On Gardening

On Gardening: Try the new Night in Pompeii mix

McClatchy-Tribune News ServiceFebruary 23, 2013 

LIFE HOME-ONGARDENING MCT

The Night in Pompeii is a stunning new combination ready made for the consumers or gardeners providing a designer look and featuring plants that are solid performers for a long hot summer.

HANDOUT — MCT

Night in Pompeii stole my heart at last year’s plant trials, and I wasn’t alone. I could see positive reactions from large retailers and hoped that this incredibly designed flower mix could survive the rugged university trials. As these trials go, so goes the eventual marketability of the plant. The Night in Pompeii is one of a new line of what Syngenta Flowers calls Kwik Combos designed for hanging baskets and planters.

There are three flowers in the mix and all are rock-solid performers. The first is Techno Heat dark blue lobelia. Like many, you may have craved the color of blue lobelias but wished for one that would last longer into the summer. This is precisely the advantage of this variety over other lobelias.

The designer chose the dark violet of a Sanguna Purple petunia to go with the lobelia’s icy blue. The Sanguna series of petunias offers some of the most intense blues and a new, fiery red. But in the Night in Pompeii mix, it is the violet partnered with blue that looks so stunning.

The final ingredient in the three-part recipe is Lanai Bright Eye verbena. In trials I have seen, the Lanai series has been a stalwart performer, with the Lanai Peach an instant hit. Lanai Bright Eye is a combination of light pink and dark pink, with an eye that echoes the color in the Sanguna Purple petunia.

Kwik Combos like Night in Pompeii allow you to visit the garden center and instantly select an award-winning designer mix without studying colors or varieties. Everything is done for you and will make you look like a pro who just went to a course on garden design.

Your Kwik Combo will most likely be in a hanging basket, or perhaps a large container. Whichever one you select, know that it is full of real achievers in the world of plants. As you water on a regular basis in the summe,r you will be leaching out nutrients from your soil mix. So give your mix a little water-soluble fertilizer from time to time, do a little scissor snipping and you’ll be surprised at how long your beautiful basket will dazzle on the porch patio or deck.

Lucky for all of us, Night in Pompeii did survive the university trials from north to south. It not only scored well through the long, hot summer but was voted as a consumer favorite. There will be a lot of mixes available this summer, but none will be any prettier or more exotic-looking than your Night in Pompeii.

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