Potted Highlights

We have been experimenting this year by creating a range of different summer planters to add pops of vibrant colour throughout the garden. Next year is our daughter’s wedding which we are hosting here in the garden and it is giving us a chance to see just what works and what is less successful. It is still early days but here are six that look particularly promising so far.

One: Surfinia Pink Vein

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These pink surfinias, grown from plugs, are stunning little plants producing huge numbers of these striking flowers. We have planted them in a large terracota planter surrounding a central pink leaved cordyline and partnered with grey leaved Helichrysum petiolare, purple verbena and white bacopa.

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Two: Begonia odorata ‘Angelique’ and Begonia ‘Cascading splendide ballerina’

In previous years we have found that these large begonias make a real statement on the patio. We normally grow the lighter ‘Angelique’ but this year have partnered it with the orange ‘Ballerina’. Looked after carefully over winter the corms will grow larger and larger every year so an initial investment can provide years of pleasure. I think these sit nicely with the lavender and wisteria.

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Three: Super Petunia (Beautical) – French Vanilla, Caramel Yellow and Cinnamon

Super Petunias are calibrachoa and petunia hybrids. So far they are performing extremely well and it will be interesting to see if we can keep them looking fresh and wonderful throughout the summer months.

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Four: Lotus Fire Vine

We have also been looking for something that will trail nicely from hanging baskets and provide a more tropical look. These Lotus Fire Vine plants have been slow to get going but they are now coming into flower producing these interesting claw-like orange flowers which look lovely against the glaucus foliage.

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Five: Super Petunia (Beautical) – Bordeaux and Sunray Pink

Here we have some more Super Petunias this time in pink and a deep, dark velvety burgundy. They look great contrasting against the dark Cotinus and the silver foliage of the Santolina.

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Six: Zaluzianskya (Nigh Phlox)

Finally for something completely different. As the wedding is in August next year we are of course hoping for a warm, sultry summer evening where the guests can wander amongst the plants and enjoy a garden at dusk filled with scent. Zaluzianskya is certainly not a large plant but these tiny flowers fill the air with a wonderful fragrance.

Scented evening flowers of Zaluzianskya capensis


The Six on Saturday meme is hosted by The Propagator. Click on the link to be inspired by what other plant lovers are enjoying this weekend.

Suppliers

Suttons ( suttons.co.uk ) – Super Petunias, Surfinias and Lotus Fire Vine

Parkers ( dutchbulbs.co.uk ) – Begonias

Chiltern Seeds ( chilternseeds.co.uk ) – Night Phlox

Zaluzianskya – Twilight Scent

Last autumn we were inspired by Lia Leendertz’s book Twilight Garden¹ and we undertook to increase the number of plants and flowers that come into their own in the evening light. Our aim was to increase the impact of the garden as the sun goes down adding walk ways of light and scented flowers around the garden and, in particular, in areas where we sit of an evening.

This summer has proved to be perfect – hot and dry and ideal for sitting out on those long balmy evenings.

There are a number of plants listed in Lia’s book that we have not come across before. One of these is Zaluzianskya or Night Phlox. It is a rather uninspiring plant during the heat of the day as all the flowers close up showing only the maroon undersides of the petals. Come the evening however, the flowers open into a myriad of shining white stars that seem to glow in the fading light. Their wonderful scent begins to hang in the air. Scents are often difficult to describe but we both feel the scent of Zaluzianskya is interestingly different from many other flowers. To my mind it is a complex aroma of honey and sweets with a spicy edge.

The species that we have grown from seed is Zaluzianskya capensis ‘Midnight Candy’ ( available from Chiltern Seeds ). Lia’s book talks also of a different species Zaluzianskya ovata which we may well try next year having had so much success with Z. capensis this year.

If you are looking to bring a new dimension to your garden in the evening this is something fun to try. It will certainly be a talking point if you use your garden for sitting out and entertaining.

On using Zaluzianskya as a cut flower the jury is still out. It does cut and we have placed it in water in small ‘jam-jar’ arrangements. The flowers do seem to open in the evening for a dinner party but we have found that the scent does not seem to be as intense as from those flowers opening in the fresh air on the patio. Why we are not yet sure. Our conclusion so far is therefore to grow it in small pots so that you can bring out the potted plants and place them strategically where you want them.

Well worth having a try if you have not grown this before.

Latin name: Zaluzianskya capensis

Height: 45cm

Hardy annual

Common name: Night Phlox

Native origins: South Africa

Family: Scrophulariaceae

Further Reading

¹ “Twilight garden – a guide to enjoying your garden in the evening hours” by Lia Leendertz (ISBN 9781862059115)

 


Honey Pot Flowers are wedding and celebration florists based in Warwickshire in the United Kingdom specialising in natural, locally grown seasonal flowers. We grow many of our own flowers allowing us to offer something very different and uniquely personal.