Transatlantic award winners
The world's most expensive snowdrop

Transatlantic award winners - Echinacea and Vinca

OK, starting my quick look at award winning plants from both sides of the Atlantic, we kick off with a sparkling echinacea mixture and sumptuous vinca (not to be confused with groundcover vinca). For more on All-America Selections and Fleuroselect, see my earlier post.

Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit', Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner. Image © FleuroselectEchinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’
Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ (left, click to enlarge) is seed-raised coneflower mixture in six colours: orange, red, rosy-red, yellow, purple and cream. Not only does it bring this excellent range of colours (although no pure white), but the plants flower in their first year from a spring sowing, although seed needs to be sown in heat in late winter. (zone 4)

The single flowers are relatively uniform in size, and the plants all reach about the same size – 27-31in/68-80cm in height and 25-30in/64-76cm wide – whatever the colour. So the plants are very bushy. ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ looks great for sunny borders, and as a cut flower. And you can pick out your favorite color and divide the plants.

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Vinca 'Jams 'N Jellies Blackberry' Vinca 'Jams 'N Jellies Blackberry', All-America Selection. Image © All-America Selections
All-America Selection Vinca (Catharanthus) 'Jams 'N Jellies Blackberry' (right, click to enlarge) is an unusually richly coloured form of this annual in deep, not-quite-black purple that’s rather like a sun and heat loving version of Impatiens. Widely used in North America, and becoming more popular in Britain, these vincas are prolific and easy and don’t suffer from the downy mildew problems of Impatiens.

Reaching about 10-24in/25-60cm in height, depending on the summer climate, Vinca 'Jams 'N Jellies Blackberry' is a fine container plant, with silver foliage perhaps, and good in sunny borders.

Sow seed about eleven weeks before the first frost in your area at about 75F/24C and grow on at about 70F before hardening off and planting out.

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