Fun Fall Container Gardening
Just like the fashion industry, gardens are forever changing and we all want to grow the latest releases. Here’s my guide to some of the hot shots for 2017 gardens!!
Some people are dubbing this as the ‘hipster marigold’! In colours never seen before, ’Strawberry Blonde’ comes from innovative plant breeding practices in the USA, where they’ve introduced brand new genes, and a pink tinge, to an old favourite! It is just as dependable as the old-fashioned Marigolds- easy to grow, problem-free and long flowering.
One day at a well-known German breeding company, the company focus changed in an instant one day, as some super unique colours and patterns started appearing in the petunia breeding. Bravely, the company switched their focus from varieties that merely flowered a week or two earlier and instead embraced these eye-popping new varieties. ‘Cloud 9’ is undoubtedly a poster boy for this range, dubbed the ‘Crazytunia’!
The Fuchsia berries are relatively misunderstood, as many assume they are poisonous. This is indeed not the case, and most are edible, yet tasteless. The development of the ‘Fuchsia Berry’ changed all that with a berry that not only tasted sweet, but was also non-gritty and produced in it’s hundreds on hardy, bushy plants. A nice dose of Vitamin C for your late summer smoothie recipes!
Growing a herbaceous perennial in a patio container would have once been seen as crazy, however the Scottish breeding of some rather special Delphiniums have made people think again! ‘Flamenco’ is part of a series of Delphiniums which are shorter and therefore more self-supporting. That isn’t all though, the blooms are out of this world!! Each one is a two-tone pompon, far less likely to blow apart like most single-flowered Delphiniums I reckon!
Blueberries from the supermarket can often be quite hit and miss; either too bitter or too soft. Avoid all of that with this incredible PINK blueberry, with a reliable sweetness and surprising colour, which makes them brighter and easier to pick at their sweetest too!
Fuchsias are now available in miniature and are ideal for outdoor table tops, being a welcome addition to the latest trend of small, but beautiful plants. Staying small throughout the summer, ‘Bella’ have out-facing and up-facing florets, meaning their beauty is visible from every angle, no more fuchsia blooms hiding in the leafy growth!
Often referred to as the ‘mini petunia’, Calibrachoa breeding has improved over the last few years and means it is now possible to grow them in a range of soils and conditions and the reward is a plant with more flower than foliage! Pick of the bunch is Peachy variety, for sure!
The vegetable world meets the ornamental world with this Kale, and the result is spectacular! An extremely popular ‘now’ food, Kale is loved for it’s vitamins, minerals and good fibre benefits. In it’s green form, it’s not necessarily attractive enough to make it to the flower border, but thanks to Midnight Sun, mixing some plants into your bedding scheme is now a no-brainer!
Whilst not brand new, but certainly quite unknown, this dwarf Raspberry is turning heads in gardens around the world. The short, stout plants are bejewelled with fruits through the summer and they are reliably sweet, beating many supermarket bought packs.
Given their ever-growing popularity, I had to include a succulent in this ‘best of’ list! Crassula ‘Buddha’ is every you would want from a succulent; attractive, architectural, colourful, easy to grow, and aching for a pretty pot to sit in!
Michael Perry is a well-known European plants expert and product developer, with a career spanning 18 years and around 300 new plants! He lectures worldwide and is a regular on British television, thanks to his enthusiasm and likeable approach to gardening.
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