Sunday, July 16, 2006

Zinnia elegans ‘Zowie! Yellow Flame’
(ZIN-ya) (ELL-eh-ganz)

Yesterday I took a trip to the Bartlett Arboretum. While it was hot, there was not a soul around. It was like a big private garden. I like visiting a garden when all I have do is enjoy it. They do a nice job with the gardens. There is always something that I haven’t seen before. Celosia 'Tassel Purple'’ and Centaurea cyanus 'Black Gem' were nice. The Cornflower was particularly nice, set off by a hairy silver foliage plant (sorry, I don'’t know what it was). It would work well with Dusty Miller or even Lamb'’s Ear. The Celosia is thin and wispy and would have looked a little better planted closer together.

Today’s featured plant was one I hadn't seen before. It is a 2006 All-America Selection award winner. I decided to walk in by the road and I was glad that I had. This Zinnia could be seen from a distance, and at first I thought it was a Black-eyed Susan. When I got close, I could see that it was a semi-tall Zinnia. I love Zinnia, but with all the fungus and insect problems they are always a risk and a lot of work. The foliage on this type looked clean. I have only had success with the shorter types of Zinnia and they are great if the conditions are right.

Zinnias are native mostly to Mexico and that makes them a good hot weather performer. The selective breeding of Zinnia started in the 1800's and there are many variations now available. They do attract a lot of butterflies. This one is a winner from my point of view.

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