Exotic Summer Plants for Patio Pots
This year more than ever we need to treat ourselves. We can’t go out to eat in a restaurant. We can only go to the pub garden. Holidays abroad are restricted and risky with all the variant virus strains about. Our own gardens become even more special this year for relaxing and enjoying ourselves in the company of however many friends and relations Boris allows us to meet. So here are some really special additions to the bedding plants for summer colour to enhance your own outdoor space.
All my following highlights are easy to grow on the patio in pots, hanging baskets or plant pouches using John Innes no 2 Compost, Jacks Magic or John Innes with Multi compost.
Bidens Bee Dance Painted Red and Painted Yellow are 2 beautiful new varieties for planting in hanging baskets, containers and window boxes adding colour and fragrance to the patio. They have a compact habit and the brightly coloured flowers are a magnet to Butterflies and Bees who flock to the sweet honey scented flowers that have very high nectar levels. They flower continuously from June to the first frost in late autumn.
Impatiens Imara is a new strain of Busy Lizzie. Five years ago we had to stop growing Impatiens because the seed became infected with a fungus. At the time it was the most popular and versatile bedding plant. This new strain has been bred in America and has proven to resist the Downey Mildew Fungus even when grown in our climate. It is available as Imara Red and Imara Pink and flowers from May until the autumn frosts. It is lovely to be able to grow this versatile plant in our summer bedding schemes again.
Begonia Summerwings was voted one of the top 5 best performing patio plants in 2019. It is available in 3 colours Orange, Red and, my favourite, Vanilla with golden centres. These plants are very low maintenance requiring no trimming or dead heading and give a striking display planted in tubs and hanging baskets in sun or shade. Another new variety of Begonia is Fragrant Falls available in 2 colours Peach and Lemon and has a lovely fragrance. It is trailing, performs well in sun or shade and is spectacular in hanging baskets, pouches and window boxes. The perfumed flowers can really be appreciated when the windows and doors are open.
Nemesias bred by Martine Tellwright are one of the most popular bedding plants worldwide. They are very easy to grow in an amazing range of colours. Three new strongly scented neat growing varieties are Olivia which is violet and cream with a yellow centre, Sapphire purple with a cream centre and Lady Penelope with large vanilla cream, orange pink and yellow flowers. Nemesias grow well in patio tubs and window boxes with the perfume permeating into the house through open windows.
Nasturtium Orchid Cream is a spectacular plant with rich creamy yellow splashed maroon flowers. It is a compact plant excellent in patio pots in full sun. It thrives in poor soil so only water the tubs but don’t feed. As well as being ornamental the flowers and leaves add a distinct peppery taste to summer salads. Nasturtium Orchid Flame is another dramatic colour combination of orange yellow and maroon. It was Flower of the Year in 2019. It has a more trailing habit so is excellent in hanging baskets. It is excellent for bees and brilliant at repelling destructive bugs on the veg patch so plant near any brassicas.
Another exciting new plant is Petchoa Beautical a cross between the upright Petunia and the trailing Calibrachoas. It is very easy to grow performing well in hot dry summers and in colder wetter weather as the flowers are not damaged by rain. It grows forming a mound covered in masses of flowers of rich unusual colours with darker centres Strawberry Pink, Cinnamon, Caramel Yellow and Glowing Orange. It is a perfect plant for low maintenance patio pots.
All these are new variant strains or hybrids of the familiar bedding plants we love in summer. Unlike Covid 19 they are joys to behold. Try to grow a couple in your patio pots this summer I know you will be back to try more next year.