Summer-Flowering Bedding Plants
Summer-Flowering Bedding Plants
This is used as an edging plant but is not so popular as either alyssum or lobelia. The chief varieties are Dwarf Blue, which is 9 ins. high and should be spaced at 8 ins., and Little Blue Star, 3 ins. high, which can be planted at 4 in. spacing.
Another popular plant for edging. The best varieties are Little Dorritt, white, which is 4 ins. high, and should be planted 6 ins. apart, Lilac Queen, which is the same height and can be planted at similar spacing. Sweet Alyssum, white, is 9 ins. high, and needs to be planted 8 to 9 ins. apart. These plants are often planted alternately with Lobelia, to give a contrasting effect.
There are several types, from the tall varieties which reach 3ft. in height, down to the very dwarf types which are 4 to 6 ins. high, and useful for the front of a bed or border. One of the most popular groups, however, is the Intermediate, which is 15 ins. tall and includes many well coloured and attractive varieties, such as: Nelrose, pink; Guardsman, scarlet; Fire King, orange-scarlet, and Eclipse, crimson. Plant these varieties 9 to 10 ins. apart.
In areas where Antirrhinum Rust is troublesome, some of the rust-resistant varieties, such as Wisely Golden Fleece and Pink Freedom, should be grown. All are 12 ins. high, and should be planted 10 to 12 ins. apart. A new introduction are the Double Hybrids, which are 2ft. high, and available in a wide colour range. Antirrhinums, one of the most popular bedding plants, often form the nucleus of summer bedding displays.
The Ostrich Plume varieties, which are double and 13 ft. high, are popular for bedding. Many colours are available and plants should be given 9 to 12 ins. of space. Asters do best on light to medium soils, for on the heavy types some trouble may be experienced with “damping off” and “black leg”. Do not plant until mid May, or later in cold areas, and make sure that the site is well drained. The Lilliput types make a pleasing contrast.
The Coltness Hybrids, useful for providing a late summer display, are available in a good colour range. They are 2ft. high, and should be planted 10 to 12 ins. apart. There is a wide range of dwarf bedding types available and for diversity of colour in early autumn there is little to equal them.
Few plants respond better to generousapplications worked into the site before planting.
The dwarf double varieties are useful for edging, when planted 6 ins. apart. Popular varieties are Petite Gold, and Petite Orange. Taller varieties such as Mahogany Red, 9 ins. tall, and Golden Ball, are useful for beds or borders.
If plants in 3 in. or 3-1/2 in. pots are purchased, late May is the safest time for planting; if specimens are put out earlier, frost damage may result. Plant 12 ins. apart. Popular varieties are : Paul Crampel : Gustav Emich; King of Denmark and Birkdale Gem. For edging, the varieties with variegated foliage should be used, such as Chelsea Gem or Flower of Spring. If plants are being grown, take4 to 5 ins. long in September, in 5 in. pots in a mixture of half sand and half ; insert the cuttings firmly around the edge of the pot, 1-1/2 ins. apart. Water sparingly, and keep free of frost over winter. Pot up into 3 in. pots in February, in a light sandy mixture and harden off thoroughly before .
This is useful as an edging plant for the front of beds and borders. Most varieties are 4 to 6 ins. high. It is very colourful and the popular varieties are: Cambridge Blue; Dark Blue, and Royal Purple. The planting distance should be 6 ins., and the fact that Lobelia gives a good contrast to pink or orange flowers, should be borne in mind.
This is a very colourful, easy to grow subject, and a wide range of colours is available in the large-flowered types, which are 12 ins. high. There are also dwarf hybrid varieties, 8 to 10 ins. high. Plant 9 ins. apart in each case. A bed of mixed colours will make an attractive display. Nemesia is one of the quickest subjects to give a show of colour. The first flowers should be cut off, when they go over, to encourage the plants to “break” and flower again.
The commonest groups are the ordinary single-bedding Petunia, and the large-flowered single varieties, which are available in a wide range of colour. Their height is 1-1/2 ft. Plant 12 ins. apart. There are, however, many attractive new hybrids which should be grown in preference to the ordinary types although, if the plants are purchased, they are more expensive. Some varieties to be recommended are: Glitters, red and white, 9 ins. high, and Red Satin, vivid scarlet red, which is of dwarf habit and has very large flowers. These latter varieties should be planted 9 ins. Apart.
This is a colourful subject and the large-flowered varieties, 12 ins. high, are available in most shades. The dwarf sorts, 6 ins. tall, can be used for edging or for bedding. A particularly attractive strain is Twinkle, which is very compact in habit and brightly coloured. Plant dwarf types 6 ins. apart, the large-flowered 9 ins. Apart.
These should not be planted out until early June for, if set out earlier, frost damage can occur. Plants grown in pots are best. Plant 12 ins. apart. A good variety is Fireball, which has brilliant scarlet spikes and grows 15 ins. high. There is also a dwarf Fireball, 9 ins. high. For a vivid splash of colour, there is little to equal these plants, which also give a long-lasting display.
The Ten Week varieties, very useful for bedding are available in a wide range of colours. A good type is the Giant Perfection which has a branching habit, grows 18 ins. high and plants of which should be planted 12 ins. apart. Pink, red and blue varieties are most popular. The Giant Rocket type, which is of non-branching habit, 2ft. high, is also useful. It is possible, if one raises plants oneself, to obtain a type (The Hansen Strain) of which the double-flowered plants can be picked out when in the seedling stage, these being lighter than the plants which will give single flowers.
These very colourful and attractive plants do best in a dry summer, on light and medium types of soil. Plants should not be put out until danger of frost has passed. Zinnias give the best display in a large bed or border. The Giant Double, and the-flowered types are 2-1/2 ft. high and should be planted at 12in. spacing. The miniature Pom Pom types, 9 ins. high, are compact in habit, and should be planted 6 ins. apart. Choose an open, sunny well-drained site for these plants.