For 364 days a year, Louisiana Master Gardeners work tirelessly to help the LSU AgCenter and extension agents promote home horticulture and gardening to the public. To show our immeasurable gratitude to all the wonderful volunteers, the Hammond Research Station hosted the Master Gardener Appreciation day, where among many other educational sessions, the Master Gardeners are led on a tour of the gardens. Each participant then votes on their favorite plants in the trial gardens.
The winners of the 2017 Master Gardener Choice Awards are as follows:
5. Intenz Classic Celosia Celosia argentea – This upright purple prince of the garden is able to slay the intense summer heat of Louisiana, while having tremendous cold hardiness. Intenz can survive 0 degrees and still bloom at 95 degrees. This unique garden addition is low-maintenance, requiring little to no pesticides. This is important because Intenz is loved the bees.
4. Upright White Flowered Turnera Turnera subulata – This plant was inducted into the LSU AgCenter’Plant with Potential program for 2017 and is a pollinator magnet! Turnera allows you to enjoy cycles of nature in your own garden. The flowers open after sunrise and close just before sunset. It remains a small bush with very large white flowers, giving you bang for your buck in a small bed or landscape.
3. Lime Sizzler Firebush Hamelia patens Grelmsiz – Watch out! This plant is hot! Lime Sizzler made its debut in the gardening world a few years ago and has continued to impress home gardeners and landscapers alike. This 5-foot-tall shrub will perform great as garden borders, hedges and even in containers. With its yellow and green variegation along with its red and orange blooms, Lime Sizzler offers gardeners an opportunity to have their landscapes stand out from the average.
2. Bolo Bolo Clappertonia ficifolia – Bolo Bolo has proved to be one of the most beloved and interesting new additions to the Hammond Research Station. Another great additional for pollinators, Bolo Bolo comes in either White or Purple. Watching these anthers dancing in the wind conjures that particular excitement that only a new plant is able to do. Being that this plant is fairly new to Louisiana, there is little commercial production, if any, at this time.
1. Big Leaf Tibouchina Tibouchina grandiflora – Fuzzy Wuzzy was a Giant Tibouchina, it turns out. This enormous-leafed tropical has attractive velvety leaves reaching 8-12 inches in length. But the most impressive quality is, of course, the large spike of blooms. Each flower can easily be an inch or more wide, with the whole spike extending above the plant over a foot tall. This is not an incredibly cold hardy plant, but it is still possible to get a few more months of blooms off this Tibouchina.
Intenz Classic Celosia Celosia argentea
Upright White Flowered Turnera Turnera subulata
Lime Sizzler Firebush Hamelia patens Grelmsiz
Bolo Bolo Clappertonia ficifolia
Big Leaf Tibouchina Tibouchina grandiflora