One of the most eagerly anticipated parts of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which runs from May 22 to 26, is seeing which new plants are introduced.
This year’s no exception, with dozens of new varieties for gardeners to ponder over.
Here is my top 10 – there’s a full list on my website, www.mandycanudigit.com
l Helianthus annuus Sunbelieveable Brown Eyed Girl: Bred by Thompson & Morgan, the first cutting-raised annual sunflower to bloom for six months – a single plant can produce 1,000 bicolour flowers. From The Sun newspaper.
l Begonia Fragrant Falls Orange: Heavily fragrant, frilly, bright orange blooms with contrasting dark foliage with a trailing habit. Bred by Thompson & Morgan. Shown by Birmingham City Council.
l Fargesia murieliae Luca: A real non-invasive dwarf bamboo, reaching a height of 40 to 50cm with a maximum width of about 1m. Supplied by Javado to Burncoose Nurseries.
l Rosa Emily Brontë (Ausearnshaw): Soft pink blooms with a subtle apricot hue. The central petals deepen to rich apricot and surround a button eye which unfurls a cluster of deep-set stamens. The fragrance is strong. From David Austin Roses.
l Eryngium Blue Waves: Big showy bracts, long lasting and repeat flowering. A hardy herbaceous perennial that does not need staking and is great for pollinators. From Hillier Nurseries.
l Berberis thunbergii Orange Sunrise: Deciduous shrub with an upright habit. In spring it has intensely pink leaves, maturing to deep red with a gold marginal ring. Hardy to -35C. From the Horticultural Trades Association.
l Calendula Powerdaisy Tango (Kercaltan and PowerDaisy Series): The first orange Calendula that flowers non-stop from early spring until November. Tolerant of cold and heat, rain and drought. From the Horticultural Trades Association.
l Dahlia Lubega Power Tricolour: (Lubega Power Series): A major colour breakthrough as the red, yellow and white areas on the petals give blooms an ever-changing appearance. From National Collection of Dahlias.
l Pepper Lemon Dream: Produces masses of small bright yellow peppers, sweet but with a hint of spiciness. Ideal for confined spaces and pots. From Pennard Plants.
l Malus toringo Aros: A compact dark purple/black leaved, disease-resistant crab apple with a tight columnar habit. In spring, there are dark pink and white flowers and in autumn small deep red crab apples persist into the winter. From The Sun newspaper.
GET IN TOUCH
l For more information, plus cook what you grow, recipes, environmental news and more, log on to the website at www.mandycanudigit.com – which is also now smartphone friendly.
You can also follow Mandy on Twitter @MandyCanUDigIt or you can like me on my Facebook page at Mandycanudigit
JOBS TO DO THIS WEEKEND
Hoe borders to prevent annual and perennial weeds from spreading and seeding themselves.
Sweet peas need training and tying into their supports to encourage them to climb and make a good display.
Liquid feed plants in containers every two to four weeks.
Aphids can multiply rapidly. Remove early infestations by hand to prevent the problem getting out of hand. Protect sweet pea plants in particular, as they can get sweet pea viruses.
Continue to protect lily, delphinium, hosta, and other susceptible plants from slugs and snails.
Prune spring-flowering shrubs such as Japanese quince (Chaenomeles), Choisya and Ribes after flowering. Remove one stem in three from Kerria and Spiraea Arguta, and shorten the other flowered stems to a suitable side shoot. Evergreens such as Viburnum tinus can also still be trimmed.
Prune wall-trained Pyracantha, removing any shoots coming out from the wall, and shortening other new growth to about 8cm (3in). This encourages spur formation and increases flowering.
Remove blanket weed in ponds by twirling around a rough stick. Skim off floating weeds such as duckweed with a net. Leave weeds on the pond side for 24 hours to allow trapped creatures to return to the water.