The All-America Selections judges have given their award to three new flowers for 1997. My favorite is the Zinnia angustifolia 'Crystal White'. This group of edging or ground cover zinnias is notable because the plants are very disease resistant and require no deadheading. The plants are compact, forming mounds 10 inches high and 10 inches across. The 1-inch flowers are the purest white with gold centers. They keep blooming from early summer to frost.
'Prestige Scarlet' is an all-new type of cockscomb celosia. At 3 inches wide, flowers are somewhat smaller than those of other varieties. But there are many more of them, because the plants branch so profusely. Flowers are pure red and foliage is bright green flushed with purple.
'Gypsy' baby's breath-an annual form of the popular perennial-is the most unusual of the new AAS winners. Easy to grow from seed, 'Gypsy' grows only 10 inches tall and covers itself with tiny pale pink flowers. For me, it's best as a filler in containers, where it has never grown taller than 6 inches.