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Flowers: my choice for 2019

Calendula Fiesta Gitana and Heuchera Plum Pudding
Calendula Fiesta Gitana and Heuchera Plum Pudding

Ornamental plants: pollinator friendly, companion planting and pinky-blue

When you’re planning a garden, it’s important not to choose flowers on looks alone (but you are allowed the odd impulse buy).

A successful garden relies on being a successful functioning ecosystem, attracting a wide range of pollinators and helpful predators.

Don’t forget companion plants, which will save your fruit and veg from infestation or attract pollinators (such as Calendula and the sunflowers).

Wildflower derivatives such as the golden and purple cow parsley are going to be mixed with flowering carrot as a lacy contrast to my Chinese rice paper plant. They’ll also attract a range of beneficial insects.

Loved by pollinators

The white foxgloves will sit in the light shade beside the hedge (all the self-seeders are the native pink variety), also loved by pollinators.

I only have a couple of areas in beds where I can plan an annual display but this year it’s mainly pink and blue shades (Antirrhinum, Gomphrena, Helichrysum and the sweet peas).

I always have to have perfume, where the sweet peas come in and a couple of wild cards – the Convolvulus Tricolour and pansy, bought on a whim.

Plants on trial are clearly marked. This is the plan (it never goes to it)…

Flowering plants for 2019

  • Anthriscus sylvestris Ravenswing: (purple cow parsley, 60-90cm), Plant World Seeds
  • Anthriscus sylvestris Golden Fleece: (golden cow parsley, 70-90cm), Plant World Seeds
  • Antirrhinum Chantilly Series, Chantilly Bronze: (bronze/pink, 140cm), Chiltern Seeds TRIAL
  • Calendula Fiesta Gitana (Gipsy Festival): 30cm, Dobies
  • Convolvulus Tricolour: (pink, blue and white trumpet flowers like a morning glory) 40cm, Semillas Fito
  • Flowering carrot: (Dara, Queen Anne’s Lace, changing from white to pink to burgundy), from Suttons Predator range to attract helpful insects that eat pests TRIAL
  • Foxglove Alba: (the white form of Digitalis purpurea, 1.2m), Johnsons TRIAL
  • Gomphrena Rose: (globe amaranth, 60cm), Chiltern Seeds TRIAL
  • Helichrysum bracteatum Silvery Rose: (paper daisy, 90cm), Chiltern Seeds TRIAL
  • Pansy Swiss Giant Flame: (dark face on burnt orange), Semillas Fito
  • Sweet pea Pink Champagne: (pink/cream, 240cm), Chiltern Seeds TRIAL
  • Sweet pea Blue Shift: (blue, 2m), Chiltern Seeds TRIAL
  • Sunflower China Cat Mix: (lemon yellow/orange, 1.8m, repeat flowering), The Real Seed Catalogue
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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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