Time to con­sider cool clime colour

You can grown pan­sies in­doors too

Central Otago Mirror - - CLASSIFIEDS -

Take a trip to your lo­cal gar­den cen­tre this au­tumn to see what new plants have hit the shelves. Among them, you’ll find three new heucheras from the Lit­tle Cu­ties se­ries: ‘Blondie’, ‘Sweet Tart’ and ‘Sugar Berry’. Heucheras are grown pre­dom­i­nantly for their out­stand­ing fo­liage, and th­ese lat­est three will not dis­ap­point.

‘Blondie’ is a rich caramel-coloured minia­ture with creamy yel­low flow­ers (unique in it­self) that are pro­duced over an ex­tended pe­riod. ‘Sweet Tart’ has lime­coloured fo­liage with cerise and hot pink flow­ers. ‘Sugar Berry’ has vi­o­let leaves with dark veins and short flower spikes of soft pink. All are hardy plants that grow well in con­tain­ers, or you can mass-plant them in the gar­den for a very showy dis­play.

Heucheras pre­fer part shade, grow­ing best when pro­tected from af­ter­noon sun. Plant in free-drain­ing soil and feed oc­ca­sion­ally with slow re­lease fer­tiliser. Th­ese pe­tite heucheras grow 12 cen­time­tres high (the flower spikes are higher, of course) and spread to about 20cm.

If you like your tulips, try the new red­blooded ‘Ron­aldo’ from NZ Bulbs and Ao­rangi Bulb Nurs­eries. A deep ma­hogany, al­most black, colour, Ron­aldo reaches 40cm high and blooms mid to late spring. It’s truly lovely in the gar­den, it’s rod-straight stems ideal for pick­ing too.

Or per­haps you would pre­fer some­thing a lit­tle brighter. Try ‘Asahi’, also from NZ Bulbs and Ao­rangi Bulb Nurs­eries, a tulip with an­tique rose colour­ing that blends to golden yel­low. It also grows 40cm high and blooms from mid to late spring.

I’m a big fan of pan­sies and vi­o­las for cool sea­son colour and now’s a good time to plant them. I par­tic­u­larly like Eg­mont Seeds’ lat­est of­fer­ing: the pansy ‘Na­ture Mul­berry Shades’ with its beau­ti­ful au­tumn-like hues of pinky-pur­ple, gold and deep red. This par­tic­u­lar va­ri­ety is said to cope well with wind and rain too.

I also like Eg­mont Seeds’ Vi­ola ‘Sor­bet Ba­nana Cream’, a hardy an­nual with yel­low and white blooms. It, too, is rain and wind re­sis­tant, flow­er­ing dur­ing au­tumn and spring and even grow­ing through win­ter.

Head to your lo­cal gar­den cen­tre and see what other pan­sies and vi­o­las are in stock. There are lots of lovely shades to suit your own taste. Mass-plant them in bor­ders or fill a se­lec­tion of con­tain­ers to dot around your gar­den.

Give them a moist, well-drained soil that is en­riched with com­post. Pro­tect seedlings from hun­gry slugs and snails.

You can also grow pan­sies and vi­o­las in­doors with some suc­cess, but to do so you will need to plant up three or more pots. Bring one con­tainer in­side and when its flow­ers begin to fade, take it out­side to re­ju­ve­nate and bring an­other con­tainer in­side in its place.

Colour­ful: New va­ri­eties of pan­sies are avail­able now.

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