Annuals-Emma Willard

At Middlebury, we don’t plant tons of annuals all over the place. With such a beautiful campus it almost seems like overkill to go crazy. Instead, we’ve identified some key locations, and plant the heck out of those spots. We get emails from people asking what certain flowers are, so I thought it would make a great blog post. First spot on our annual tour, Emma Willard, the admissions building on Route 30.

On the stairs leading up to the front door is a Calirachoa variety named Callie Orange. Bred by Goldsmith, think of these as a no fuss  mini petunia. Blooming all summer, they don’t need deadheading. They are also known as Million Bells, but that is another patentened name, not by this breeder.

Around the entrance to Admissions is a mixture of Tukana Scarlet Verbena, and Supertunia Citrus. I enjoyed planting a bright red flower to play off the dark red brick of the building, and the soft yellow of the supertunia should cool the hot red color down a notch or two. Both of these plants are bred and produced by Proven Winners, and feature large colorful tags with ridiculous quotes on the back, bordering on non sequitors, such as “I won’t leave you BROKENHEARTED”  or “I express YOUR style”. Speaking as an ex-retailer, though, any large tag with a picture helps. Both are very low fuss plants as well (getting a theme here?), and people should be planting more Verbena. It is probably not used very much because it is not showy in a greenhouse, and can be a bear to get out of the flat (tangles together well). Once planted, though, it is a good consistant bloomer.

Finally, around the base of the Japanese Maple next to the walk is a Bacopa hybrid called Snowstorm Giant Snowflake. Bacopa is a wonderful annual, white blooms all summer long, and very tolerant of neglect. For years that was always the hanging basket I bought, as I could forget to water it until it was in full wilt, dropping all it’s blooms. A good soaking and presto, covered in blooms in something like 3 days. The only thing wrong with it is the song that always goes through my head while planting, I am going to start calling it by the latin name of Sutera, rather than Bacopa.

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