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Gardening Articles: Flowers :: Annuals

New Varieties for 2004

by Charlie Nardozzi

'Fresh Look Gold' celosia

After the last leftovers have been eaten and the stockings put away, my attention turns to the New Year and next year's garden. Fortuntately, seed companies are in sync with my desires, and my mailbox fills up with catalogs showcasing their new vegetable and annual flower varieties. Every year it gets harder and harder to fit all the varieties I want to try into my finite garden space. So, I have to be discriminating about the new ones, paring down my wish list to the varieties that really seem new, different, and unique.

So just when I thought I was done with lists, here's my list of new vegetable and annual flower varieties that I think are worth a try in 2004. After each description are the names of mail-order companies carrying these varieties. Their Web sites are listed at the end of the article.

New Annual Flowers:

New Annual Flowers:
Sunrise Serenade' morning glory

Fresh Look Red' & 'Fresh Look Gold' celosia. These two, new, All-America Selections plume celosias thrive in summer's heat, humidity, drought, rain ? you get the idea, and never need deadheading. They grow 12 to 18 inches tall and, like all Celosia plumosa, the flowers can be cut and dried to make everlasting bouquets. (Park Seed)

'Queeny Purple' hollyhock. This All-America Selections dwarf hollyhock grows only 20 to 30 inches tall and features 3- to 4-inch-diameter, frilly edged, reddish purple, double blooms. This annual will flower prolifically the first year from a February or March sowing. (Burpee Seed, Park Seed)

Sunrise Serenade' morning glory. This heirloom morning glory features unusual, double, ruby-red flowers. It's a strong climber with dark green.(Seed Saver's Exchange)'Sunrise Serenade' morning glory 'Shooting Stars' nemesia. This yellow-and-white-flowered nemesia only grows 1 foot tall and has a strong branching habit and a delightful coconut fragrance. (Thompson & Morgan)

Sugar N Spice' sweet pea. Container gardeners looking for a window box full of sweet peas should check out 'Sugar N Spice'. Growing only 1 to 2 feet tall, this mixed-colored sweet pea is fragrant, blooms on short nodes, and doesn't require pinching. (Thompson & Morgan)

'Tiger Eyes' viola. This eye-catching viola features gold-colored flowers with black veins. Great for borders or containers. (Thompson & Morgan)

'Eau de Cologne' nicotiana. Nicotiana make great bedding plants. However, until now only the tall, white-flowered nicotiana had a strong fragrance. 'Eau de Cologne' mix features red, pink, yellow, and purple flowers that grow 2 feet tall and have the strong evening fragrance of heirloom nicotianas. (Thompson & Morgan)

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