All-America Winners for 2004
If you're looking for something new to add to next
year's garden, All-America Selections (AAS) has chosen five new flowers
and three vegetables for 2004. These new cultivars have been judged superior
in their class based on their performance in test gardens all over the
Two new Celosia cultivars head this year's list of winners. 'Fresh Look
Yellow' is a low-maintenance, colorful addition to the bedding garden,
sporting large, golden-yellow plumes that reach up to 9 inches tall and
6 inches wide. As the main plume fades, it is camouflaged by side plumes,
which reduces the need for deadheading. 'Fresh Look Red' has a slightly
smaller plume but continues to perform with fresh side plumes all summer
long. The flowers on both of these new cultivars are excellent as fresh
or dried cut flowers, as well.
The petite Limbo Violet' petunia moves away from the
"wave" of trailing petunias. Reaching a mere 6-7 inches tall
and up to 12 inches in spread, 'Limbo Violet' will not require any pinching
or pruning to maintain its tidy, well-behaved form. Despite its dwarf
size, the large 2-3 inch single blooms will shout with velvety, violet
Another dwarf that towers in color is Hollyhock 'Queeny Purple,' the
shortest Alcea rosea and the first purple hollyhock available as a single
color (not part of a mixture). The 3-4 inch blooms feature a cushion center
with a frilly edge. Yet, the plants reach a mature height of only 20 to
Gypsophila 'Gypsy Deep Rose' is an annual baby's breath with delicate,
rose-like blooms. The mounded plant habit reaches up to 10 inches tall
with a slightly larger spread. 'Gypsy Deep Rose' thrives best in full
sun and adapts well to the container garden.
For the vegetable garden, Melon 'Amy' is an early, yet high-yielding,
specialty melon with smooth, bright, golden-yellow skin indicating it's
ready for harvest. The juicy, white flesh has great flavor and aroma with
a relatively small seed cavity. 'Amy' will produce melons in 70 to 80
days from transplanting on vigorous spreading vines.
Watermelon 'Sweet Beauty' packs sweet flavor and crisp texture into a
small, "ice box"- size package. Weighing in at 5 to 7 pounds,
these oblong melons, with dark green skin and medium green stripes, are
the ultimate in convenient, single-serving size. But the plants are far
from compact, spreading about 8-10 feet in the garden! 'Sweet Beauty'
melons are ready to pick about 77 to 80 days from sowing seed directly
into the garden.
Winter squash 'Sunshine' boasts a bright orange-red
skin surrounding the 3- to 4-pound, flattened-globe fruit on semi-compact
vines. The bright orange, smooth-textured flesh is sweet and nutty in
flavor. 'Sunshine' is ready to harvest about 95 to 100 days from sowing
seed or 80 days from transplants.
AAS winners are selected from many new cultivars, based on garden performance
as well as performance in the greenhouse. Although no plant offers a guarantee
of success in an individual garden, the AAS winners have proven themselves
worthy over a broad range of growing conditions. Try these new selections
alongside your old standbys so you'll have a means of comparison. AAS
winners should be available through local garden centers and mail order
catalogs next spring. For more information about these and previous year's
winners, point your Web browser to http://www.all-americaselections.org/.