Author Image Katie Ketelsen

First-to-Bloom and Rebloom: Senetti Pericallis

Senetti Sparkle Sky Blue pericallis

A friend recently sent me this image:

Im sorry for the things I said when it was Winter

And it’s so true for me right now. I easily get irritated, borderline angry and toddler-like frustrated in the winter months. Sometimes so bad, a savory Snickers bar can’t even bring me back. The urge to have my own greenhouse is never more prevalent. And the need {read: NEEEEDDDD} to have flowers in my house, in my car, following me down the sidewalk…has never been so desired. I’m always eager to see the first blooms of the season at the garden center — heck, this time of year you’ll even see me perusing the floral shop at the grocery store!! I’m that desperate for a touch of flower power to get me (sanely) through to Spring.

So…of course, Suntory has my back, as they have yours. They understand the need to keep a “garden” growing, whether its flourishing on your kitchen table or popping up from your California balcony. They know the need to keep fresh flowers around. And not just a one-and-done kind of bouquet. A presentation that keeps giving, and that’s their Senetti pericallis.

While the lineup has been around for years, boasting varieties such as Senetti Baby pericallis and the our standard Senetti pericallis, new for 2016 is something pretty magical: Senetti Sparkle. There are three gorgeous bloom colors…

Senetti Sparkle Lavender pericallis

Senetti Sparkle Lavender pericallis

Senetti Sparkle Light Pink pericallis

Senetti Sparkle Light Pink pericallis

And one of my personal favorites…

Senetti Sparkle Sky Blue pericallis

Senetti Sparkle Sky Blue pericallis

Isn’t that blue hue beautiful?!?

Senetti Sparkle is the most heat tolerant variety of all our pericallis and — as already mentioned — they bloom and bloom and bloom. A must-have for a long, dreary winter. Our garden friend, Shirley Bovshow knows what I’m talking about…

Beyond their wintery benefits, the petite size of Senettis is an extra bonus. Reaching heights up to 23 inches and expanding to 15 inches. They’re ideal for the coffee table, Spring patio container gardens, or in your landscape — in the right regions of course.

Armstrong Garden Centers, located in sunny California, has a wide selection of Senetti pericallis yearning to grace your home and garden.

Senetti pericallis at Armstrong Garden Center

Senetti pericallis at Armstrong Garden Center

Senetti pericallis at Armstrong Garden Center

Learn about the entire Senetti pericallis collection here >>>. And ask your local garden center where their early-bloomers are!

Playing to Pantone’s Color of the Year

Playing to Pantone's Color of the Year

There’s a love/hate relationship with the yearly anticipated release of Pantone’s Color of the Year. On one hand, you’re super giddy, anxious to see what inspiring hues will shape your next year of promotions. And on the other, less exciting hand, what if you completely despise the must-have color. For instance, 2012 was the year of “Tangerine Tango.” Orange is definitely not everyone’s favorite, confirmed by the responses we received in a recent Facebook post asking as much.

Regardless, Pantone’s surprising move to declare two, calming shades as their matriarch for 2016 was a smart play. Certainly one we’re giddy about as we can easily flower in both Rose Quartz and Serenity, but also because we too believe you deserve a year of “mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses.”

Pantone's Color of the Year 2016

Here are some of my favorite Pantone-color-loving flowers from Suntory, but you know there are more. Way more. We’ve made it easy for you – check out our Pinterest board dedicated to the calming hue…

First, a new-for-2016 introduction: Surdiva Pink scaevola.

Surdivia Pink scaevola

Surdiva scaevolas like it hot. Seriously, they thrive and tolerate extreme heat and keep their pretty-in-pink flowers coming and coming and coming. WITHOUT deadheading.

 ANOTHER new introduction: Senetti Sparkle Sky Blue pericallis

Senetti Sparkle Sky Blue pericallis

Everyone loves a true-blue bloomer, right? Our new Senetti Sparkle pericallis series is an absolute stunner. First to bloom in the spring and to repeat their blooms! Double bonus. You should see the whole new sparkly collection! Click here >>>

Have you seen our Surfinia Summer Double petunias yet?
Ahem…how could you not? Double the flower, double the pleasure. See what I mean here >>>

Of COURSE we have a bloomer to support Pantone. Surfinia Double Rose petunia has all the charm to destress any workday.

 Surfinia Summer Double Petunia Rose

And you know you can’t go wrong with Sun Parasol mandevillas. Bloomers through the hottest of hot summers — in fact, they actually perform BETTER in extreme heat and neglect. To keep your garden trendy, plant Sun Parasol Original Cream Pink mandevilla.

