Unless you live in a frost pocket, it should be safe to put out tender bedding from mid-May onwards. Maybe a little earlier if you live in the centre of town. We have nearly all our usual varied selection of annual bedding; the only thing unobtainable this year is Chocolate Cosmos.
Calendula (Pot Marigold) are becoming more popular – we always have the single orange on the herb bench but this year we are trying a few mixed doubles in packs. They make really tough bedding plants and you can eat them just the same! Also on the herb bench are a few Echinacea pallida – this is the one used in herbal medicine but it makes a very attractive border plant as well.
Cosmos is a big seller. Last year we tried the dwarf Cassanova and were really pleased with it, so more this year. Also, we grew a few tall (1m) plants which also went very well. This year we have more – Razzmatazz White and Razzmatazz Mixed. There will be plenty of Sonata (mixed, white, pink and Carmine) and Antiquity as usual.
Ammi majus is becoming more popular – lovely white Cow Parsley flowers ideal for an infill in herbaceous borders and good for cutting. This is in pots on the benches with the tub and basket plants.
There is a new pot Nicotiana – Whisper – from Colegrave. We are not quite sure how this differs from Nicotiana mutabilis but we have grown a few to try. There is Nicotiana sylvestris and Nicotiana langsdorfii as usual as well as the Nicotiana mutabilis.
For the last two years, we have been growing Didiscus Madonna mixed. We put the last of it in mixed containers and then when you saw how pretty it was you all wanted it. This year we will try and save some for our “summer shiner” range.
With thanks to RHS and Ball and Colegrave for the images used in this post.