Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

PLAY THE TOP SEEDS; Growers' 2019 Catalogues Are Out. and Next Year's Tip for Victory Is the Simple Nasturtium

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

PLAY THE TOP SEEDS; Growers' 2019 Catalogues Are Out. and Next Year's Tip for Victory Is the Simple Nasturtium

Article excerpt

HE autumnal colours this year have been superb, a fiery and warm display to cheer us up throughout November.

TAnother happy activity is thinking about spring and summer colour for next year, and one of the best ways to do this is to browse seed catalogues, see what's new and make your selection.

There's so much promise and excitement contained within these little packets and they can make delightful Christmas gifts for your green-fingered friends.

Every year Fleuroselect, the international organisation for ornamental plants, singles one out for special mention and members have decided 2019 is the year of the nasturtium. A good choice - nasturtium seeds give so much colour for so little trouble.

I often recommend them as a way to get children interested in gardening - the seed is large and therefore easy to handle, germination is reliable and the circular leaves very identifiable when they push up through the soil.

Some gardeners use them for companion planting in vegetable patches to repel pests and attract insects.

If all that wasn't enough, they're edible and make lovely colourful additions to salads with a slightly peppery taste.

Thompson& Morgan's breeding programme has come up with 'Orchid Flame' a nasturtium that changes colour as it matures - developing from red with yellow splashes to fully yellow.

This exclusive annual nasturtium mounds up to a foot high and then cascades down a couple of feet so is perfect for hanging baskets or trellis.

'Ladybird' is a dwarf bushy variety with golden yellow flowers that have five bright red spots. Sow from March to May in situ. (Thompson-morgan.com).

Other interesting selections that caught my eye include Viola 'Back to Black' from Johnsons Seeds (johnsons-seeds.com).

The jet black blooms of this viola are very long flowering and will make a dramatic addition to pots and containers. …

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