Sun Parasol Original Creamy Pink mandevilla

I’d suggest planting mandevillas in the garden as a living fence. Gain some privacy while enjoying their endless blooms. You can buy it, right from Big Bad Flower. Click here>>>

As I mentioned earlier, this is just the tip of the flower petal. Suntory has more to offer for your perfect, Pantone-approved flower garden. See the wonder here>>>

Crushing on Salmon

Surfinia Summer Double Salmon petunia

I’ve always been a fan of the color salmon.
It’s kind of pink, but yet not pink, and while I previously confessed I could have a pink Christmas, I’d much rather have salmon colored flowers in my garden. So when Suntory Flowers gave me my favorite hue in one of my favorite bloomers, I have to confess, it’s all I can think about.

Introducing, NEW FOR 2016, Surfinia Summer Double Salmon petunia

Surfinia Summer Double Salmon petunia

Isn’t she just beautiful?!? The perfect pop of salmon-pink with a slight touch of fuchsia. The color combos are endless!
If you’re not familiar with the awesomeness that is Surfinia Summer Double petunias, allow me to peek your interest…

What I love first are their double blooms.
Surfinia® Summer Double™ White petunia
I know it sounds juvenile, but twice the bloom always gets me giddy. And yes, every time I see, hear, and say double in reference to flowers, the iconic theme song to Wrigley’s Doublemint gum runs through my head for a good twenty minutes thereafter.

Secondly, I love their compact and overall growing habit and structure, especially when combined in a hanging basket.
Surfinia Summer Double petunia hanging basket

Thirdly, Surfinia Summer Double petunias are a rock star against extreme heat and heavy rains when other double blooming petunias fail to perform. This is a major bonus to me – double the blooms, double the pleasure for double the time.

See what I did there!?! ^^^

And lastly, the blooms are self-cleaning.
This means you don’t have to do a thing to keep these double-your-pleasure flowers from coming and coming all season long.

See the magic in this time-lapse video from Suntory Flowers featuring Aaron McDonald with Botany Lane Greenhouse.

Learn more about Surfinia Summer Double petunias here >>>. But before you go — which color is your favorite? Pink, Rose, White or the new Salmon? You already know mine 😉

Surfinia Summer Double petunias in all three colors

Princettia: So Much More Than a Poinsettia

Princettia | So much more than a poinsettia

I’m not much for traditional holiday decor. I’ll opt for blue-teal accents over Santa Claus red. Raw, rustic materials before metallic and glittery golds. And Charlie Brown inspired Christmas trees instead of tightly trimmed firs.

This is why I’m such a fan of our pretty-in-pink Princettias.
HUGE fan.

Princettia Hot Pink

While hot pink, let alone pink, isn’t really my go-to color, I’d seriously consider decorating my home in these hues. Especially if I could mix-n-match between the various shades in the Princettia collection. With bracts of dark pink, hot pink, pink, soft pink and new for 2016, Max White, you really can’t go wrong with any combination for the season.

Princettia Max White

Princettias are an ideal size for the home. Their compact stature and strong branching allow for a beautiful bounty of color and extra-long season of enjoyment.
In fact, I’d go as far as to suggest Princettia should be a must-have gift for Valentine’s Day.

Princettia Pink

But back to the current season…
Can you imagine how gorgeous your home might look with the delicate hues of Princettia Soft Pink?

Decorating with poinsettias
via Pinterest

Or the complementary contrast of Princettia Hot Pink in a vintage, silver container?

Vintage tea kettle vase
via Pinterest

You’ve got to see more ideas on our Pinterest board, dedicated to a perfectly pink Christmas, here >>> . It can be easy and surprisingly cozy to dress your home for the holidays with pink accents. Start with our pretty-in-pink Princettias and style from there.

Princettia gift basket

Or consider them for a housewarming gift. I’m sure you’d quickly win over any friend or family with a unique and beautiful Princettia.

See our entire Princettia collection here >>>.

Brag-Worthy Roses: Sunrosa

We know there’s a lot of roses on the market, varieties ranging in size, color, hardiness, etc. Some are great for the landscape, others perfect for the tabletop. We’ve got a variety of rose that will flourish in both spaces: Sunrosa rose.

Sunrosa rose flowers in three gorgeous colors — red, pink, and yellow — and produces blooms in the garden from May through October. Additionally, both yellow and pink varieties flush a sweet fragrance to them.

Do you like secrets?
We do, especially when they’re shared with us 😉

Hear straight-from-the-breeder secrets in this video to why Sunrosa roses are so fabulous not only for growers, but for gardeners too.

At Orlando’s Landscape Show this past September, Sun-Fire Nurseries got quite clever with their display of Sunrosa roses. Opting to create a waterwheel of blooming plants which is quite fitting as these roses push almost a “waterfall” of flowers throughout the season and with little-to-no help from the gardener.

