More from the 2013 Test Garden


January 27, 2014

Flower: 'South Pacific Scarlet' canna

Although cannas are usually propagated from their tuberous roots, this variety is grown from seed. From a late-winter sowing indoors, our plants grew fast; by summer, they had expanded into multistemmed clumps, about 4 feet tall and never without a crown of exotic scarlet flowers.

Flower: 'Cheyenne Spirit' Echinacea

This color mixture offers gardeners an inexpensive way to grow a rainbow of perennial coneflowers (Echinacea). Emphasis is on sunset hues: red, orange, gold, and amber.
Harris Seeds


Flower: 'Pinto Premium White to Rose' geranium

This seed strain of bedding geranium had many fans among the Organic Gardening test gardeners. Individual florets open white and mature to rose, painting each flower cluster with many shades of pink.
Harris Seeds

Flower: 'Bonanza Deep Orange' marigold

Some gardeners shy away from marigolds—and orange in general—which means they’ll miss out on this delightfully cheerful, free-flowering annual. A crested French marigold, it forms a tidy mound about a foot tall.
Harris Seeds

Flower: 'Jua Maya' sunflower

Bred for quick cut-flower production, ‘Jua Maya’ grows rapidly from seed to bloom. The classic golden sunflowers are borne atop 5-foot stems.
The Cook's Garden

Flower: 'Little Becca' sunflower

Gold petals are overlaid with a band of mahogany, creating a halo effect in this two-tone sunflower. The dwarf plants grow about 3 feet tall with some branching for repeat bloom.
Harris Seeds

Flower: 'Solar Flare' sunflower

Luminous russet-and-gold petals radiate from a large near-black disk at the center of ‘Solar Flare’. Each 6-foot plant produces one large flower followed by a few smaller blooms on side stems.

Flower: 'Profusion Double Hot Cherry' zinnia

Test garden visitors weren’t always sure what this dazzling flower was—they just knew they wanted it for their own gardens. The low, mounding plants bloom nonstop until frost.
Harris Seeds

Flower: 'Profusion Double Deep Salmon' zinnia

Similar in growth and stature with its ‘Hot Cherry’ sibling, ‘Deep Salmon’ offers the same abundance of flowers but in a softer color. Both of the Profusion zinnias maintained clean and healthy foliage throughout the growing season, which isn’t true of all zinnias.
Harris Seeds

Even MORE from the 2013 test gardens:

Tomatoes and Ground Cherries

Vegetables and Basil


Photography by Patrick Montero