Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Check out Spring Landscape's New Color; A Great Place to Do That Is the Flower Festival at Epcot through May 20

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Check out Spring Landscape's New Color; A Great Place to Do That Is the Flower Festival at Epcot through May 20

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Brite DelValle

According to the National Weather Service, areas in Georgia just north of us reported record-high temperatures for March. In Jacksonville, we experienced the ninth warmest March, but we were lucky that it was a little cooler here than it was to the north.

Freezes should be a thing of the past and it is definitely safe to spruce up the landscape with warm season color. If you are into trying new plants that will do well in the area, look for them at local garden centers or in seed catalogs.

A great place to check out some of the new plants is at the International Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot, which runs to May 20. There are test gardens outside of the complex to look at some of the newer varieties.

These are some of the highlights from last year's show that were performing well in the May heat:

There are several new zinnias that are well-adapted to our hot, dry weather, plus they are easy to grow from seed. Zinnia elegans "Queen Red-Lime" is a new one that has a unique flower color. Flowers start out as lime, but petals age to a maroon/mauve color so are usually multiple shades. They reach 24 inches to 30 inches in height and make good cut flowers. The Profusion Zinnia series has been all the rage because it does not require deadheading (removing spent blooms). The flowers are now available in doubles, which creates a larger, more robust flower. Look for the Profusion Doubles in a multitude of colors - white, yellow, cherry and double fire. "Double Fire" has a vibrant scarlet-orange color and makes a nice carefree border plant with a mature height of 12 inches to 15 inches.

TIGER EYE GOLD

Look for a new Black-eyed Susan called "Tiger Eye Gold." This is the first F1 hybrid that can be planted as seed. Flowers are a rich orange-gold color contrasted by a dark center. Plant in groups to make a statement when these 16-inch tall plants with 3- to 4-inch wide flowers come into bloom.

Angelonias are called summer snap dragons and have an upright growth habit with fragrant foliage. They prefer hot, well-drained areas and can tolerate short periods of drought. The Angelonia "Archangel" series is offered in several colors, including white, pink and raspberry. …

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