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GARDENING Begonias, petunias among varieties for 2005



Published: Sat, January 29, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The upcoming season is sprouting a list of new plants.

NEWPORT NEWS DAILY PRESS

Tired of plain red begonias?

Bored with pale pink petunias?

That's OK, because the coming gardening season promises new looks on old favorites.

Begonias are some of the best flowering annuals you can use for warm-weather color in beds or patio pots.

They are carefree, big and bushy plants that bloom in sun or shade throughout the growing season.

There will be several new begonias for 2005, including Braveheart with rose and white blooms.

There's also Begonia Nonstop Deep Red with 4-inch fully double, deep-red flowers on dark green foliage, and Begonia Sun Devil Deep Rose, a new green-leaf series in five flower colors that tolerate the hottest summer days.

The sun-loving petunia family also sprouts several new members.

Easy Wave Red produces flowers that open dark red and mature to a soft red.

The Sun Devil Mambo Mixture is the first naturally dwarf multiflora petunia with flowers in six colors.

Avalanche petunias flower early and spread 24 inches to cover the ground or trail from containers.

The Dolce Flambe multiflower petunia yields masses of 3-inch flowers in hues of rose, lemon and creamy white.

You'll surely want to show off the latest Kong coleus series in your shadiest spots.

The giant-leaf collection features five unique color patterns, including the new Rose with a striking light-green leaf and rose center.

It grows 14 to 16 inches tall, and makes a terrific houseplant any time of the year.

Three of the new flowering varieties are winners of the All-America Selections awards for '05.

There's Gaillardia Arizona Sun, a hardy perennial that loves summer's heat and flowers for months.

Another winner is Vinca First Kiss Blueberry with violet-blue flowers.

The large 2-inch single blooms have a distinct dark violet eye in the center of the flower.

And, finally, there's Zinnia Magellan Coral with 5- to 6-inch coral-colored blooms.

For catalog and online shopping sources for these and other plants, visit the Mailorder Gardening Association at www.mailordergardening.com.

The site lists catalogs via specific topic, including annuals, perennials, veggies, supplies and tools, roses and more.

You'll also find more new varieties listed at the National Garden Bureau's online site at www.ngb.org.

The nonprofit National Garden Bureau provides information about these and other recently introduced varieties.




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