Let’s Get to Know the AAS Judges
The horticulture experts who are the AAS Judges sometimes can’t help but pick their favorite AAS Winners.
In a series of different surveys we sent to the AAS Judges, we asked them a variety of questions. One of those questions was controversial because how do you ask someone to pick their favorite child? But some answered and are happy to share their opinions with you.
Petunia Tidal Wave Red Velour. It was the first time I saw a Petunia not only thrive but ‘swallow the world’ planted in the ground. It was my first year as an AAS Judge. It is still the standard I hold all seed petunias too. ~Jessica Cloninger
I’m so happy that Rudbeckia American Gold Rush was one of two perennials to receive the first AAS award for a perennial. I feel it is one of the very best Black-eyed Susan that I’ve ever grown and perhaps one of the best perennials. ~Richard Hawke
Asking me to pick just one is like asking me to name my favourite person! The one I consistently bring home to my own garden is Dianthus Supra Pink. It has the perfect balance of looking delicate and being hardy. Not only does it bloom the first year like an annual through the summer heat, but it lives through winters here in Southern Ontario. Supra Pink has romantic pink fringed flowers that bloom demurely in containers or garden edges. ~Connie Bijl
Sometimes, multiple judges pick the same plant – especially when it’s a Gold Medal Winner!
Hopefully, the Zinnia Red and Yellow Bicolor that I judged this year will become an AAS Winner. ~James Klett
(It did James! It became Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor)
Zinnia Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor. It is one of the more recent entries, but I have an affinity for the Aster family, and the color of this one really stood out to me. ~David Czarnecki
I was extremely impressed with this year’s zinnia. Very much like Zowie, another winner, but as a bedding plant, not a cut flower height. ~Robert Durgy
One of my favorite winners is Celosia Asian Garden. Please don’t let the Glamor Shot of this flower on the website fool you, ‘Asian Garden’ is not so uptight. Excellent branching means this Celosia is all over the place. Where this Celosia goes, pollinators follow. The color stays bright through the season, it reseeds just a little (enough to say hi the next year, but few enough that they are easily culled if you have a new planting plan the following year). ~Jessie Liebenguth
I love Juliet tomato. Besides its superior field performance in my garden over the years, I remember Charlie Rick [plant geneticist and tomato expert] telling me he thought it was a great tomato too. That’s about the best recommendation you can get for a tomato! ~Teresa Bunn
My favorite (so far!) would be Tomato Buffalosun F1. Even when the trial season was a stressful one Buffalosun still performed exceptionally. The flavor is also unique and stood out to me as a favorite from the trial right away. Our team has used Buffalosun to prepare a variety of dishes, including a tomato tart and tomato soup, and each one has been amazing! ~Kristen Noble
And sometimes, you have a Southern judge who is just too sweet and proper to name only one favorite!
I loved Tomato Chef’s Choice Black because of the flavor. It was also enormous fun growing Potato Clancy from seed. Two of my favorites that I put into my personal garden each year are Okra Candle Fire and Bean Seychelles for their flavor and ease. ~Barbara Park
The recent Regional Winner Creme Brulee (BGS-270) Echalion. As long as I have them available, any recipe calling for a shallot or an onion I will use the Creme Brulee. I have been known to hoard them for myself under the guise of culinary research! I handed them out to chefs in my region and they are always satisfied with the results. A lot of shallot flavor with much less effort. ~Dennis Ferlito
After almost thirty years of doing this, it would be hard to say. Sugar Snap pea was one of my all-time favorites. Not far behind would be Sunshine kabocha squash, very sweet and will last all winter in storage. ~Robert Durgy
Aji Rico pepper is a variety I really like. It has excellent flavor and is nice fresh or for making sauce and is early for a baccatum type. ~Steve Bellavia
Which AAS Winner is Your Favorite?
“This post is provided as an education/inspirational service of All-America Selections. Please credit and link to All-America Selections when using all or parts of this article.”
I am a big fan of Juliet tomatoes. I’ve been growing them every year since they were introduced, and my garden wouldn’t be complete without them!
I am into Wave Petunias, so my choice is the Wave Red Velour.
Eggplant Fairy Tale F1 performed so well last summer in a 5 gallon container.