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1999 Garden Trends Will Delight Growers
By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center
Growers will not be disappointed by the trends toward bold flowering beds and orange colors in 1999.
The recent Grower Expo in Atlanta provide me the opportunity to hear several well-known writers and horticulturists as they describe the trends for the coming season.
With All-American Selections winners like Profusion Orange Zinnia, Pin-Up Flame Begonia and Flamenco, the red hot poke plant, I knew orange would be popular. These weren't the only orange varieties discussed. Two large-flowered marigolds, Antigua orange and Atlantis Orange, will be prevalent for summer-long color in the face of extreme heat and humidity. Speakers were equally impressed by this year' All-America winner, Bonanza Bolero.
Another speaker was high on the calendula Calypso orange, Avanti orange geraniums, Orange Flame New Guinea impatien, and Dragon Wing begonia with scarlet-orange blooms.
Tall plants like the Salvia farinacea will be hot as well as two intermediate snapdragons called La Bella and Crown. But Hilo Princess angelonia, Butterfly Bush pentas, and cut zinnias like Oklahoma, were also on the tall and hot lists.
Topiaries are becoming the rage nationally. Evergreen shrub topiaries are popular along with ivy topiaries and those with mixed flowers.
Birdhouses are trendy but not just for birds. Many are bringing the birdhouses indoors as accents. It is kind of like bringing a touch of the outdoors inside the living area.
As one might suppose with the popular movies, Antz and A Bug's Life, insects are becoming popular. Pots have bugs molded in them, there are bug figurines, I saw bug art work and even people like Paul James on HGTV are cooking bugs to eat.
Volkswagen Beetles are back, Ford is going to bring back the T-Bird and nostalgic plants are trucking right along as well. Antique roses, heirloom tomatoes and that desire to remember, or touch our childhood when times were fun, slower and more relaxed, is becoming a prevalent thought in gardening shopper's minds.
One group of plants that has been hot and should get absolutely sizzling this year is the wave petunias. Purple Wave set the standard for petunias with its debut in 1995. It was an All-America winner and deserves a nomination for plant of the decade.
Then in 1996 Pink Wave came on the market. It is just as tough, a little more compact, but and equal in performance. This spring the waves keep rolling in. New for 1999 will be Rose Wave and my prediction for the hottest, Misty Lilac Wave.
Misty Lilac will have a four-foot spread like Purple Wave, and its unique lilac color is absolutely beautiful.
Get your beds ready. A warming trend is coming, and spring planting will be here before you know it.