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Annual Award Winners for the Garden

Posted on May 24, 2017 in Garden, Garden Tips

Written by Jason VanderMey

Roll out the red carpet!

Welcome to the annuals awards list, with your host Jason VanderMey here at West Coast Gardens! With so many glamorous and talented plants arriving this year, it’s been hard to decide which annuals merited special mention in our top 10 awards. There have been many garden performers that have captured our hearts and now hold a special place in our yard. Join us, West Coast Gardeners, amid the laughter and tears as we reveal the final winners of the year and get to know a little more about our favourite starring plants.

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Our first winner for Best Colour in 2017 goes to Sallyfun Blue (Salvia), nominated for her incredible blue violet hues. Not just a pretty face, she also has the ability to hang on to her flowers all summer and provide constant thrilling blooms!

What’s Your Sign?

We consider this vibrant plant a Libra, as she needs to balance her bright blue tones with complimentary oranges and yellows. Pair her with a warm coloured pot (or another plant with warm toned blooms) and see her truly shine!

Starring Role:

With her bold violet and blues, make sure to cast Sallyfun Blue as a leading role in a small container (what we call a “thriller” plant), or among other bright spots in a larger container as a “filler” plant. To read all about the three kinds of plants in container gardening, quickly take a look at our Guide to Container Gardening on the blog.

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The second place award for Best Colour goes to Autumnale (Fuchsia), who features not only brightly coloured blooms, but also gorgeous orange and red leaves. (So much talent in one plant!) This fuchsia is also completely versatile and can go from having green hues in warmer temperatures (it gets hot in the spotlight) to bold orange and reds when it’s a bit cooler.

Always a Surprising Performance

A Sagittarius at heart, Autumnale is the kind of fuchsia that craves the freedom of new adventures, which is why she can be so creative with the colours of her leaves and blooms, surprising every audience.

Starring Role:

Keep Autumnale only part-time in the spotlight, with mixed shade and sun. This star really shines in a hanging basket, where her long stems can hang heavy with bright blooms.

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First for our award of Best in Sun, we have Solenia Apricot (Begonia) who, unlike most Begonias, just thrives in bright sunny locations. We also love the pale yellow centre amid her peachy coloured petals.

A True Aries

Appropriately, we’ve named Solenia Apricot as the fire sign, Aries. She loves the warmth of the sun and revels in a rich soil. (Lawrence of Arabia anyone?)

Starring Role:

At home as part of the crowd, the Solenia Apricot can shine in a “filler” role, either in a container among other brighter flowers or in a garden bed. She’s not particular about the ph of the soil but does need to stay away from standing water (probably why she wasn’t cast in Titanic).

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As a close second in Best in Sun, Campfire Coleus has a bright future in sunny gardens and containers. Another exception to the rule, this Coleus can handle full sun without losing his bold rusty burnt orange coloured foliage.

A Crowd Pleasing Gemini

A perfect Gemini, Campfire Coleus loves to be mixed in with other plants. He is happiest amid a variety of foliage and blooms which emphasize his golden colouring, and he gets along with everyone! Basically a party plant.

Starring Role:

An amazing garden bed addition, with his flame coloured foliage adding warm colours to your yard. As well, Campfire Coleus gets along famously with the hanging basket and container garden crowd, making him super versatile!

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Also a winner in Best in Sun this year, we have Sunny Arizona Glow (Thunbergia), who demands to be planted in full sun as she doesn’t tolerate shade well. (A real attention seeker, always wanting the spotlight.) However, she rewards you with a truly generous amount of gorgeous bright red blooms in bold tropical colours, sure to draw a crowd at every premiere.

What’s My Motivation?

Sunny Arizona Glow is definitely a Capricorn, driven to succeed as she displays her many brilliant flowers for all to see. Her hard work pays off with her successful summer blooms, which will have everyone lining up to view. (Summer blockbusters anyone?)

