Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Bursting with Colour; Weekend Gardening with Valerie and Gerry Zwart

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Bursting with Colour; Weekend Gardening with Valerie and Gerry Zwart

Article excerpt

THIS is an excellent time to be visiting nurseries and garden centres to find some of the great new varieties emerging for the home gardener.

With all the modern advantages we enjoy these days, clever growers in the breeding programs provide increasingly large numbers of new plants for the market, seeming to succeed in their aims far more quickly than when we were young, for example, the incredible range of rose colours and forms that have improved from pink, yellow, white and red in those days - and that's just the start of it - and in most cases much stronger growing plants.

At the present time among the many "new" plants you'll find some real beauties that can be added to your garden, potted for use in various spots, or as great gifts for Easter and Mother's Day.

These include the new release, Pericallis Senetti or Magenta Delight, which is described as a much more compact cineraria than we know now.

They have better branching, re-bloom with larger flowers, and have more tolerance to temperatures than previously.

They flower through cooler months and provide a splash of bright colour when there's little else in flower.

Then there's the new dahlia, Dalaya, an early flowering, reasonably vigorous and mildew-tolerant dahlia.

They make excellent container plants, producing strong, full flowers on medium sized plants for a full season.

A very popular plant at this time is the Easter or Michaelmas Daisy, and the Starletta collection produces an abundance of large flowers on 50cm stems. These easy-grow plants are ideal for a perennial border, make perfect cut flowers, and come in a good range of colours.

Known as "star performers", the chrysanthemum Elegant series is excellent for home gardens and is a superior variety specifically bred for outdoor planting, forming large domes to 70cm tall and wide that become covered in large blooms.

The colour range includes every imaginable shade from pastels such as lilac and lemon to the hot colours of orange, red and cerise, and with a minimum amount of care make exceptional displays in decorative pots on balconies and patios. …

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