In the Garden: New for 2021 garden season
With the new year, gardeners are always awaiting what's new in plants. Seed and plant catalogs begin arriving in the mail. For many, it heralds anticipation to spring. The National Garden Bureau shares some information from All-America Selections to announce four new and exciting AAS (All-America Selections) Winners for this 2021 garden season. Winners are trialed throughout North America by professional, independent volunteer judges who grow new, never-before-sold entries next to comparisons that are considered best-in-class.
Here are some of those entries that had superior garden performance better than the comparisons and are granted the AAS award designation:
• "Celosia Kelos," Candela Pink just keeps blooming. Bright pink blossoms rise above the foliage, almost like a tall, tapered candle. Showy pink plumes maintain color all season long. Plant as a filler with mixed plants in a container for added height, or in other areas in beds and borders. It keeps giving since it can also work as a dried flower. Available in plant form only.
• Echalion, Creme Brulee is a fantastic variety for shallot lovers. A sweet and tender bulb, this shallot is easy-to-peel and has a bright, coppery pink outer skin and a pretty rosy-purple interior with thick rings. Creme Brulee has a slight, citrusy flavor when eaten raw. When caramelized, the natural sugars are enhanced with no overpowering aftertaste.
• Leucanthemum, Sweet Daisy Birdy is a beautiful robust perennial with long-lasting blooms and carefree longevity in gardens as low as zone 3. Also known as Shasta Daisies, Sweet Daisy is a good cut flower with feathery petals circling golden yellow buttonlike centers. In a moonlight garden, Sweet Daisy Birdy can be a bright accent.
• Pepper Pot-a-peno is a new pepper, fun and with its compact habit, it is ideal for container gardens and hanging baskets. The small, green jalapeno fruits give a spicy zip to a dish where a little spicy punch is desired. When left on the vine a few extra weeks, the peppers will ripen to red and yield a sweet spiciness. The plant is easy to harvest because the fruit vines down beneath the plant. Pot-a-peno's dense foliage spread lends an attractive canopy to a patio or balcony garden.
• Squash Goldilocks brought comments from the judges saying like in the fairy tale, "Ahhh, this squash is just right." With a rich, nutty flavor, Goldilocks not only tastes good, its uniform shape and bright orange fruits make it a great ornamental decoration.
• Zinnia Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor produces continual blooms over the old, never a decline in the beauty of the plant. Bold and vibrant with a red center ring surrounded by golden-yellow outer petals, Zinnia Profusion transforms into soft, beautiful shades of apricot, salmon and dusty rose, thus lending a magnitude of color to the garden. Floriferous and compact, this zinnia was noted to be a beautiful new addition to the popular Profusion series of zinnias.
The AAS winners offer many choices and a variety of colorful plants, tastes and sizes. Check their website to learn when the plants will be available by looking at "Where to Buy" buttons which will be updated for purchasing your own AAS for your own garden.
Carole McCray resides in Cape May, New Jersey and is an award-winning garden writer who has been writing a monthly garden column, The Potting Shed, for regional newspapers for nearly 20 years.