Make a change to your plant choices – 3

Next in my ‘Make a change to your plant choices’ theme are some hard-working plants for beds, baskets and borders.

Make a change to your plant choices - 3

Laurentia ‘Indigo Stars’

If your bedding and basket plants don’t usually last beyond August, then try this…

Laurentia ‘Indigo Stars’

This sparkly little plant originates from the Australian scrubland, so this gives you an idea of how hardy, robust and drought tolerant these plants can be. They’ve had to grow up the hard way!

Seldom available in garden centres, laurentia (also known as isotoma) is one of summer’s best kept secrets. The plants are like mini footballs of star-packed colour; thousands of blooms (count them!) from June to October, and… I’ve saved the best until last… they’re fragrant too!!

Give them a go, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Make a change to your plant choices - 3

Peruvian Lily ‘Indian Summer’

If you’re looking for 5 months of flowers, then look no further:

Peruvian lilies are spectacular border plants, with flowers like orchids. They’ll last for 5-6 months, throwing up in excess of 50 stems!

Alstroemeria are also hardy down to -10C, tough and resilient and untroubled by pests and diseases. Try them in borders, or maybe in giant patio pots – their beach ball habit will just keep throwing up flower stems. Remember to pull them rather than cut down and you’ll get more!

Pick a bouquet a week – and the flowers still keep coming!

Pick a bouquet a week – and the flowers still keep coming!

There’s a great deal of excitement at Thompson & Morgan, one of the UK’s largest mail order seed and
plant companies. And it’s all about some very unusual plants!

We’ve all seen bunches of alstroemeria (or Peruvian tree lilies) in florists and supermarkets, but this new 3 variety mix is very different. Thompson & Morgan has specially selected 3 distinctively bicoloured, long-stemmed and vigorous varieties which were originally grown exclusively for the cut flower industry and were not until now available to the home gardener.

alstromeria tree lily

Kelly, from the Design Team being creative with these wonderful bouquet flowers

The long, strong stems are extremely ‘upwardly mobile’ and ‘knit’ together to form a fabulous column of colour from June to November, with plants typically producing in excess of 30-40 flower stems each. You really can pick a bouquet of beautiful, florist-quality alstroemeria blooms each week throughout the summer and the plants will just keep churning out more.

T&M’s new product development manager, Michael Perry says, ‘These alstroemeria are 4 feet taller than any others we’ve seen! They are very unusual varieties which are rarely available. We’re thrilled to be able to offer them.’

He is urging gardeners to grow some for themselves. ‘Get them going up a frame or obelisk in a pot on the
patio, up a fence at the back of a border or up the side of a fence – they’ll get taller and more colourful by the day.’

alstromeria tree lily

A fantastic array of colours and shades

These commercial-quality, premium plants are now available to gardeners who will be pleased to hear that they are all hardy varieties which will successfully overwinter and produce even more flower stems in their second year.

Rebecca Tute

Rebecca works in the Marketing department as part of the busy web team, focusing on updating the UK news and blog pages and Thompson & Morgan’s international website. Rebecca enjoys gardening and learning about flowers and growing vegetables with her young daughter.

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