The 2010 American Garden Award, now in its second year, features four new flower varieties chosen by breeders for their excellent garden performance. Once these new varieties were planted and put on display by participating gardens, the public voted on their favorite one. The votes have been tallied and the three winners are:
Grand-prize winner -- Rudbeckia ‘Denver Daisy’ by Ernst Benary of America
‘Denver Daisy’ features masses of reddish-ringed golden flowers with a chocolate-brown center. Its huge 4-to 6-inch golden flowers cover attractive deep green foliage. The long-lasting flowers proved their ability to stand up under extreme weather conditions. This grand-prize winner offers summer-long flower power throughout the country in gardens, mixed containers and landscapes. It’s hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9.
Second place -- Echinacea ‘Prairie Splendor’ by Syngenta Flowers
‘Prairie Splendor’ is a stunning first-year flowering perennial that will add years of enjoyment to a sunny border. Voters were attracted by the abundance of large 3- to 3½-inch soft rosy purple flowers. Butterflies will also be attracted to this long-lasting 24-inch tall perennial that begins flowering in June and continues blooming until first frost. Spent blooms, if left on the plant, provide winter food for birds. It’s hardy in Zones 3-8.
Third place -- Ornamental pepper ‘Purple Flash’ by PanAmerican Seed
‘Purple Flash’ is an exotic looking variety that 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. It offers great drought tolerance in sunny garden and containers.
Pictured: 'Denver Daisy'