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Sensational Summer Combos

By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photographs courtesy of Suntory Flowers

Now is the time to shop for annuals that will go the distance all summer. Based in Japan, Suntory Flowers has bred a portfolio of gorgeous varieties that thrive in the heat.

Let’s start with Sun Parasol mandevillas. The Sun Parasol Giants can be trained to trellises and teepees to create your summer stunner! Place one in the center or the back of a large planter and surround it with heat-tolerant annuals. The idea is the mandevilla is the thriller and you surround it with fillers and spillers.

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One of the most gorgeous presentations I’ve seen is Sun Parasol Giant Pink paired with pink caladiums, above.

Another delicious duo is Sun Parasol Giant Peach Sunrise paired with Desana Bronze sweet potato vine, below.

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We’ve also worked on three-layer combos with Sun Parasol Giant in the back, a bushy dipladenia type of mandevilla in the middle, and then a low-growing annual underneath. Red and white pairings are classic, so we chose Sun Parasol Giant White for the back, Sundenia Red Improved for the middle and Soiree Kawaii White Peppermint vinca for the bottom.

Let’s say you don’t want to splurge for the Sun Parasol Giant or you want to create smaller containers to coordinate with the main statement piece. The more compact, bushy, dipladenia style mandevillas pair nicely with Soiree Kawaii vinca and Surdiva scaevolas – our vibrant fan flowers.

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Above we show just the Sundenia Red Improved with Soiree Kawaii White Peppermint.

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We like to pair Sun Parasol Original Sunbeam, our yellow dipladenia type, with blue and purple annuals. Examples include Sunbeam with Surdiva Blue Violet and with Soiree Kawaii Blueberry Kiss, above. We’ve also found Soiree Kawaii Red shades pairs nicely with pink mandevillas, like our new Soiree Double Blush Pink that will debut at retail next year, below.

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Now for our super strawflowers! If you have a large planter, vigorous Granvia strawflowers will shine all summer and fall! They are weather resistant and demonstrated mildew resistance, which can be an issue with more compact bedding varieties with dense foliage. The larger Granvia growth habit is more open, allowing air to circulate.

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Pair with other heat lovers, such as sedum and pentas. Calibrachoa makes a nice spiller, like molten lava!

Once you choose your statement thriller, choose the coordinating heat lovers to surround it and you’ll be set for summer! For more information about Suntory Flowers, visit

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GardenSMART Featured Article

By Heather Blackmore for Proven Winners
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners

Heather has written a great article about 5 new annuals that take the heat and thrive all summer long. To learn more click here for an interesting article.

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