Monthly Archives: September 2012

Tasty & Tantalizing Tomatoes!

by Lauren Luscre

In a tomato tasting held at the UGA Trial Gardens’ open house on July 10th, our visitors were asked to taste several varieties of tomatoes and choose their favorite. At the end of the tasting, we counted the votes and collected the top five favorite tomatoes based on taste. (The tomatoes are ranked 1-5, with 1 being the tomato chosen most often.)

        1.) Power Pops

        2.) Sweet ‘n’ Neat Yellow

        3.) Topsy Tom and Peardrops (tie)

        4.) Sweet ‘n’ Neat Cherry Red

        5.) Gold Stripe

As far as aesthetics go, all of the varieties grown this year have been keeping on even after the scorching months of June and July. However, there a few that stand out to me as the heat continues and the rain remains scarce as September begins.

        1.) Sweet ‘n’ Neat – Cherry Red, Yellow, Scarlet

These plants looked great from the very beginning and despite the heat they have managed to keep looking good. Their compact shape makes them especially wonderful patio tomatoes and contributes to a less “leggy” tomato once they begin to grow taller.

        2.) Peardrops

I recognize this plant mainly due to its attractive fruit. The fruit is shaped like a pear, hence the name, and has a soft golden color. This trailing tomato falls subtly and looks great in a container.

        3.) Red Stripe and Gold Stripe

Much like Peardrops, the tomatoes on this plant make it what it is. Red Stripe has green stripes on a red tomato and Gold Stripe has green stripes on a yellow tomato. They are extremely attractive even at the beginning when fruit first begins to form.

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Liz’s Baptisias

Just wanted to share a few of the best looking baptisias as selected by the lovely Liz…

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’:  This is the best Baptisia in the Gardens. It has the best foliar health and overall shape. The leaves are a lush green color and have withstood the summer sun and heat very well. The growth has been very compact and dense, though still very vigorous, so the plant stands upright without stakes.

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Baptisia ‘Twilight Prairie Blues’: This is definitely the most vigorous Baptisia in the garden. It has grown so large that it had to be staked in order to keep it from falling on neighboring plants. This Baptisia has also kept up its good performance all summer and still looks very healthy.

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Baptisia minor ‘Blue Pearls’:  This is a smaller Baptisia that has great shape and dense, healthy foliage. The way the foliage seems to fall from top to bottom makes it look like a weeping baptisia. The blue tint of the leaves adds to this effect.

Baptisia ‘Starlite Prairieblues’: The foliage of this Baptisia is beautifully blue. It really stands out when nestled in between plants with dark green foliage, and has performed well in the summer sun.

Baptisia ‘Screamin’ Yellow’: This Baptisia has the most eye-catching display of flowers in the spring, but seems to have been hit by the heat and sunlight this summer. It is the color and endurance of the flowers that make this Baptisia irresistible.

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