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2016 - Fun and Flirty Bicolors

Each year we introduce new plants, 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.  The first group features Cool Hues and Tonal Greens, the second group we are talking about today is Fun and Flirty Bicolors and in our next newsletter will be our third group—Bright, Bold and 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.

Contributors: Kerry Meyer

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 on our website.

Combination planters have been popular with gardeners for years, at least partially because of the endless array of options and the play of colors you can get when combining plants.  bicolor blossoms give you a head start on colorful containers since they are already showcasing more than one hue with each flower.  When creating combination planters with bicolored blooms you need to be a little more aware of the potential for the different flowers to clash. 

Some of my favorite plants to use in combinations are the “Supers” – Superbells® Calibrachoa, Supertunia® Petunia and our Superbena® Verbena and this year we are excited to say we have great new bicolored plants in all three of these series. 

Superbells®

Let’s start at the beginning with Superbells®, which as a category are best used in containers unless you have excellent drainage in your landscape. These plants do not like consistently wet soils, so water management is important.  But these varieties are worth the extra attention because of their wide range of colors, all summer blooming and ease of care.  There’s a Superbells® for every mood and color palette you might be considering.

The sunset lavender base of Superbells® Evening Star flowers are highlighted by dark purple that surrounds a bright yellow star.   The plant is lovely all by itself and is also a wonderful combination component.

Afternoon Tea

One way to utilize the wonderful color of this flower is to combine solid flowers in each of those component colors.  Afternoon Tea uses deep purple Supertunia® Royal Velvet and soft yellow Supertunia® Limoncello to call attention to the beautiful bicolor flowers! 

Ada

Planters in a range of hues in a single color palette is one of the easiest types of combination to design.  The deep purple tones of Supertunia® Royal Velvet and the plummy-burgundy shade of Superbena® Royale Plum Wine create a dark background for the lighter amethyst lavender of Superbells® Evening Star to pop against.  It’s the perfect way to show off the pattern.

Star Power

Even easier than a range of colors, is a monochromatic color scheme like this one.  The interest comes from the different flower shapes, types and sizes.  Texture is as much a player here as color and the result is gorgeous, restful and almost delicate looking—although it will produce all summer long!

The most striking bicolor this year has got to be Superbells® Holy Moly!, the dappled yellow and cherry flowers are as bright and cheery as can be and totally fun!  Plant them alone or in combinations.

Swinging in the Sun
This is a simple combination, and one of the best ways to balance the chaos of the color pattern in Superbells® Holy Moly!.

Let’s Get Together
While simple might be the easiest route to combo success with Superbells® Holy Moly!,  don’t be fooled into thinking that a complex combination won’t work. This combination stays strong because all three plants have a base of red that unifies them. 

Talent Show  
Here solid yellow flowers and black foliage also work when combined with the brightly colored Superbells® Holy Moly! flowers.  These three very different looks should give you some direction for creating your own combinations for this fun and flirty flower.

 Supertunia®

Supertunia® Petunias are great in combinations, mono-crop containers and landscapes.  These forgiving and fun varieties are great performers all summer long wherever you plant them.

Supertunia® Latte has a coffee and cream-colored flower with distinct veins adding the bicolor effect.

Enchanted Garden
This red, white and black combination is striking and completely classic with just a touch of a twist from the veining in Supertunia® Latte.

Mocha Magic
This combo uses Supertunia® White and Sweet Caroline Raven to highlight the bicolor flowers of Supertunia® Latte.  The white, cream, mocha and purple tones creates a subtle range of wonderful color that you can practically dive into.

Country Morning
Take Mocha Magic and instead of using Supertunia® White you add a punch of purple by subbing in Superbells® Grape Punch. This brightens the color and gives a different character to the combination.

Supertunia® Picasso in Blue has blue flowers ringed in chartreuse with well-branched plants and loads of flowers.    While striking on its own , I really love it in combination with other things—especially white flowers.

 Hollywood and Highland
This combination uses the deep eggplant color of Ablazin’® Purple combined with the fragrant white flowers of Frosty Knight®.  These solid toned flowers work as counterpoints to the fancy flowers of Supertunia® Picasso in Blue.  For an even simpler combination try just Supertunia® Picasso in Blue with Snow Princess®As long as you keep it well watered and fed it will put on a show of flowers and fragrance from the moment you plant it until hard frost kills it in fall.

 Supertunia® Charm

Supertunia® Pink Star Charmand Supertunia® Violet Star Charm are twin sisters, sporting striped flowers on super well-branched plants.  They purely and simply thrive producing an overabundance of petite flowers.  They are AWESOME!

They are also fun to play with in combinations, although I haven’t seen the combination I really want to try—Supertunia® Violet Star Charm combined with Supertunia® ‘Lavender Skies’. I think the soft lavender blooms would really showcase the pattern of Violet Star Charm.  Here’s four ideas that we have tried!

 

Bellatrix uses Anytime® Plum Good Pansiola to pull out the violet from Supertunia® Violet Star Charm.  

