So as fall grows frostier, I’ve started to look to the coming winter with the dread of a depressed patient whose shrink is leaving town for an extended vacation. Maybe that accounts for my late-season buying binge—pansies, ornamental peppers, purple fountain grasses, and, on the last trip, a mysterious floral combo called “confetti blazing maple.”I stumbled upon this last one at the garden center at Home Depot and just couldn’t resist. But what is it? I may be a novice, but even to my untrained eye, I was pretty sure there was nothing in that hanging basket that resembled a maple. The clerk seemed just as clueless as I was.
Well, after some research, I can finally tell you. It’s a merchandiser’s code name for a group of three flowers—a small ivory-colored petunia called “Banana” Petunia (Potunia Plus series, shown above), a burgundy verbena known as Verbena “Empress Godiva,” and orange Calibrachoa “Kona Mandarin” (both in the photo to the right). I would probably never have bought these on their own, but as a combo, they’re perfect fall fare–and at least until the first frost arrives, a way to extend summer’s charms.