Grow Updated Classics

Grow Updated Classics

PLANT BREEDERS’ WORK NEVER STOPS and recently, some cottage-garden favorites have benefited from their work. Here are four to watch for, either as seeds or plants. Many can be found at Connecticut-based Select Seeds and California’s own Annie’s Annuals.

‘Halo’ Hollyhocks: Unlike traditional biennial hollyhocks, these statuesque plants are said to bloom the first year and live for more than two years. The single flowers glow with a yellow eye ringed in bold color. Available in white, cream and shades of pink.

‘Benary’s Series’ Zinnias: German breeding has created taller plants (3 to 4 feet) with saucer-sized double flowers and made them mildew resistant as well. Choose from pink, red, purple, orange, yellow or white blossoms.

‘Double Click’ or ‘Cosimo’ Cosmos: Both these series have trans-formed the typical single petal flower into ruffled beauties on long-bearing plants. Look for wine and cranberry hues, white flowers splashed with pink or rose blooms brushed with white.

‘Kablouna Series’ Calendula: Longer stems hold bold, fragrant flowers with pompom centers fringed with petals in the same or contrasting color. Easy to grow and an excellent cut flower in shades of yellow, gold, orange and cream. Petals are edible, too.

Categories: Gardening