Sunrosa rose at Orlando Landscape Show

Sunrosa roses waterwheel

Extra bonus, these bloomers thrive in the heat. Sunrosa Red rose, in particular, won the Classic City Award at the UGA trials, where Dr. Allan Armitage from the University of Georgia claimed it was the toughest rose he had in the trial garden — even through the hot and humid summer!

Looking for more brag-worthy proof? Listen to Dr. Allan Armitage yourself  praise the landscape performance of Sunrosa roses and how they’re perfect for the small-space gardener.

Read more about Sunrosa roses’ powerful statement in the garden here >>>. And look for new, more fragrant varieties available in 2016.

If you’ve got to have one right this instant, order direct from Big Bad Flower. There are three different colors available in a 4 inch container for $9.99 each. Shop here >>>

Keep the Blooms Coming! Fall-Loving Annuals from Suntory

Fall-Loving Annuals from Suntory

For most of us, the season is winding down. Fall has already tickled our toes with cool nights and slow-to-warm mornings.

But that doesn’t mean your container gardens need to be tucked away – just yet. Refresh your front entry with annuals that thrive in the cooler weather and keep their blooms pushing til that last, hard frost.

My go-to favorite, not only for September and October months, but all season long for never-ending flowers is Million Bells calibrachoa.

Million Bells Terra Cotta calibrachoa

I love to pair calibrachoa in my container gardens with ornamental kale, sedge grasses and maybe a mum or two. Million Bells Mounding Terra Cotta calibrachoa (shown above) blooms the perfect mix of fall colors.

Crackling Fire begonias are another winner for cooler, fall months. While red isn’t typically my favorite color, you can’t help but love this beauty…

Crackling Fire Red begonia

Desana ipomoea would be an ideal trailing filler to any container combo. Lime really catches my eye…

Desana Lime ipomoea

To see our full line-up of fall-loving annuals, click here >>>. Let me know what your favorites are OR if you’re planning on planting something new this fall!



Million Bells Calibrachoa Makes Your Front Entry Look Like a Million Bucks

Million Bells calibrachoa

Boost your curb appeal quick and easy by adding Million Bells calibrachoa. They’re easy to grow, deadhead on their own and flower throughout the season.

Watch how easy it can be to create a colorful entry…

There are three grow-types of Million Bells calibrachoa to help you take full advantage of your gardening needs.

Million Bells Bouquet

Million Bells Bouquet Amethyst calibrachoa

Million Bells Bouquet Yellow calibrachoa

Million Bells Bouquet Brilliant Pink calibrachoa

Million Bells Bouquet calibrachoa is a compact grower, reaching heights of 8-12 inches and 12 inches wide. It’s perfect for the filler in your container gardens or standing alone.

See the variety of colors here >>>

Million Bells Trailing

Million Bells Trailing Blue calibrachoa

Million Bells Trailing Magenta calibrachoa

Million Bells Trailing Red calibrachoa

Million Bells Trailing calibrachoas are a vigorous grower, ideal for the spiller in your container garden as they can droop down to 24 inches and spread up to 48 inches.

See the variety of colors here >>> 

Million Bells Mounding

Million Bells Crackling Fire Mounding calibrachoa

Million Bells Mounding Terra Cotta calibrachoa

Million Bells Mounding White calibrachoa

Million Bells Mounding calibrachoa are a compact grower, arching 9-12 inches tall and spreading up to 20 inches wide.

See the variety of colors here >>>

Planting Million Bells calibrachoa is super easy.
Super easy.
See how, here:

Which variety and flower color would you use in your garden?

Self-Cleaning Bloomers. Cause No One Likes to Deadhead

Surfinia Summer Double Pink petunia

We know you love flowers.
You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t.

Million Bells Mounding calibrachoa

We love flowers, too. Their shapes. Their colors. Their multitude of colors…
The way some push up

Sundiascia Upright Peach diascia

while others swoop down.

Angel Earrings fuchsia
The way a small, soft bloom such as Suntory lobelia compliments a larger, bolder bloom such as Sun Parasol Pretty mandevilla.

What we don’t love is deadheading.
Pretty sure you’re in agreement with us on that too. 

This is the way with all of our flowers!

Sungelonia angelonias

Sungelonia Deep Pink angelonia

Surfinia Summer Double petunias
Surfinia Summer Double Pink petunia

Temari Patio verbena
Temari Patio Rose verbena

— all of them — are self-cleaning.

No deadheading required.
Just plant them, water them occasionally, and simply enjoy them.
No maintenance needed.

Can you think of a better way to design a garden than with plants that essentially take care of themselves?!?