The public has voted for this year’s American Garden Award winners. The awards, now in the second year, featured four new flower varieties chosen by their breeders for excellent garden performance. Once these new varieites were planted and put on display by the participating gardens, the public was invited to vote on their favorite using one of several voting methods. The votes have been tallied and the three winners are:
Grand Prize Winner
Rudbeckia ‘Denver Daisy’ by Ernst Benary of America
‘Denver Daisy’ wowed voters with masses of reddish ringed golden flowers having a delicious looking chocolate brown center. It’s a knockout with huge 4-6 inch golden blooms that cover attractive deep green foliage. The long-lasting golden dark eyed blooms proved their ability to stand up under extreme weather conditions. This most popular winner guarantees fantastic summer-long flower power throughout the country in gardens, mixed containers and landscapes. This variety was created and named in honor of Denver’s 150th anniversary.
Second Place Winner
Echinacea ‘Prairie Splendor’ by Syngenta Flowers
Create a show-stopper display with these large and abundant flowers that bloom non-stop from early summer well into the fall. ‘Prairie Splendor™’ is a stunning first year flowering perennial that will add years of enjoyment to a sunny perennial border. Voters were attracted by the abundance of large 3-3 ½” soft rosy purple blooms. Butterflies will also be attracted to this long lasting 24-inch tall beauty that begins flowering in June and continues blooming until first frost. Spent blooms, if left on the plant, provide winter food for birds.
Third Place Winner
Ornamental Pepper ‘Purple Flash’ by PanAmerican Seed
Unique and exotic looking Purple Flash enhances mixed containers and in-ground plantings with striking color. Its layered leaves are almost black with “flashes” of bright purple, topped with small, round, glossy black pepper fruits (too hot to eat!). Purple Flash offers great drought tolerance, taking sizzling summer conditions in stride. Voters agree you will definitely want to include this 12-inch tall ornamental in your sunny garden and containers.