Starring Role:

Sunny Arizona Glow works best in the garden or large container planters, where she can expand and grow to her potential. She has no problem trailing off a side or two of a hanging basket, creating lovely vines.

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For the award of Good-Natured, we have Aloha Kona (‘Hot Orange’ Calibrachoa) who, despite being a crowd favourite with plentiful bright orange blooms, is easy to care for and requires no deadheading. This always beautiful plant is easy-going when it comes to soil type and ph levels. (Impeccable comedic timing and can also cry on cue. What a catch!)

Workaholic Virgo

With his obvious good-natured and easy going attitude, Aloha Kona is a Virgo for sure. Although mild mannered on the surface, this plant is always working underneath and loves to be fertilized as much as possible. Keep him happy with some 15-30-15 fertilizer every week.

Starring Role:

Keep the Aloha Kona in full sun or partial shade. He will fill out your garden beautifully, with his bright orange colour, or find him a role in a hanging basket to witness his brilliant trailing skills as a “spiller” plant.

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Second place for Good-Natured goes to the MegaCopa (White Bacopa), known widely for his giant white mega blooms! (There really are no small roles - especially for him.) New this year, and ready to star in your garden, MegaCopa is easy going around soil of any ph level. Not too high and mighty, MegaCopa mingles with the best of them, ready to join in with cast and crew.

It’s All About Who You Know

Definitely a people person, this white Bacopa is an Aquarius and loves to mix it up with others in the garden or containers. He’s never met a plant he doesn’t like and will cover a lot of ground in order to meet new ones.

Starring Role:

Easy to include in your garden crowd, and not too proud to mingle, MegaCopa makes a brilliant “filler” for the garden, including ground cover. Although adverse to bragging, he’s also skilled at hanging from baskets, filling out the edges nicely. (Not sure if he’ll take a role hanging out of planes though…)

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Last but not least in the Good-Natured category, we have Goldilocks Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia) who is by far the most versatile of our winners this year. A highlighter plant, with her bright lime green colour, Goldilocks can mingle with the crowd in a garden or hang out by herself in a hanging basket.

Not Afraid to Get Her Feet Wet

As a Scorpio, Goldilocks embodies the water sign and can actually be used as a pond plant. (So close to being cast in Free Willy!) Use this Creeping Jenny star in water gardening, as she can grow in very damp soil or even in water up to one inch deep.

Starring Role:

In addition to her underwater feature roles, Goldilocks works brilliantly in a planter or hanging basket. She has no fear of heights and will grow straight down, hugging the container and creating a beautiful aesthetic.

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Our first winner for Outstanding Character is the highly sought after Fiber Optic Grass (Isolepsis). Quite the eye catcher, he has captured the hearts of many gardeners with his light hearted performances in the garden.

Lighthearted Roles

Fiber Optic Grass is a born Pisces, with a playful and fun personality that really stands out amid other tamer grasses. Keep him happy amid a variety of plants, as he’s a crowd pleaser in all his roles.

Starring Role:

Easy going, with a great sense of humour, Fiber Optic Grass can star in the garden or as a unique addition to your containers. He can also be adopted as a house plant as long as the temperatures inside don’t get too high. (Wish it was that easy to bring other celebrities home with you.)

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Our last nomination for Outstanding Character is a bold one. Wildspike (Cyperus) is an unforgettable addition to any garden. With tall stems and a unique spiked circular umbrella top, Wildspike lives up to his name, adding a new texture anywhere he grows.

Someone To Look Up To

Wildspike is our Leo for sure, as he captures all of the attention with ease. However, he remains relaxed and regal even while shooting up taller than the surrounding flowering plants.

Starring Role:

Great in full or partial sun, Wildspike will take any role in the garden or container planter and make it his own! He is a total “thriller” amid the more placid plants, adding a brand new look wherever he’s planted, a unique trendsetter.

This has been a great cast this year, amid so many talented plants. Thank you for joining us and we hope to see you soon in person at West Coast Gardens!

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