Spring into new gar­den­ing ac­tion

Lots of plant re­leases avail­able for sum­mer colour in your out­door spa­ces

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES -

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.

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