Glacier Skies goes the other way using white as a counterpoint to make the violet pop against the snowy white backdrop.  Both are simple combinations, which allows the pattern to shine.

Pink-A-Boo is all about shades of pink with just a bit of white from Supertunia® Pink Star Charm as a counterpoint. 

Old Hollywood is pink and white all-over, but it really ups the drama factor by using brightly huedTimeless® Lavender and the snowy Flirtation® Glacier White to add high contrast.

Supertunia® Daybreak Charm reminds me of something I’d be served while lounging under a beach umbrella—if I had time to lounge under beach umbrellas!   Start with some limoncello, top it with some cranberry juice and you’ll get the general color of this beauty! 

It will work well when mixed with yellows like Superbells® Yellow Chiffon and pinks like Surefire® Rose.  Or try combining it with Superbells® Sweet Tart, which for all intents and purposes has flowers that are a miniature version of Daybreak Charm.

 

 Superbena®

The last of our “Supers” are the Superbena® verbena.  This year we are adding two new ones Superbena® Sparkling Amethyst and Superbena® Sparkling Ruby and both have flowers that appear to be splattered by paint in totally random patterns.  They’re fun and different and truly lovely.


 Luscious®

When it comes to super heat tolerant plants, I turn to our Luscious® Lantana series over and over.  Our newest addition is Luscious® Pinkberry Blend which is a mix of soft pink and lemon yellow, a softer version of the colors of Supertunia® Daybreak Charm.  This is a great landscape plant and wonderful in containers as well.  It is tough as nails and easy to care for.  What more can you ask for in a plant?  It works well planted by itself or in a combination. 

 

Bright Lights is a simple, super easy, extremely heat tolerant combination that will make you summer sunny and carefree – it doesn’t get easier than this!

 

Anytime®

Anytime® Iris The Sunny yellow and violet-blue colors are an eye-catching combo, I called this one Iris because the colors remind me of old-fashioned irises.  While pansies aren’t generally considered to be heat tolerant, our series of Pansiolas will bloom through the summer, although they still are most prolific with milder temps.  It is beautiful on its own or in combinations.

It can sometimes seem as if there are millions of plants to choose from when planting a sunny spot and three options for shade – which might possibly be a slight exaggeration.  While sun lovers undoubtedly outnumber shade lovers when it comes to annuals, that doesn’t mean you can’t have gorgeous, creative containers in the shade and we have three great new annuals that work for shade.

 ColorBlaze®

Coleus are some of the most versatile plants you can get.  Our ColorBlaze® series works in full sun to full shade conditions, although the foliage colors are brightest in sunny spots.  They are late to bloom, if you ever even see flowers, which means the foliage stays looking great all season.  Whether used in the landscape - they are great when massed together - a container by themselves or in combination planters they are a garden workhorse.  Our two new ones are ColorBlaze® Apple Brandy and ColorBlaze® Velveteen.  

I had ColorBlaze® Apple Brandy to trial last summer and I fell in love!  While photos often make it look bronze and chartreuse, I grew it in full sun and it was an almost brilliant red and chartreuse.  It was so very eye-catching, with great branching and just the perfect coleus, from my point of view anyway.  While my photos are all for sunny spots, it will do just as well in shade.

Simple Luxury –-I love this color combination.  Supertunia® Honey is in the same color class as ColorBlaze® Apple Brandy and this whole combination just glows.

Scarlet’s Dream is a combination that will do well in sun or part shade.  For me it’s the chartreuse Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Lime that really makes this combo pop.  The bright color pulls attention, which is especially important in shady areas.

Baked Cinnamon Apples, as a combo, is rather counter-intuitive. I’m not sure that I would have thought of adding these ingredients together, but they absolutely work.  I do think that the photo is a bit misleading – ColorBlaze® Apple Brandy is a rather large plant and in a combination it should be treated as the “thriller” rather than a “filler” plant.  For more information watch our thriller, spiller and filler video.

ColorBlaze® Velveteen is hot pink and deep burgundy and is super versatile for mixing in combinations. 

Around the World is a monochrome mixture, yet it is still gorgeous, utilizing a range of pink to maroon tones.  Mixing a number of shades from a single color class is an easy way to create fun, pretty combinations.

Caramel Truffles Here the earthy apricot tones in this combination get a needed boost of color from the vibrant pink of ColorBlaze® Velveteen

Allure – With Allure, if you are looking for pure fun, this is the combination for you.  Bright, fun and fabulous all the way around.

Rockapulco®

Rockapulco® Wisteria is another shade lover, the soft lavender and white of the double flowers is a classic color combination that can work with any style of garden.  It works best in containers alone or mixed in combinations.  While it can work in landscapes, you will need to keep it well-hydrated. 

Off the Beaten Path is simple combination that is perfect for a shady spot. White will stand out in the shady parts of the garden, drawing your eye and pulling you closer, which then gives you the chance to admire the beauty of Wisteria.

For more 2016 new introductions, see also Cool Hues and Tonal Greens and Bright and Bold Hot Colors.

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