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Old-Favorite Flowers With a New Twist to Grow for 2018

Dress up your garden with familiar flowers in fun, new colors and forms.

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Photo: National Garden Bureau/Floragem

Zinnia 'Queen Lime with Blotch'

New colors in zinnias are few and far between, even though the plants have been growing in American gardens since the 1860s. 'Queen Lime with Blotch’ is an exciting twist on this old-fashioned favorite. A packet of seeds yields double and semi-double flowers, along with a few singles. You may find this zinnia sold as 'Queen Lime with Blush'.

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Photo: Park Seed

Phlox 'Popstars Red'

'Popstars Red' phlox is a garden rock star. This new variety is very different from the Drummond's phlox most gardeners know. Developed in England and popular across Europe, it's now available in the U.S. In most climates, the jagged, cerise-red and white flowers open from early to late summer. 'Popstars Red' has a dwarf growth habit, so it's ideal for containers or mixed beds.

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Quince Double Take Peach

Flowering quince opens blossoms in very early spring, often before leaves appear on branches. It’s a classic for forcing and is usually ready to go by mid-February in most zones that receive snow in winter. Flowering quince is traditionally a thorny plant, but Double Take types offer stems without thorns and a carefree, low-maintenance personality. This is a drought and heat-tolerant shrub. Hardy in Zones 5-9.

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Photo: Park Seed

Cosmos 'Cupcakes' Mix

Think of the fluted liners for cupcake pans, and you'll understand how 'Cupcakes' cosmos got their name. A packet of mixed seeds produces creamy white, lavender and pink doubled flowers. These pretty plants open their blooms, which have fused petals, until frost. Pollinators like bees and butterflies often visit them.

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