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Zinnias looking hot for fall garden fest
By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center
If you want to see next year's hot new zinnias, be sure to attend the Fall Flower and Garden Fest Oct. 15-16 at the Truck Crops Experiment Station in Crystal Springs.
Among the new zinnias is the Magellan series, which is sure to be hot. The Magellan Coral will be an All-America Selections winner next year. As you look at the colors available, you'll think they are all winners.
The Magellan zinnia produces enormous flowers that reach a whopping 6 inches in width. These bright, colorful flowers are produced on short, stocky plants that reach 18 inches tall. They need no staking and will not fall over.
The Magellan zinnia offers bright, colorful, dahlia-like blossoms that look good grown as a mixture or in single colors. They can be planted in any style garden, from tropical to cottage.
Also look for the two additions to the Profusion Series, Profusion Apricot and the electrifying Profusion Fire. The apricot is a light coral with a rich terracotta center. If you thought the old Profusion Orange was hot, the Profusion Fire will blow you away with its scarlet and orange.
Zinnias are just a tiny sampling of the great new flowers and vegetables you'll see at the 26th annual Fall Flower and Garden Fest, which takes place both days from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Visitors can tour the 3-acre vegetable, flower and herb gardens. Additional plots include ethnic, butterfly, hummingbird and shade gardens, the Mississippi Medallion Winners Garden and the All-America Selection Winners Garden.
Sponsored by Mississippi State University's Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, the event attracts more than 5,000 people from across the region every year. In addition to the garden tours, visitors can view educational displays and demonstrations. Fifteen garden seminars on a wide variety of topics will be held each day.
Some of the topics included in the event are pond management, pruning, tomatoes, floral design, climbing vegetables and flowers, ornamental grasses, backyard wildlife habitats, beekeeping and compost development. Also look for home economics exhibits and Master Gardener programs.
Family highlights include the corn maze, wagon ride tours and the Corn Meal Man, who demonstrates an old-fashion gristmill.
The Fall Flower and Garden Fest also will feature exhibitors selling the latest in flowers, trees, shrubs, garden art and accessories. If you've been looking for the hard-to-find Muhly grass, the Fall Flower and Garden Fest is the place to be.
There will be a lot of plant docs around to answer your questions or identify an elusive plant. I'll be there both days, so come up and introduce yourself.
The Truck Crops Experiment Station is located on Highway 51 in Crystal Springs, 25 miles south of Jackson. Take exit 68 off Interstate 55 to get there. For more information, call (601) 892-3731 or the local county Extension office.