In my early days I thought hybridizing was simple. If I wanted a purple double, I thought I had only to cross a purple single flower with a cream pink double, and hey presto! The purple double would appear.
Predictably, the 26 seedlings from that 1998 crop produced a range of colors in lavender, pink, and cerise. I saved this one because of its rich grape color, though it produced few flowers in its shady bed. Years later I moved it to full sun, and discovered that it was a vigorous plant with ample bud count and dependably double flowers. So glad I didn't throw it away!
This compact pony-sized plant has a pleasing proportion of flower to plant size. Petals are wide and ruffled, with a darker purple eye and vivid green heart. Scapes have 3-4 way branching and carry 16-20 buds. A good grower and increaser.
Grape Velvet x Siloam Double Classic
Flower 3 1/4 x 1 3/4 x 1 1/8"
Introduced at $55
Price for 2016: $45