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.
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.
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.
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.
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.