This year has been the oddest many of us can remember! Cold snap June 8, rainy and cool most of June, warmed up a bit in July, rainy and cool now in early August. It would be great if the weather would make up its mind.
The All America Selections Display garden is definitely telling us which are the star performers in this high and dry climate. Those showing off are the ‘Summer Jewel’ salvia varieties Red and Pink, ‘Glamour Red’ kale (as usual), and Osteospermum ‘Akila Daisy White’ (loves sunny cool weather). Most of the other annuals in the garden have behaved quite badly. Zinnias, marigolds, vinca, ornamental peppers, and angelonia have been all but stationary, not growing much at all and certainly not flowering. (Of course the gangs of rabbits in the neighborhood don’t help matters.) Canna ‘South Pacific Scarlet’ is holding its own but the large leaves got beaten up last week with heavy rain. A few flower buds are finally showing up though.
As far as perennials go, two of our favorites, Gaillardia ‘Mesa Yellow’ and ‘Arizona Apricot’ are blooming away, but it is their second season in this spot. First year perennials blooming are the Penstemon ‘Arabesque’ and Gaura ‘Sparkle White’. Neither of the Echinacea (‘Powwow Wild Berry’ and ‘Cheyenne Spirit’) is faring well this season.
Several of the AAS Display Garden plants did not recover from the June 30 hailstorm here in Laramie. These plants were:
- Watermelon ‘Shiny Boy’ (one left)
- Squash ‘Honey Bear’ (one left)
- Peppers ‘Orange Blaze’ (four left), ‘Cayennetta’ (six left), and ‘Cajun Bell’ (one left)
- Melons ‘Melemon’ (zero left) and ‘Lambkin’ (one left).
Some never did well from the beginning:
- Zinnia ‘Double Zahara Fire’ and ‘Double Zahara Cherry’
- Watermelon ‘Faerie’
- Viola ‘Shangri-La Marina’ (has not flowered), ‘Rain Blue and Purple’ (two flowers open), and ‘Endurio Sky Blue Martien’ (has not flowered)
- Vinca ‘Jams ‘N Jellies Blackberry’ (no flowers)
- Snapdragon ‘Twinny Peach’ (no flowers)
- Ornamental Pepper ‘Black Olive’ (barely any foliage and no flowers – so dark they’re hard to see)
- Marigold ‘Moonsong Deep Orange’ (one flower open)
- Geranium ‘Pinto Premium White to Rose’ (two flowers open)
- Eggplant ‘Gretel’ (produced like crazy in 2012 but no flowers this year)
- Canna ‘South Pacific Scarlet’ (one is about to open)
There are some that are clearly stars though:
- Zinnia ‘Zahara Starlight Rose’, ‘Profusion Double Hot Cherry’, and ‘Profusion Double Deep Salmon – excellent and have bloomed all summer long
- Tomatoes ‘Terenzo’, ‘Lizzano’, and ‘Jasper’ – rebounded from the hail and are now loaded with flowers and even a few fruits
- Salvias ‘Summer Jewel Pink’ and ‘Summer Jewel Red’ – have been blooming all summer long
- Ornamental Kale ‘Glamour Red’ – has come back from the hail with stunning red and green foliage
The perennials planted in June 2012 are all in full bloom – Gaillardias ‘Mesa Yellow’ and ‘Arizona Apricot’ as well as ‘Echinacea Powwow Wild Berry’. Even one of the ‘Arizona Apricots’ planted just two months ago is blooming! We were hoping the new Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ might flower this year but so far no luck.
There are still several weeks left in the growing season up here in the tundra and we’ll take additional pictures in early September. Here are a few photos to leave you with.
The pictures pretty much tell the story!
We’re planning garden walks Wednesdays, July 31 and September 4, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The location is just northeast of the corner of 9th and Ivinson on the University of Wyoming campus – just west of Old Main.
The second edition of the University of Wyoming’s AAS Display Garden was planted the week of June 3! My trusty assistant Shannon and I get it done in three chunks (the old knees can’t do it all at once anymore) totaling about 12 super-woman-hours.
This year 31 different varieties of flowering annuals, flowering perennials, and vegetables are in plain view for all to see! The annuals are:
Canna generalis ‘South Pacific Scarlet’ – new in 2013
Snapdragon ‘Twinny Peach’
Marigold ‘Moonsong Deep Orange’
Viola ‘Shangri-La Marina’, ‘Rain Blue and Purple’, and ‘Endurio Sky Blue Martien’
Ornamental pepper ‘Black Olive’
Salvia coccinea ‘Summer Jewel Pink’ and ‘Summer Jewel Red’
Zinnia ‘Double Zahara Cherry’, ‘Double Zahara Fire’, and ‘Zahara Starlight Rose’
Zinnia hybrida ‘Profusion Double Deep Salmon’ and ‘Profusion Double Hot Cherry’ – both new for 2013
Pelargonium xhortorum ‘Pinto Premium White to Rose’ – new for 2013
Ornamental kale ‘Glamour Red’.
This year’s flowering perennials include three from 2012:
Gaillardia ‘Mesa Yellow’
Gaillardia aristata ‘Arizona Apricot’
Echinacea purpurea ‘Powwow Wild Berry’
Echinacea hybrida ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ – new for 2013.
Peppers ‘Cajun Belle’, ‘Cayennetta’, and ‘Orange Blaze’
Tomatoes ‘Jasper’, ‘Lizzano’, and ‘Terenzo’
Melons ‘Lambkin’ and ‘Melemon’ – ‘Melemon’ new for 2013
Squash ‘Honey Bear’
Watermelons ‘Faerie’ and ‘Shiny Boy’.