OK, let’s face it, I really like the way zinnias grow in our hot Mississippi summers. A favorite of mine are the Zinnia elegans with their long stems and large and colorful flowers. Southern Gardening is back at the South Mississippi Branch Station in Poplarville and I’m pretty amazed at the gorgeous zinnias. Queen Lime zinnia is an attractive pale green infused with warm lilac. This flower has a subtle elegance and, in my opinion, resembles a watercolor painting. The flowers are three to four inches in diameter and these blooms serve well as a foundation in cut flower arrangements. A nice companion to Queen Lime is Queen Lime Blush zinnia. The large, up to three inch, dahlia shaped flowers display an incredible lime green to red ombre shading with red centers. Queen Red Lime produces maroonish red tinged flowers that are crowned with lime green. This plant has gorgeous thickly layered double flowers that are uniformly colored and create a flowery flurry. The flowers are up to three inches across on stems up to 40 inches tall. Another zinnia to consider is the 2006 All-America Selections Zowie Yellow Flame. The flowers of this selection are a fiery bicolor and change color as the flower opens. The multiple layers of petals open to reveal a scarlet-rose center tipped with yellow stamens and all the petals edged in bright yellow. You can’t go wrong with any of these zinnias in your landscape or a vase. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.