All-America Selections Display Garden

Robert J. Souvestre  |  8/9/2011 12:46:11 AM

Tested Nationally & Proven Locally is the motto for All-America Selections. The garden provides an opportunity to view the new AAS winners in an attractive well-maintained setting and provides educational programs during ‘open house’ events during the peak season.

Thin-skinned and colorful, these ‘finger’ eggplants, AAS Winners Hansel, Greta and Fairy Tale, produce non-stop summer to fall and are enjoyed baked, stir fried, and in caponata, casseroles and lasagna.

This AAS Winner has it all -- beauty and taste! Basil Thai Siam Queen is loaded with spicy flavor and aroma plus the purple flowers that top each stem result in a very nice ornamental look in the landscape or vegetable garden.

If your garden is showing signs of heat stress, or worse, heat exhaustion, visit the All-America Selections Display Garden at the LSU AgCenter Burden Center, 4560 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, to see a selection of plants that thrive during our extreme summer growing conditions.

Peppers (Cajun Bell, Mariachi and Holy Mole), Eggplants (Fairy Tale, Gretel and Hansel) and Thai Basil (Siam Queen) have been producing bountiful crops throughout the summer and are expected to continue into the fall while the Squash (Eight Ball and Sunburst) and Melons (Lambkin, New Queen and Shiny Boy) have already peaked. The planting beds are updated with new varieties with the changing seasons so there is always something flowering or producing a crop every month of the year.

The backbone for diehard summer color include plantings of Rudbeckia (Indian Summer and Goldsturm), Zinnia (Double Zahara Mix), Angelonia (Serena), Verbena (Homestead Carpet Red), Vinca (First Kiss Blueberry and Pacifica Burgundy Halo), Sunflower (Soraya) and Echinacea (PowWow Wild Berry).

Attractive foliage plants showcased that add flair to warm season landscapes are Alternanthera (True Yellow and Ruby Dream), Hibiscus acetosella (Red Shield), ornamental Pepper (Black Pearl) and ornamental Sweet Potato (Illusion Emerald Lace and Illusion Midnight Lace).

Refresh ‘burnt out’ garden spots by planting Cuphea (Plum Mist), Heliotropium (Azure Skies), Penta (Butterfly), Portulaca (Yubi), Begonia (Dragon Wing), Bulbine, Carex (Sparkler), Salvia (Mexican Sage and Pineapple Sage), Sanchezia, Pseuderanthemum (Chocolate Soldier) and Manihot (Variegated Cassava).

So, if you find yourself out and about, go visit the AAS Display Garden at the LSU AgCenter Burden Center for ideas. Walk the paths between garden plots and jot down notes about what you might want to plant. Soon, the garden will be planted with cool season ornamentals and vegetables, like ornamental kales, snapdragons, pansies and violas, dianthus and parsley and cilantro, just to name a few selections. Visit often to enjoy the changes in the garden.
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