a new plant to add to your palette and Meteor Shower verbena is just such a plant.  Rather than your typical verbena this one is the species bonariensis. The flowers look like lollipops sticking up over the short foliage!  There have been Verbena bonariensis plants available before, but at 6 feet tall and flopping, they had limited uses.  At about three feet tall, Meteor Shower is great as the “thriller” in combinations or adding height and whimsy to garden beds in sunny locales.

Meteor Shower in the landscape

Star Power combination

Senorita Mi Amor 
is our newest Cleome.  I love the soft pink flowers that just appear all season and our improved Senorita Blanca® - now with true white flowers instead of silver – is just as good.  These easily grown plants are especially great in landscapes.  For containers, think large.  Our Senoritas are vigorous growers and need a container at least 14 inches in diameter – 20 inches or more would be even better.  While they will survive on low water, they will look their best with consistent moisture.

Senorita Mi Amor container

Pink-A-Boo combination

 Senorita Mi Amor in the landscape

Senorita Blanca®  container

Baked Cinnamon Apples combination

Senorita Blanca® in the landscape


White is unfortunately often an overlooked color for the garden, but is a great choice that works with any color palette.  Flirtation® Glacier White Diascia and Intensia® White Phlox have crystal clear white flowers on mounded plants – great for mixing with every color in the rainbow.  They are wonderful when used in combinations or by themselves in containers and do well in landscapes as well.  Give them a sunny spot and they will be happy campers!

Glacier Skies combination

Flirtation® Glacier White container

Butterfly Beauty

Intensia® White container

It’s always tempting to dismiss foliage in favor of flowers, but that would be a huge a mistake.  If it weren’t for sweet potato vines like Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Lime, combination planters would be much less fun, not to mention how great the plants are when used as an annual groundcover. 

Scarlet's Dream combination

Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Lime container

Another great foliage plant is Sedum Lemon Coral®The bright foliage makes absolutely anything planted near it pop.  The plants are mounded cushions in the landscape yet they flow over the sides of containers.  You know how some plants just make you want to touch them, just try and keep your hands off of this one – bet you can’t do it.  I know I can’t!

Lemon Coral® in the landscape

Zen combination

Lemon Coral® container 


Beth’s Blue® Isotoma and Lucia® Ultraviolet Lobelia and Anytime® Plum Good Pansiola all have flowers in shades of purple with cold tolerant plants that still have solid summer performance.  The lavender-blue of Beth’s Blue® is like taking a cool drink of water, while the deep, rich color of Anytime® Plum Good makes you think of velvet. Lucia® Ultraviolet is vivid and striking – with this trio there’s a purple for every mood your garden might have.

Beth’s Blue® container

Beth’s Blue®

Lucia® Ultraviolet container

French Riviera combination

Popsicles combination

Swinging on a Star combination

Bellatrix combination

Plum Good container

Find out more on our newest bicolored flowers in “Fun and Flirty Bicolors

Find out more on our newest boldly colored flowers in "Bright, Bold, Hot Colors"

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