What is red, white and blue? Garden visiting for charity and saving threatened plants
What is red, white and blue? This is one of the ways that you can celebrate all sorts of big national occasions in your garden. This year we have the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics to bring out all of the best! So why not in the garden as well? Many of the seed companies have made it easy
What is red, white and blue? This is one of the ways that you can celebrate all sorts of big national occasions in your garden. This year we have the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics to bring out all of the best! So why not in the garden as well?
Many of the seed companies have made it easy for those of us who want to go this patriotic route, by producing plug plant collection that will offer these colour combos ready to plant. Suttons Seeds (www.suttons.co.uk), for example, have three summer favourites in combination that will give us the red, white and blue, but in an informal style. Their 2012 Celebration Collection consists of three container and hanging basket stalwarts for us to us. These are Calibrachoa Superbells Red Devil, Lobelia Panthera Cobalt and verbena Superbena White. The collections are available in packs of 6 or 12 pot-ready plants (two of each variety and four of each variety, respectively). All are trailing and will pack a punch for the summer; they are ready for despatch in May.
Photo: Sutton Seeds’ Celebration Collection will flower well and give the garden a red, white and blue ‘wow’factor. Credit: Suttons Seeds
If you haven’t tried Calibrachoas yet, its time to give them a go in containers; they are really useful summer container plants, free-flowering and trailing and available in lovely colours from many sources. The flowers look like mini-petunias and they are also sold as Million Bells.
However, we can go a step further if we wish and plant a growing flag to celebrate the year ahead. Suttons offer a 135-pack of petunias (45 each of red, white and blue mini-plug plants), which we could simply use in an informal way in containers over the summer, but as they have including a flag template for us to plant through, we might as well wave the flag!
And watch out for the amazing crowns and Olympic logos, created using carpet bedding plant plugs that will be appearing in public places all over the country.
Garden visiting season
The Yellow Book, the directory of the National Gardens Scheme (NGS), was officially launched last week. The NGS is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year. The Yellow Book is packed with gardens to visit (more than 3,800), including a number of gardens that were among the original gardens that opened in 1927. In 2012 the NGS is making £2.6 million available to its beneficiary charities (www.ngs.org.uk). You can help make the anniversary year the best ever by visiting as many gardens as possible and sampling their plant delights as well as probably the best teas and cakes in the gardening planet!
Plant Heritage news
The Plant Heritage annual directory is now out (www.nccpg.com) and it lists all of the 640 National Collections of Plants held by members of Plant Heritage. In 2012 Hozelock is supporting Plant Heritage’s Threatened Plants Project. The project was established by Plant Heritage three years ago to discover which garden plants are rare, identify those worthy of being conserved and then do something about it. This year one of those plants, Pulmonaria ‘Red Freckles’ is now in active conservation. It was last listed in The Plant Finder in 1995. Samples have been passed to the Pulmonaria Group of the Hardy Plant Society for propagation. Eventually this pulmonaria, which has been unavailable for purchase, will be back in supply.
Photo: Pulmonaria ‘Red Freckles’. Credit: Garden World Images/Anthony Baggett
Images credited individually. Text copyright Barbara Segall 2012.
- Barbara Segall's Garden Blog
- Monthly Gardening Tips
- Seasonal Gardening Tips
- Things to do in March