Blazing colour spots

2017-11-22 06:01

GET ready to set your beds alight this December with blazes of pinks, reds, oranges, purples and white with this month’s toughest little bloomer, Vinca. With its shiny green leaves and amazing flower power, this annual will liven up your garden and do the trick in containers too. When not in bloom, it offers a neat green edge to your beds and paths.

Vincas are tough little plants and like it hot and sunny with dry feet. Plant seedlings in a full sun position, approximately 20cm apart.

Vincas prefer a slightly acid soil that drains well, but not one that is particularly rich or fertile. Dig the bed to a depth of about 30cm and incorporate a 10cm layer of compost or dry manure before planting. Apply a general fertiliser once or twice a season.

Once established, do not spoil them with too much water as they are very drought tolerant. Vincas are an excellent “water wise” choice. During times of drought the leaves may curl up but they’ll un-curl again at night or when the plant receives water.

The Polka Dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) is well known as a novelty indoor plant, but is also a striking outdoor bedding plant that can be used to brighten borders or containers in those difficult shaded areas.

The polka dots that give this colourful plant its name and spatter its foliage like a work of modern art come primarily in pink. However, hybrids are available with red spotting, white and a lighter shade of green. A hybrid with pink leaves and green spots is also available.

Being low-growing makes them great bedding plants and they will rapidly spread to add colour to borders and dull shady areas. They look good following the contour of a path and combine nicely with New Guinea impatiens. Hypoestes grow best in filtered sunshine and the plants will exhibit more pronounced colour in partial shade than full sun.

A true beauty, Alstroemeria is an excellent choice when looking to brighten up gardens this summer. When planted up in containers and strategically placed in highly visible areas, these stunning summer flowering stalwarts require very little maintenance and are seldom troubled by pests.

For more information go to www:lifeisagar - information supplied by Bedding Plant Growers Association.


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