of Spring 2002
The gardening world
rejoices as this year's Stars of Spring are announced.
Each year a stringent
'Stars of Spring' selection process identifies a quantity of exceptional
plants chosen for their innovative characteristics and their ‘x-factor´.
Check out this year's six Stars of Spring.
of dainty, peach-pink flowers cover this easy-care plant from spring
to autumn and even into winter in warmer, sheltered areas. A delightful
new addition to the 'Sunbells' series, 'Peach' is slightly more
compact than others but still manages to produce cascades of flowers,
from baskets or window boxes, in sun or even part shade. The leaves
are small and disease resistant and the plant grows up to 30 cm
tall. Being the high performance plants that they are, 'Sunbells
Peach' respond well to a cut back after flowering and will perform
best if fed three times (using high nitrogen formula) during its
flowering period. This will ensure longer flowering. Grow in a sunny,
well-drained position, but be prepared to water through the summer
to give best results. Only lightly cold hardy, plants have nevertheless,
in trials, tolerated temperatures from -3C to +32C.
lemon-yellow flowers are fully double and held well above the foliage
for a long flowering period during spring and summer. The bush has
a slight upright habit, growing to around 60 cm tall, with fine,
grey-green foliage. As the bush grows, new growth overtakes old
flower heads and new flowers form over the top - the net effect
being that older flowers are virtually hidden by fresh growth and
masses on new lemon-yellow flowers. There is little need for dead-heading.
Best grown in full sun and a well drained soil, Sunjay is a very
low maintenance plant. Feed at the beginning of spring, and during
the year the odd trim to shape will keep it tidy and invigorate
new growth. Tolerant of very light frosts for short periods only.
couldn't be a more apt name for the painted fern. These vigorous
growing ferns are ideal for a lightly shaded situation in almost
any garden. The foliage intensifies in colour with the onset of
summer and each plant will rapidly fill a gap in the garden or make
a feature as a group. Easy to grow, they are relatively pest and
disease resistant and will tolerate some frost before coming away
strongly again in the spring. Easy to grow, the painted fern is
relatively pest and disease resistant and will tolerate some frost
before coming away strongly again in the spring.
Geranium 'Pink Spice'
full flower in summer, the 'Pink Spice' geranium is a sight to behold,
with a mass of small, but clearly defined, pink flowers contrasted
against the deep bronze foliage. It will flower from September to
May and grows well in a range of climates from sea level up to 1,700
metres. On average it will reach about 60 cm across. 'Pink Spice'
is cold hardy and will grow well in poorer soils as long as a reasonable
moisture level is maintained, especially through the summer months.
It is a relatively easy plant to grow requiring no special treatment,
and has a wide variety of uses including pots, excellent for covering
banks and falling over retaining walls.
Clematis 'Sweet Hart'
lovely free-flowering climber and groundcover, Clematis 'Sweet Hart'
has tough ferny-type foliage that will withstand full sun. It also
grows well in both temperate and moderate climatic zones, where
its scrambling form gives it more versatility than many other clematis
varieties. Its spring flowers literally smother the foliage. Will
reach 1 m unaided and up to 2 m when trained. While it will withstand
tough conditions, 'Sweet Hart', like any other clematis, will perform
best in a sheltered aspect with a cool, free-draining root run.
It is fabulous for hanging baskets or for trailing over walls as
well as for under-planting, where it can provide a good contrast
of textures. It can even be used for topiary and is easily trained
to most shapes.
Verbena Patio Series
brand new range of hot-coloured verbenas will flower for months
whether they're in containers or planted as a garden border. Small,
but sturdy, reaching 35 cm in height, these plants come in a range
of colours which will brighten any patio or garden: soft sky blue,
deep purple, fire engine red and deep rose pink. Above all, their
disease resistance will keep them looking their best. The excellent
all round performance of Verbena Patio Series will be greatly enhanced
with a light trim and a feed between flowering. They're ideally
suited for pots, window boxes, or for mass planting and will perform
equally well in sun or part shade.