Middle South

January, 2010
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Davidson Gardening Symposium
On March 2nd, Davidson Garden Club and Davidson College will sponsor, "Through the Seasons: A Southern Garden's Journey," a symposium featuring Dr. Allen Armitage, University of Georgia; Dr. William Welch, Texas A&M University; and many others. The event will be held at the Knobloch Campus Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch is included in the $85 registration fee. Call Mary Wilson Stewart at (704) 604- 6618, or visit the Web site at www.davidsonsymposium.org.

Favorite or New Plant

Twinspur 'Flirtation Orange'
Would you believe I had an annual in my garden that was flowering when I planted it in May that was still blooming its head off in December, even after winter nights had dropped well below freezing? If not, then it's time you met the new hybrid diascia 'Flirtation Orange', a hardy annual from Proven Winners that survives temperatures as low as 10 degrees F. Hardiness is not its only good point, however. Planted in both containers and flower beds, 'Flirtation Orange' outperformed every other new plant in my 2009 garden.

'Flirtation Orange' features vibrant coral-orange flowers on a relatively small plant that grows about 12 inches tall and wide. In my garden, it cascaded gracefully over the edge of hanging baskets and provided a punch of color for the front of the butterfly garden. It was a favorite of bees and other pollinators, and its unique shade of orange mingled surprisingly well with many colors, especially burgundy.

Native to South Africa, diascia is commonly called twinspur for the two prominent spikes that protrude from the back of its dime-sized flowers. Closely related to the familiar snapdragon, experts say it likes regular moisture and afternoon shade in hot climates. It was a no-fuss plant for me, however, blooming profusely in even adverse conditions.

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