Top ten bed­ding plants

Bray People - - EASTER GARDENING -

Busy Lizzies

Top spot goes to Im­pa­tiens (Busy Lizzies), es­pe­cially the newer hy­brids in shades of pink and lilac. They are ideal for damp, shady places and are a su­perb choice for Ir­ish gar­dens and typ­i­cal Ir­ish sum­mers! Petu­nias

Petu­nias fill our sec­ond spot, es­pe­cially the surfinia strains. For gen­eral bed­ding, choose the mul­ti­flora strains be­cause while their blooms may be smaller than those of the Surfinias, they're borne in large num­bers and stand up to wet weather much bet­ter. Lo­belia

Whether you use trail­ing or bunch­ing forms, sheets of colour will be yours, but nowa­days lo­belia comes in many shades and not just re­li­able blues. 'Cam­bridge Blue' rather than darker 'Crys­tal Palace' will pro­vide you with a sky blue. Be­go­nia

Be­go­nia sem­per­flo­rens come next -- these fi­brous-rooted re­li­ables per­form ex­cel­lently in poor sum­mers. There are choco­late brown va­ri­eties such as 'Cock­tail' and white blooms, as well as the more com­monly used pink or red forms. Cir­rus

Set off any bed­ding scheme and pro­vide tex­ture and colour by in­clud­ing a se­lec­tion of fo­liage plants. Senecio cineraria has masses of sil­ver coated leaves. Cir­rus has broad leaves and a blue/sil­ver colour­ing.

French marigolds will suc­ceed where most other sum­mer bed­ding plants fail, so for a bright splash of colour over a very long pe­riod, these are the ones to choose. There are quite a num­ber of yel­low, or­ange and brown coloured forms to choose from. Neme­sia

A favourite with its vast range of colours on blooms that can be 2cm across. More suited to our wet weather and can suf­fer in hot, dry con­di­tions. Once the main flush of blooms has fin­ished, shear the tops off to en­cour­age more flow­ers. Bed­ding Dahlias For easy main­te­nance and a re­li­able per­for­mance, bed­ding Dahlias come next, de­spite their ten­dency to at­tract ear­wigs. If you like a par­tic­u­lar colour, dig up the un­der­ground tu­ber in the au­tumn, clean and store in a cool, dry and dark place. Gode­tia A much loved and easyto-grow sum­mer plant, es­pe­cially the 'Dwarf Mixed' strain which grows to just un­der a foot in height. These are su­perb for the front of a bor­der, and they con­tinue from July un­til the end of Septem­ber. Cos­mos

This tall, slen­der plant pro­duces large blooms and del­i­cate ferny fo­liage which you can eas­ily see through. It thrives on poor, light soils giv­ing colour, shape and form from the end of June to the first frosts.

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