2017 "Top Performer" Perennial

Noted as a real step up in breeding, evaluators described this as the new standard for Dianthus. The vibrant pink flowers covered the plants at peak bloom and created a mat of stunning color against the green foliage. This entry was superior for an extremely long period of bloom and exceptional uniformity. It has proven to be reliably hardy and would look great in a rock garden, ground beds, borders, and a great choice to use in containers since it was always in bloom. This selection remained very compact and has great heat tolerance during the peak of summer temperatures. It was very attractive even during its first year in the garden and has only gotten better each year since it was planted.

This winner was selected in part for its unique ability to bloom from early spring till late summer. It added a touch of elegance to the garden with a classic white flower, attractive glossy foliage and a very attractive dense, compact growth habit. Not only did the nodding flowers change color over the season but the foliage can be evergreen in a protected area for year around interest. Besides making a great groundcover, the flowers are useful for cut flower production.

Abundant blue flowers that fade to white were held upright on sturdy stems with dark emerald green leaves that never lodged despite overhead irrigation used in the garden. Flower color was a subtle blue that is strongest in early summer and again late in the season as the temperature cools. It was a relatively early bloomer starting in mid-July. Self-branching plants had a very full and uniform growth habit. Plants had superior resistance to powdery mildew.

The abundant, tall graceful flower stalks are held high above the foliage for maximum display. Besides being very uniform, all plants had excellent cold hardiness. They do best grown on the drier side to avoid lodging of the flower stalks. Pollinators were very attracted to this plant and it has a high oil content that makes it very attractive for commercial production.

Big, fat and stout flower spikes put on a eye-catching show of dark pink flowers. Plants kept a very formal appearance with great uniformity and dark green emerald foliage that really sets off the pink flowers. Bloom period was very long especially if deadheaded. Plant had superior resistance to powdery mildew compared to other entries growing in the trial. Growth habit was very full and dense.

The Perennial Trial Garden Sub-committee likes to award the ‘Top Performer’ designation to superior plants that have been in the ground 2 winters and 3 growing seasons. This category is to acknowledge an upcoming plant that has been in the ground one winter and two growing seasons and shows excellent performance thus far in the trial. The following plant impressed the Perennial Trial Garden Sub-committee so much that they designated the category name: “Too Good to Wait Performer”.

    The sheer mass of vibrant flowers drew people from across the garden. Prolific flowers formed a solid canopy of blooms over the plants and is sure to spell success for the gardener. The intense orange color almost seemed to glow at its peak. Flower color faded to an attractive shade of pale yellow to maintain a long season of bloom. Foliage was very unique shape and attractive early in the season. Plants had a very uniform growth habit and good branching. The KISMET™ series also features colors of raspberry, red and yellow.