Spring into new gardening action
Lots of plant releases available for summer colour in your outdoor spaces
Spring is a great time for new plants. Head to your local garden centre to see what’s new for the season. Here’s my pick of the bunch. Crazytunia petunias are a range of perennial petunias with unique colours and patterns. They are compact and upright in habit, tolerant of full sun and heat and put on a continuous show throughout the summer months. Crazytunia Twilight Lime sports lime flowers with dark centres; Red Blues has large vivid red flowers; Bitter Lemon has delicious lime-yellow blooms and Black Mamba has amazing black blooms. These plants come from the Gardening Solutionz range. If you like petunias, you’ll probably like the mini petunias, calibrachoas. And just well. There are many new varieties coming onto the market. Two new releases are Calibrachoa Superbells Cherry Star and Calibrachoa SuperbellsTM Lemon Slice. The former has unique-coloured cherry pink petals and yellow lines radiating out from the centre to form a star. The latter has yellow and white blooms that once again look like stars, or pinwheel patterns. These calibrachoas have a mounding habit, forming a neat dome-shape with trailing branches, ideal for cascading over the sides of hanging baskets or containers. Do you like your lavenders? Try Lavandula The Princess Lavender, noted for its striking neon pink flowers which begin from early spring. Flowers continue through to early summer and a secondary flush comes in late summer. Plants grow 70cm high x 70cm wide and are best in full sun. From the Living Fashion range. There’s a new Flower Carpet rose on the market called Pink Splash. If you like stripy roses, you’ll love this, with its two-toned blooms from midspring through to autumn. An easycare shrub, it forms a low-growing compact bush 80cm high x 1mwide. Flower Carpet roses are a great choice for borders, mass-planting and containers. Another fabulous looking rose is Pacific Glory, which was bred by Kiwi Rob Somerfield and named to celebrate Palmerston North’s hosting of an international rose convention in November, 2013. The award-winning floribunda has fawn-tinged lavender pink blooms and grows up to 1.2m high. Get in quick if you want one of these. There is a limited first-time release of 200 plants, to be offered at the International Rose Show, Palmerston North, November 23-24. Pre-order at the special price of $25 per plant and collect at the show; freight extra if required. Order online at nzroses.org.nz. My favourite is dahlias and two new varieties from GardenPost are Karma Amanda and Purple Flame. Karma Amanda has has small, pinkymauve flowers that pale to ivory in the centres. It’s a compact plant, growing 35cm high, so it’s perfect for containers. Purple Flame has perfectly-shaped blooms with soft, rounded florets. The purple flowers contrast nicely against its dark foliage. Reaching up to 1m high, the strong, upright stems are great for picking.
Local beauty: New Zealand-bred rose Pacific Glory.