new flowers for 2014, flower variety, ornamental corn, japonica striped maize, annual, full sun flowers

Japonica Striped Maize

Even if you’re still shoveling snow or tracking mud through your front hall, you can still dream about being in the garden, right?

We’ve recently had stories about the colors and outdoor décor trending in 2014. Today, we’d like to focus on some of the new flowers you’ll likely be seeing in yards and on patios this year.

Our information comes from the National Garden Bureau’s website, an invaluable resource for gardeners of any skill level. With the addition of 62 new flower varieties for 2014, it looks like gardeners will have quite a selection, especially in sunny areas.

New Flowers for Sun Lovers

We love these six, new flower varieties, which need full sun to thrive.

Corn, Ornamental Japonica Striped Maize: This beautiful ornamental “pop corn,” can reach a height of 5-6 feet and can be grown in the ground or in containers.  Variegated leaves are striped with green, white, yellow and pink, dark purple tassels, with burgundy kernels. As a bonus, birds love the edible black/purple “pop corn.”

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Japonica Striped Maize (Image by Amada44 | CC BY 3.0)

We love the color of ‘Spring Celebrities Apricot’ Hollyhock.

These are not your ordinary hollyhocks! Unlike other varieties, ‘Spring Celebrities Apricot’ is a dwarf, reaching a maximum height of 32 inches and producing side shoots that also produce flowers.

The Spring Celebrities variety is an annual that needs full sun and, like other hollyhocks, grows upright.

As readers know, my hands down favorite flower is lavender.

That’s why I can’t resist the new Lavender SuperBlue, an English lavender with excellent winter hardiness that thrives in the landscape even when it’s hot and humid.

For those of you who want your flowers to make a statement, try Narai Orange Marigold, voted Best Marigold in the 2011 Colorado State University Annual Flower Trial Garden.

It’s a new variety of Tagetes erecta, the so-called Mexican marigold (and sometimes called the African marigold, even though it’s native to the Americas).

The flowers have deep orange blooms and look great in garden beds and in vases.

They are also are extremely sturdy, being tolerant of heat and drought, as well as wind and rain.

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Mexican Marigold (Image by Miwasatoshi | CC BY-SA 3.0)

It’s hard to resist a rose called ‘Dee-Lish® especially this hybrid, which smells like verbena and citrus.

The hot pink blooms are 4 inches and the glossy, green foliage is disease resistant. Those of us in the North can enjoy this rose too as it’s Zone 5 hardy.

The  colors of the ‘Gem Lavender Apricot’ Viola are extraordinary, the blend of purple and apricot really seems to sparkle. As hardy as it is lovely, this flower has strong over-wintering ability and exceptional heat tolerance.

Full and Partial Sun

These brightly colored flowers all do well in full or partial sun.

Gaura ‘Sparkle White’was the 2014 AAS Winner with slender stems and delicate white flowers tinged with pink.  According to NGB, “This beauty is perfect mass planted in sun-drenched landscape beds, in groupings with other perennials or in larger containers.

Home gardeners will appreciate that this season-long bloomer also has excellent heat tolerance and a more uniform flowering habit than other seed gauras.”

On the other end of the color spectrum, ‘Pinball™’ Gomphrena, stands out with its vibrant, deep purple color and strong mounding habit. Pinball has excellent heat and drought tolerance and delivers worry-free color all summer long, making it an excellent addition for mixed combinations.

I don’t know about you, but once all the snow’s melted and the grass is still an ugly brown, I crave color. For everyone like me, the ‘Cool Wave® Golden Yellow’ Pansy delivers an exuberant shot of yellow. Like all pansies, they’re perfect for spring gardens and will even overwinter through USDA Zone 5.

Speaking of spring, these ‘Snappy Burgundy & White’ Snapdragons are frost tolerant and spread their deep burgundy/magenta with white throat and yellow splashes  about a foot from early spring through late fall. Pair them with pansies for a profusion of color!

New Flowers for Shade Lovers

People without sunny backyards, can use the plants and flowers below which thrive in shade to partial shade.

Coleus has recently become quite popular. We like this variety, ‘Kong Jr.’, for its huge foliage and unique color combinations.

The scaffold leaves create great plant dimension in garden beds and containers, and it’s available in several colors, including chartreuse, rose, scarlet, burgundy, and mixed.

These next two, Santa Cruz Sunset Begonias and ‘Blushing Dawn’ Heuchera, do as well in the shade as they do in the bright sun though that’s where the similarities end.

The begonias have fiery bright red-orange flowers that look quite tropical, while the Heuchera has soft red and yellow foliage and pink flowers. The Heuchera is also sturdy, being tolerant of both cold and heat.

Want more new flowers? See the full list of 2014 flowers from the National Garden Bureau.