The good, the bad - and the chrysanthemums
Book Bullet: The Layered Garden by David Culp

Summer's favorite flowers

Calibrachoa Cabaret™ Bright Red and Cabaret™ Deep Yellow. Images ©Ball Colegrave
During its season of summer open days Ball Colegrave, the British branch of the Ball Horticultural Company, invites its visitors (over 2000 this year) to choose their favorite plants from the huge range on display. It’s simple, each visitor marks their choice with a blue flag. The focus is on patio plants and colorful summer annuals, with plenty of perennials as well. At the end of every day the count is made and the flags collected in preparation for the next day’s voting. Then at the end of the season there’s a grand reckoning.

So, which variety came out top? Well, the overall winner for 2012 was Calibrachoa Cabaret™ Bright Red, with Calibrachoa Cabaret™ Deep Yellow in second place (above, click to enlarge). Both these new colors in the Cabaret Series are vivid in color, prolific and have a mounded, semi-trailing habit. They also tolerate cool conditions and being watered with “hard” (alkaline) water better than other calibrachoas.

I have to say, impressive though these were, I didn’t vote for either. My vote went to a geranium (Pelargonium), ‘Angel Eyes Randy’ (below, click to enlarge) which was colorful, prolific and very prettily patterned.

Last year’s top two, by the way, were a very different pairing. The winner was an ornamental grass, Panicum ‘Frosted Explosion’, and the runner up was the foliage begonia ‘Gryphon’.

Geranium (Pelargonium) ‘Angel Eyes Randy’. Image ©