A new bee balm wowed judges to earn a 2008 Fleuroselect Gold Medal. The international award recognizes superior new ornamentals that clearly surpass standard varieties in breeding and beauty. Plants are tested at 30 growing sites and judged by a panel of independent experts.
‘Bergamo’ hybrid monarda’s vibrant, rose-purple blooms appear from June to August, earlier than those of other bee balms. The mildew-resistant plants grow just 20 to 28 inches tall, ideal for pots, edging or the front of a sunny border.
‘Bergamo’ monarda seeds and plants are available from Burpee; (800) 888-1447; www.burpee.com.
Robin Siktberg is horticulturist and editor for the Herb Society of America.