The Value of Verbena

 

Today was a balmy 40 degrees F which was quite a change from the previous couple of days.  The “warm up” allowed for some serious lights retrieval out in the gardens from the Holiday Light Show (HLS).  Big John and Larry H. headed right out and were later joined by Alan M., Peg and Vicki.  Ron P. was in to repair more lights and Dr. Gredler continued his progress with painting.  Vern, Jim and Dave continued work on the 2016 Garden Art Project (top secret details right now….more to follow).  Gene continued sanding a bench that will soon be re-stained.  We also saw Maury, Gary, Rollie, Marsha M., Dick H. and many others today.  Bill O. also came in to work on a couple of projects. I had some meetings and accomplished more odds and ends including sifting through myriad seed catalogs.
This blog is dedicated to a tough, heat tolerant annual that has been a favorite for the sunny border or container.  Annual verbena (Verbena hybrida) has long been a popular seasonal plant known for prolific blooms over a long period of time.  There are some perennial species as well but the varieties shown here would certainly not be hardy in our Midwestern climate.  There have been some exciting developments in color for verbenas over the past couple of years.  These photos are all from the last three years and showcase some excellent newer varieties.  While there are still some excellent seed grown selections, many of the newer varieties are sold as plants and produced vegetatively.  Verbenas can be trailing forms or more upright and rounded in their form.  Most are under 12″ in height but will spread a good 2-3′ when happy.  If flowers start to wane in later summer, consider a shearing or severe cutback followed by fertilizer.  This should encourage another flush of blooms that will continue to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.  Enjoy the exciting color range of the invaluable annual verbena!
Verbena ‘Voodoo Lavender Star’

 

Verbena ‘Voodoo Red Star’ (above and below)

 

 Verbena ‘Lascar Dark Violet’
 Verbena ‘Lascar Mango Orange’
 Verbena ‘Estrella Peach’
 Verbena ‘Vanessa Deep Pink’
 Verbena ‘Estrella UP Pink Ballet’
 Verbena ‘Empress Purple Charm’
Verbena ‘Empress Strawberry Charm’
 Verbena ‘Lanai Upright Lime Green’
 Verbena ‘Pops Pink + Eye’
 Verbena ‘Royal Cherryburst’
 Verbena ‘Wicked Cool Blue’
 Verbena ‘Magelana Lipstick Improved’
 Verbena ‘Lanai Bright Eye’
 Verbena ‘Lanai Candy Cane’
 Verbena ‘Royale Iced Cherry’
 Verbena ‘Royale Chambray’
Verbena ‘Enduro White Blush’
Verbena ‘EnduraScape Red’
Verbena ‘EnduraScape Blue’
 Verbena ‘EnduraScape Hot Pink’
Verbena ‘EnduraScape Blue’ and ‘EnduraScape Hot Pink’

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