Earlier this week, I spent the morning in Columbus at a horticultural trade show that specializes in showcasing annuals and perennials that will be featured in 2014.

Verbena 'Candy Cane'

Verbena ‘Candy Cane’

Petunia 'Cha-ching Cherry'

Petunia ‘Cha-ching Cherry’

Bi-colored annuals are evidently going to be quite the rage. One that quickly caught my eye was Verbena ‘Candy Cane’, a bright pink and white ring of florets. Verbena love full sun, have a trailing habit, and look great in containers. Another bicolor that caught my eye was Petunia ‘Cha-ching Cherry’, each petal of which is chartreuse rimmed with Bing cherry red, creating a star-like pattern.

Zinnia 'Profusion Double Yellow'

Zinnia ‘Profusion Double Yellow’

Generally speaking, I prefer single flowers to double flowers but the breeders of the Profusion series of zinnias, which are mildew resistant, are now introducing doubles. The double yellow is very attractive.

Gomphrena 'Pink Zazzle'

Gomphrena ‘Pink Zazzle’

A real showstopper is Gomphrena ‘Pink Zazzle’. This is not your ordinary, everyday Gomphrena with small balls of color.This attention hog has large, hot pink/fuschia blooms atop succulent-like fuzzy foliage. As the flowers age, they fade to a softer pink. The plantonly grows twelve inches high but is likely to be eighteen inches wide. It garnered several awards at the spring trials in California.

Container combo: Red petunia, Ipomoea 'Blackie'

Container combo: Red petunia, Ipomoea ‘Blackie’

Shade container combo: Begonia 'Big Red', Fuchsia 'Gartenmeister', Coleus

Shade container combo: Begonia ‘Big Red’, Fuchsia ‘Gartenmeister’, Coleus


I’m always looking for ideas for container combinations and saw one composed of bright red petunias and Ipomoea ‘Blackie’ (the dark sweet potato vine). Another combo, this one for shade but also playing on red, was composed of Begonia ‘Big Red’, Fuchsia ‘Gartenmeister’, and a reddish orange Coleus.

Chessboard of Sagina subulata (Irish Moss) and S.s.'Aurea' (Scotch Moss)

Chessboard of Sagina subulata (Irish Moss) and S.s.’Aurea’ (Scotch Moss)



Although  a chessboard of Sagina subulata (Irish Moss) and S.s.’Aurea’ (Scotch Moss) wasn’t composed of new plants, the composition was very creative and fun.

Clematis 'Princess Kate'

Clematis ‘Princess Kate’: Although you can’t see it in this image, the outer side of the petals is ruby red.



I got very excited when I saw that a perennial vendor was prominently displaying images of Clematis ‘Princess Kate’. I saw her in a garden in Belgium last summer and have been coveting her ever since. Now I may be able to add her to my collection.

Amazingly, I also saw some new perennials that I wouldn’t want in my garden. The flowers were tiny and the colors weren’t that great but for the most part, I can hardly wait for 2014.