For tall background plants we tried cleome Giant Pink Queen, an improved hybrid in a better color than the old-fashioned spider-flower. Graceful salmon pink flowers with long spidery stamens continue to open at the top of the 3. to 4-foot stalks.
Beneath the blooms seed pods form on long slim stems. Easy to grow and exotic in effect, cleome can be used to advantage in spectacular arrangements. Helen Campbell is a new pure white cleome introduced this year. Seed should be sown thinly outdoors when the soil has warmed up and seedlings thinned to stand 2 feet or more apart.
The Golden Flower of the Incas is the romantic name for Tithonia speciosa, a huge shrubby plant unlike any we had grown before. The name tithonia was given it in honor of a mythological character, Tithonus. The original habitat of this annual was Mexico and Central America, where it is also known as Mexican sunflower. Most of the garden varieties are hybrids and improvements on the species, with earlier bloom and a more reasonable height.
Richly colored and very easy to grow, tithonia frequently reseeds itself and comes up the following year. Torch tithonia, a promising novelty and one of the All-America selections of the best annuals for 1951, is certain to appeal because of its compact, bushy growth. It grows a little over 4 feet in height, with a spread of 2 feet. This novelty also blooms earlier than the older types, with flowers of a fiery scarlet.
Why not grow at least one novelty annual in your garden this year? The suspense of waiting to see the results is half the fun.
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