By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photographs courtesy of Suntory Flowers
Looking for glorious blooms spring through fall? Granvia bracteanthas from Suntory Flowers demonstrate outstanding garden performance in a wide range of climates, from the Deep South to Minnesota. Unlike previous, compact cottage types, the Granvia series demonstrates superior vigor and flower size, dwarfing standard varieties.
Native to Australia, the botanical name for strawflowers continues to evolve. It was first named Helichrysum bracteatum in 1803 but became Xerochrysum bracteatum in 1990. In the greenhouse and nursery trade, these plants are commonly referred to as bracteantha.
Granvia plants have been evaluated in large containers and landscape beds in trial gardens for several years. Evaluators remark on the mildew resistance and clean foliage. Mildew has been an issue with the older, more compact varieties, because the foliage is so dense. Granvia has a more open growth habit, which allows more air circulation.
Granvia Gold has been the superstar, consistently earning top scores and popular votes. Commercial growers and retailers have picked it up for fall programs to offer more than mums.
Three new Granvia colors that will be available at retail next year include:
Pink: A rich vibrant pink, that’s especially nice for summer.
Peachy Keen: Two-toned flowers, like mixing iced tea with lemonade, creates sunny, peachy blooms.
Harvest Orange: Rich, orange blooms that are perfect for fall décor.
The next two colors slated for introduction in 2024 are a vibrant white and a red!
Check out Dr. Allan Armitage’s video featuring Granvia Gold at the University of Georgia’s trials:
Bracteantha are perennials, but only hardy to zones 10-11 and treated like annuals in most climates.
One thing that’s deceiving about a living “dried” flower is these plants do need water and can be quite thirsty in a planter. Best positioning is full sun for maximum flowering. Plant in large containers or beds.
This was the first time we mixed the colors together in large containers and we were happy with the results. Granvia also makes a nice thriller or focal point in large containers mixed with other plants, as we saw at Young’s Plant Farm’s demonstration gardens in Alabama.
Throughout the growing season, you can harvest Granvia blooms for dried flower crafts. If you harvest the flowers before they are fully opened, they will open as they dry. Sometimes you can get them to dry in a partially opened stage, which is also attractive with an origami look. Dried blooms will hold their color for more than a year. In fact, I have a box full that are two years old and may make a wreath.
By Joe Raboine, Director of Residential Hardscapes,
Photographs courtesy of Belgard
When designing outdoor spaces, most homeowners historically leaned towards traditional designs. But as outdoor living becomes a more integral part of daily life design concepts have changed. Belgrade has an interesting article that details some of the modern design ideas. Click here for an interesting article.
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