New for '06: Richer colors, patterned leaves, and a few surprises
Fresh from the "runways" of spring's biggest plant shows, Sunset's garden editors bring you five trends to watch, 15 stunning new plants, and ways to make it all work in your garden.
Pictured here, 'Origami Rose & White' columbine produces striking, dark-rose and white blooms and grows up to 16 inches tall. More info: Goldsmith Seeds
Trend No. 1: Bold colors
You'll still be able to find delicate pastels this spring, if you want them. But flowers in more intense versions of these shades -- the same colors you're finding in fashion -- are now available, and they pack a lot more thrill. Think raspberry instead of blush. Eggplant over lilac. Dandelion yellow rather than primrose. Coral and pumpkin instead of peach.
Deliciously dark-orange Hibiscus 'Largo Breeze' is an ideal patio plant, specifically bred to do well in smaller containers. More info: Yoder Brothers, Inc.
Bold colors, continued
With flame-colored inner petals and blaze-yellow tips, 2-foot-tall Zinnia 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' makes a terrific centerpiece for pot planting. Try starting it from seed; you'll have blooms in two months flat. More info: Goldsmith Seeds
Trend No. 2: Statuesque forms
It was probably inevitable -- now that nearly all bedding plants are uniformly compact, the pendulum had to swing in the opposite direction. Whatever the reason, we're delighted to see the return of taller, beefier annuals and perennials for seasonal color.
Salvia 'Picante Purple' is similar to the popular 'Salsa' series of annual salvia, but taller and with much bigger flowers. 'Salvia' is fun to use with the smaller 'Salsa' for a tone-on-tone effect. More info: Goldsmith Seeds