Flower gar­den­ers spoilt for choice

Many va­ri­eties are ex­cel­lent as cut flow­ers

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES -

Spring is a busy time in my gar­den. There are veg­gies to be planted and new sea­son’s flow­ers to be sown. Here’s what I’m plant­ing in my flower patch.

cos­mos Tango is new this year for Eg­mont Seeds (egmontseeds.co.nz) and it’s a stun­ner. It has vivid orange flow­ers that are pro­duced en masse through­out the sea­son.

The flow­ers look spec­tac­u­lar planted against a dark coloured fence, or sim­ply plant them in drifts as you would a wild­flower gar­den. Seeds can be sown in trays and trans­planted in the gar­den when big enough.

Achil­lea Dou­ble Pearl pro­duces clus­ters of pure white, small pom­pom flow­ers over a long pe­riod dur­ing sum­mer. The flow­ers are great for pick­ing, with stems grow­ing up to 75cm high.

It’s sim­i­lar in looks to gyp­sophila, but not so airy-fairy, and it’s a lit­tle eas­ier to grow. It’s most pro­lific in mid to late sum­mer, though it will flower spo­rad­i­cally at other times of the year once es­tab­lished.

Sow seeds in trays be­fore plant­ing in a sunny po­si­tion. Avail­able from Kings Seeds (kingsseeds.co.nz).

Agas­tache Ar­cado Pink is a first-year flow­er­ing peren­nial with stems up to 60cm high. It’s a great plant for the bor­der or con­tainer, and es­pe­cially great for pick­ing. The flow­ers are like small fluffy plumes, a soft pur­ple-pink in colour. Sow seeds in trays for sum­mer flow­er­ing. Avail­able from Kings Seeds.

Cam­pan­ula per­si­ci­fo­lia Alba is an old­fash­ioned cot­tage gar­den plant with pure white bell-shaped flow­ers in sum­mer. The flow­ers, on slen­der stems to 1m high, make ex­cel­lent cut flow­ers, last­ing about a week in the vase. Plant in com­post-en­riched soil and ap­ply a bal­anced fer­tiliser. Avail­able from Oder­ings and Marsh­wood Gar­dens.

Salpiglos­sis Choco­late Royale, also known as painted tongue, is a cot­tage gar­den favourite, and this va­ri­ety is one of the most sought-after. Its trum­pet-shaped blooms are a choco­late hue, ap­pear­ing from mid­sum­mer to first frosts. This va­ri­ety is best planted in full sun and rich, mois­ture-re­ten­tive soil. Pinch the tips to en­cour­age branch­ing. Avail­able from Kings Seeds and Gar­denPost (gar­denpost.co.nz).

Glad­i­oli are su­perb cut flow­ers, with a rainbow of colours on of­fer. The flow­ers, reach­ing up to 120cm high, last 6-10 days in the vase. Plant corms 15cm deep in moist but freedrain­ing soil in full sun. Th­ese plants do not re­bloom once cut so stag­ger plant­ing for con­tin­u­ous blooms. Avail­able from gar­den cen­tres and spe­cial­ist mail or­der nurs­eries.

Mex­i­can hat (Rat­i­bida colum­nifera) is named be­cause it sup­pos­edly looks like a Mex­i­can som­brero. To me it looks more like an elon­gated cone­flower (echi­nacea) with a stretched cen­tral cone and droop­ing petals. But it does look great in the gar­den and blooms through­out sum­mer and au­tumn. It’s also drought-resistant. Seeds are avail­able from Gar­denPost.

Gail­lar­dia Ari­zona Apri­cot has un­usual colours for a gail­lar­dia with golden yel­low edges sur­round­ing an apri­cot cen­tre. Its daisy-like flow­ers bloom from sum­mer un­til first frosts, flow­er­ing about 90 days after sow­ing. Avail­able from Kings Seeds.

Stun­ning: Achil­lea Dou­ble Pearl is new for plant­ing this sea­son.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.