PE­TITE PER­FORM­ERS

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Dwarf

va­ri­eties of gar­den favourites

1. MONARDA ‘BALMY’ (BEE BALM OR BERG­AMOT)

Since its in­tro­duc­tion two grow­ing sea­sons ago, this dwarf va­ri­ety of berg­amot has proven to be a showy sum­mer-bloom­ing peren­nial with large, dense f lower heads in shades of pink, pur­ple and red. Its dark-green

As smaller gar­dens be­come more pop­u­lar, plant breed­ers are rein­vent­ing old favourites to take up less space with­out los­ing their charm

fra­grant leaves are mildew re­sis­tant. It at­tracts but­terf lies, nec­tar-seek­ing birds, and other ben­e­fi­cial in­sects. Use it in bor­ders, as an ac­cent plant or massed with or­na­men­tal grasses.

: Plants grow in full sun Grow­ing tips or par­tial shade, in or­di­nary gar­den soil and should be kept con­sis­tently moist. Cut back to the ground af­ter f low­er­ing to en­cour­age new shoots and di­vide af­ter three years.

: 25–30cm high and wide.

Size

2. EU­PHOR­BIA HYPERICIFO­LIA ‘BREATH­LESS’

This filler is fast-grow­ing, al­ways cov­ered with a mist of tiny white blooms and is heat and drought tol­er­ant and no dead­head­ing is nec­es­sary. It’s a frost-ten­der peren­nial and in very cold ar­eas may act as an an­nual. It works well in con­tain­ers and hang­ing bas­kets, in a bor­der or along­side a path. It com­ple­ments other plants beau­ti­fully.

: It grows in full sun or Grow­ing tips par­tial shade and likes well-drained soil. With more shade, it can be­come leggy, but re­sponds well to trim­ming.

: 25–38cm high with a spread of up Size to 60cm.

3. GAURA LINDHEIMER­I

A pop­u­lar gar­den peren­nial, this can grow huge, out­strip­ping its space in small gar­dens. How­ever, the new

G. ‘Ban­tam’ (pic­tured) is ge­net­i­cally bred to stay com­pact and pro­duces an abun­dance of short white or red f lower spikes on a low, dense green base. It adds tex­ture and airi­ness to the gar­den and looks good massed un­der clipped stan­dards and in bor­ders, as well as in con­tain­ers.

: Plants like full sun, Grow­ing tips reg­u­lar wa­ter­ing and cut­ting back in spring to en­cour­age strong new growth.

: 44–55cm high; 30–40cm wide. Size

4. BASIL ‘DOLCE FRESCA’

A dwarf Gen­ovese-type basil, it has bright green strongly scented and f lavoured leaves. Bushy and vigorous, it keeps its com­pact shape, so that it can be used as an or­na­men­tal shrub in beds, in a parterre, knot gar­den or con­tainer.

: Plants thrive in full sun, Grow­ing tips in fer­tile soil that is kept moist and mulched. Don’t let the soil dry out in very hot weather. Pinch­ing back makes it bushy, in­creas­ing the har­vest of leaves, which can be used for pesto, sal­ads, and all dishes call­ing for sweet basil.

: 36cm high; 30cm wide.

Size

5. SALVIA GREGGII ‘MI­RAGE’

A sum­mer-f low­er­ing peren­nial, this can be treated as an an­nual in colder ar­eas. A bushy plant, it pro­duces many del­i­cate f lower spikes in a range of colours that in­cludes bur­gundy, pur­ple, rose, pink, and cream. Its heat and frost tol­er­ant f low­ers ap­pear from early spring to win­ter and at­tract but­terf lies and birds. Use it in a bor­der (groups of 3–5 plants for the best show), or con­tain­ers. It pairs well with ver­bena.

: It grows best in full sun Grow­ing tips and likes reg­u­lar, deep wa­ter­ing.

: 30cm high and wide.

Size

6. BIDENS ‘BEE ALIVE’

This peren­nial com­bines the charm of daisies with a burst of vivid colour. The f low­ers have or­ange petals and a large, yel­low cen­tre. Plants are bushy and up­right, adding to gar­den di­ver­sity and health by at­tract­ing pol­li­na­tors like bees and but­terf lies. Use as an edg­ing as well as in pots and hang­ing bas­kets.

: It grows in full sun, and Grow­ing tips f low­ers con­tin­u­ously, even in the hottest months. It re­quires light wa­ter­ing and fer­til­is­ing once a month.

: 20cm high with a spread of 46cm. Size

7. POT PEP­PER

‘SWEET SNACK’ ( CAP­SICUM ANNUUM)

This pro­duces large yel­low, red or or­ange fruit on short plants and can be grown eas­ily in the gar­den or in a pot.

: Plants need full sun, Grow­ing tips soil en­riched with or­gan­ics and reg­u­lar wa­ter­ing. Avoid nitro­gen-rich fer­tiliser, which en­cour­ages leaf growth rather than fruit. Opt rather for a feed high in potas­sium. In very hot weather, mulch to keep the soil moist and cool.

: 30cm high; 20cm wide.

Size

8. TOMATO ‘MEGABITE’

A sturdy, deter­mi­nate tomato, this va­ri­ety pro­duces large ‘beef­steak’ toma­toes. It’s suit­able for grow­ing in pots, and, as the fruit is car­ried on short branches close to the stem, there’s no need to stake the plant or sup­port the fruit. It’s very pro­duc­tive and the large fruit is firm and juicy.

: If grown in pots, water Grow­ing tips ev­ery day in sum­mer and feed once a week. In the gar­den, plant it in fer­tile, well-drained soil and water reg­u­larly. When it starts to f lower, drench with a liq­uid fer­tiliser once a month.

: 40cm high; 20cm wide.

Size

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