THE OLD SIGN PHILOSOPHER, THOUGHT FOR THE DAY!

GO CARDINALS!

OFFICIAL MUM COUNT 1324

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October is "PERENNIAL TIME" at the garden center. All perennials are half off. Now is the time to fill in those gaps in the perennial garden. Remember, when you plant in the fall......all you ask of the plant to do is develop a root system. Perennials planted in the fall of 2005 will be stronger and more developed than those planted in the spring of 2006. We plant hundreds of perennials every year in our display gardens and they put on a "great show" the following year.

THE OLD SAYING....."FALL IS FOR PLANTING".....BUT ITS ALSO FOR SAVING MONEY!

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THREE ROSES NAMED 206 AWARD OF EXCELLENCE WINNERS BY AMERICAN ROSE SOCIETY

Three roses----'Caliente', Baby Boomer' and 'Iced Rasberry'---have been named 2006 Award of Excellence winners by the American Rose Society. Also known as the "Royal E", the Award of Excellence is a designation of merit given to new miniature and mini-flora rose varieties of superior quality and marked distinction as determined by their performance in official test gardens. Since the inception of the award 31 years ago, 92 roses have received the designation.

To evaluate new varieties, three plants of each entry are sent to the eight AOE public test gardens and two to five private gardens of members of the ARS Miniature/Mini-Flora Rose Committee. Each public garden has an AOE supervisor and five evaluators. Thus, more than 40 evaluators judge the entries in the AOE trials. The gardens, public and private, are spaced geographically across the United States so as to include most growing zones. Each evaluator judges each entry four times during the growing season for two years. Every year the Miniature/Mini-Flora Committee decides, by vote, the number of awards to be made, with a maximum of five per year.

All commercial and amateur hybridizers are eligible and invited to enter unnamed seedlings or sports of the miniature or mini-flora varieties in the AOE trials. A fee of $10 per entry is collected with a limit of five entries per hybridizer per year. Thirty-four healthy plants of a variety are necessary to enter the trials, and entries may not be registered or introduced commercially during the testing period. For more information on entering the trials, contact the American Rose Society at 1-877-ROSE911 or ars@ars-hq.org.

'Caliente' (BENdiez)

This dark red miniature with medium red reverse has long lasting, exhibition-form blooms borne singly on long stems. With an upright habit, 'Caliente' reaches 24 inches in height. It has dark green, semi-glossy foliage and benefits from removing spent blooms. This variety has about 31 petals and moderate rasberry fragrance. Its parentage is 'Ruby' X 'Timeless'. 'Caliente' was hybridized by Frank Banardella and will be introduced by Nor'East Miniature Roses.

'Baby Bloomer' (JACseboy)

This medium pink miniature has single blooms borne in clusters on a low-growing, compact plant. The blooms are bright pink with a light, spicy fragrance and hold their petals very well. It is very floriferous and tends to be blackspot resistant. Its parentage is unnamed white seedling X 'Boy Crazy' (DICrevival). 'Baby Bloomer' was hybridized by Keith Zary and will be introduced by Jackson & Perkins.

'Iced Rasberry' (SAVaras)

A red blend miniature with raspberry red petals and white reverse, 'Iced Raspberry' has a petal count of 44 to 54. Blooms are borne singly, unfurl slowly, have slight fragrance and have both decorative and exhibition potential. Parentage is 'Jilly Jewel' x unnamed seedling. 'Iced Raspberry' was hybridized by Wendy White and will be introduced by Nor'East Miniature Roses. This is White's second AOE winner in two years.

For more information about roses contact www.ars.org

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CUT FLOWER VARIETIES TO CONSIDER IN YOUR GARDEN

Cut flower gardeners are always looking for something new. Here are a couple of new varieties that perform well in St. Louis.

Zinna Zinnia elegans 'Uproar Rose' and 'Zowie Yellow Flame' by Goldsmith Seeds, Inc. Both have reported vase-life of approximately two weeks. 'Uproar Rose' is supposedly as resistant to powdery mildew as Benary cultivars. 'Zowie' is a real eye catching cut flower and even though it is medium in size it is still worth adding to your Zinnia collection for 2006.

Calla Lily Zantedeschia x rehmanii 'Edge of Night' by Terra Nova is grown for both its nearly-black flowers and its white spotted foliage. Although it is not winter-hardy in our climate, it will survive outdoors where temperatures rarely drop into the twenties.

Ninebark Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diablo', Shrub with dark purple foliage and orange fall color. It has white flowers in June and July followed by red seeds that remain for several weeks. This plant prefers full sun and acidic soils. It can grow to a height of 6-12 feet, but requires pruning in order to stay bushy. Check out the "Ninebark Diablo" display in the Dougherty Ferry Garden at Greenscape Gardens.