Flower Power: Local gardeners offer a few petals with some mettle

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Flower gardens are as individual as the green thumbs that plant, care for and own them. Options range from rose gardens, to porches full of flower-filled hanging pots, to traditional flowerbeds filled with petunias and daisies.

With a warm summer climate and soil that invites many varieties of plants and flowers from all over the world, Utah Valley families can garden together in a way that expresses who they are and what they enjoy.

For those families and individuals who are looking to do something a little different with their gardens, Scott Engh, owner of Sun River Gardens in Orem, offers some ideas for plants that are tailor-made for gardening in Utah that you might not have tried before. These varieties will grow in our Utah Valley soil and climate.

David Austin English Roses have a rich smell with more petals than other roses.

David Austin English Roses have a rich smell with more petals than other roses.

David Austin English Roses
Size
Similar in size to other rose bushes. Some climbing varieties can grow taller with support.

Colors
Same as other rose varieties, especially strong reds, pinks, oranges, yellows and whites.

Price
$20 to $35 (depending on variety and grower)

Uses
Good for stand-alone shrub or as part of a flowerbed. Some varieties make good climbing plants and can be used on the corner of a house.

Details, Details
David Austin is a premier rose breeder from England. His name has become so synonymous with quality and beauty, his line of roses is sought after by gardeners throughout the world.

David Austin English Roses are known for having a high volume of petals, a strong fragrance and a resistance to disease.

The roses offer a nice touch to an existing rose garden because they are thicker and can fill in holes left by traditional rose bushes. They can also add strength to a more traditional garden. There are up to 30 varieties available, and the line can be found at specialized garden centers throughout the valley.

Thoughts from a pro
“The high amount of petals and the strong smells that come from these flowers make any yard better,” Scott says.

Verbenas

Size
Can extend up to three feet in diameter

Colors
Verbenas are dazzling in white, red, pink, mauve and purple.

Price
$3 to $10 (depending on size and variety)

Uses
Verbenas are a good substitution for petunias and other “staple” annuals. Used mainly in hanging baskets and flowerbeds.

Details, Details
Verbenas are a strong flower that can be the basis of any flowerbed. They also provide a nice hanging plant for porches. There is a wide variety of verbenas available, each giving a different feel. The Tapien Verbena has a lacy leaf that gives the flower a softer feel while the Babylon Verbena places the flowers in a cluster.

Thoughts from a pro
“For people who like petunias but want to try something different, verbenas are a fun option,” Scott says.

Delphiniums offer height to a garden.

Delphiniums offer height to a garden.

Delphiniums
Size
18 inches to 5 feet in height

Colors
Delphiniums are especially strong in the blues and purples. Some varieties have a “bee” in the middle that allows for a two-toned look.

Price
$3 to $10

Uses
They are great for flower gardens, surrounded by other flowers. Also work well in a delphinium garden.

Details, Details
These tall flowers make a great addition to a flower garden because they add height to gardens other flowers can’t. While not a new flower to most gardeners, delphiniums offer a traditional look for much of the summer, with its first show being in May and June. However, with proper trimming delphiniums can show up to three times a summer.

Thoughts from a pro
“These are quite English and go well in a traditional cottage-style garden. They also offer nice variety to an English-style rose garden,” Scott says.

Proven Winners
Proven Winners is a line of plants ranging from flowers to grasses. The line is dedicated to finding the best plants from the best breeders and growers throughout the world and making them available in one line.

Those chosen to be part of the line must meet the highest standards of beauty and performance. Only one type of plant in each variety is chosen, making competition heavy among growers to produce a superior flower.

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Greg Bennett

Greg Bennett is an editor and writer with Bennett Communications. His primary responsibilities are with Utah Valley Magazine and the company's custom publications division. He's the father of four children and has been married to his wife, Adria, for 19 years. Contact Greg at greg.utahvalley360@gmail.com.

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