Did you know there is a – mostly – secret location in the heart of Oxfordshire, where you can see tonnes of new flowers? However, I have to tell you, it’s only for the trade, because this is the location where buyers and growers visit to select the plants that we will grow in our gardens in the future.

So, here’s a whole load of shiny new plants to get your juices flowing. You need to be patient though, some aren’t ready until the spring, and some might be a little bit later than that… Us gardeners have patience as a major skill though, right??

 

Vinca Tattoo Orange Experimental

Vinca Tattoo Orange Experimental

Vinca is like the Busy Lizzie that never was.. If we go back a few years, as mildew took hold of traditional Busy Lizzies up and down the land, Vinca was primed as their successor.

However, English summers are neither warm nor reliable enough for Vinca to stay happy.. So it never became what it could’ve been. However, there are some pretty unique varieties coming through. Iridescent, fizzy blooms that you’ll love.

 

Dahlia Experimental V1572

Dahlia Experimental

If a Dahlia could ever look like a water lily, then this is it! It’s as good as any watercolour painting hanging in the reception of a dentist surgery.

It’s almost the pink shade of those fluorescent pens you had as a kid! Part of the very successful waves of new patio dahlia, which don’t need staking, we can’t guarantee they’re earwig proof though..

 

Dahlia Experimental V1575

Dahlia Experimental

If I was still writing catalogues, I would call this “lavender blue”.. after all, we don’t have a royal blue, and probably never will. But, gosh, what a colour. I thank Instagram for making Dahlias popular again, I thought it would never happen!

 

Gazania F1 Kiss Frosty Mixed

Gazania F1 Kiss Frosty Mixed

Gazania are drought tolerant, but they really do need the sun to flower well. Cloudy days can make them a little bit flower-shy.. however the silver sheen foliage more than makes up for it! Despite being seed-raised, I am astounded at the size of the plants in the ‘Kiss Series’ too! Go plant them into the backyard of a garden sob, why don’t you!

 

Heuchera Forever Red

Heuchera Forever Red

Hmm, if my eyes don’t deceive me, this looks like a true red leaf Heuchera, so far they’re been just a bit purple. I can’t wait to get my hands on this, imagine the ways you could play with that red… pass me the Coreopsis!

I’ve had some cracking Heuchera in my garden this year, and when they flower, it’s a frothy sensation! Don’t limit yourself though, they are perfect pot mixers too.

 

Tomato Patio Plum

Tomato Patio Plum

What the wow! Truly bonsai tomato, you’ll barely need to side-shoot the plants. Alas, the fruits were still green, so I cannot give you an accurate taste experience….yet!

 

Hot pink flower

Busy Lizzie Rosebud Doubles

If you don’t know the rosebud Busy Lizzies, then where have you been?? Now a safer bet for gardens, since the mildewy days, these are a real show-off for pots and baskets. To be honest, if someone gave me the choice of single or double flowered, I’d go for the layered doubles every time. So there you go!

 

Leucanthemum Real Deal

Leucanthemum Real Deal

Flipping heck, Argyranthemum will be running scared! Leucanthemum have had a right change-up. with some new patio types offering a long blooming season, and very distinctive flowers. Carefree plants, just as at home in a chunky patio container as it is the border.

 

Begonia Nonstop Joy

Begonia Nonstop Joy

Non-stop is such a well-known brand, and they do exactly what it says on the tin.. non-stop blooming. But, until now, there wasn’t a trailing one. ‘Joy’ now has 3 or 4 colours, and is from the very best of Begonias, Benary. Cor blimey, I’d plant this red one up on it’s own, it’ll cope with shade much better than Balcon Geraniums would too!

 

Corydalis Blue Heron

Corydalis Blue Heron

I was fan-girling over ‘Porcelain Blue’ recently, but this is a whole lot more blue! Like a kinky little flowering fern, Corydalis are the unsung border heroes, with a penchant for shady corners. Intermittent blooming from spring to summer, but don’t let the delicate looks deceive you. These are right old hard nuts!

 

Dahlia Decorative Jowey Hubert

Dahlia Decorative Jowey Hubert

This Dahlia needs no words! I want to say it looks 3-dimensional, but of course it does, it is a real flower! A tall one, you’ll need to armed with bamboo canes before you plant! I love the scalloped blooms, in fiery red-orange, with a golden scooped edge! Pretty darn sexy.

 

Begonia Experimental V2871

Begonia Experimental

‘Apricot Shades’ Begonias seem to be a UK favourite, mainly cos they can cope with the rubbish (usually) English summers. They also love a shady spot, and don’t need dead-heading. Hurrah! This new colour is coming soon.

 

Purple and white flower

Petunia ‘Hippy Chick’

I don’t really approve of the name of this one, it’s ‘Hippy Chick’, but I think ‘Seashells’ would suit it much better. Don’t worry, I’ve already been bending the ear of the breeder on it! I reckon this could be the next ‘Queen of Hearts’, which was the most mainstream Petunia since ‘Night Sky’, which was the most mainstream Petunia since ‘Surfinia’, and so on..

 

Calibrachoa Experimental V3352

Calibrachoa Experimental

You love it, don’t you? You’d plant it into a little pot and place it on the tabletop when you next have a BBQ won’t you? Yeah, you will! Lovely mini Petunias.

 

Calibrachoa Experimental V3364

Calibrachoa Experimental

Blueberry and banana, makes a good – if not attractive – smoothie in real life. Keep them fresh though, and you get this effect. It’s one of those plants that you can see from yards away!

Somehow, Calibrachoa never quite caught on yet. I wonder if it’s because you don’t know how to say it… sounds silly, but I think it makes a big difference. You go to the garden centre and you could accidentally ask for a cam belt, who knows!

 

Coleus FlameThrower Serrano

Coleus FlameThrower Serrano

My 10 year old self would not have imagined how Coleus would reach the mainstream how they have. They have another name these days, but I don’t waste too much time trying to remember it.

Robust, patchwork colours, wind tolerant, English summer proof- they have it all. They have flowers too, bet you didn’t know that?? They’re blue!

 

Pink flowers

Portulaca Experimental

Roses in baskets?? Wow! This succulent plant is mega tough, and ultra drought tolerant, but so far I’ve found they can be flower shy in dull summers. Perhaps I need to give this one a try! The silky flowers are just like the bedding you were to shy to order on that dodgy website recently…

 

 

Buddleja Prince Charming

Buddleja Prince Charming

Now here’s a Buddleja that will behave itself! Short, branched, not too fertile- it will stay where you put it. Neatly called ‘Prince Charming’, after me, I’m sure of it! Attracts tonnes of butterflies, has a mysterious (aka musky) fragrance, and flowers it’s heart out. You can accidentally cut it back too, and it’ll love you for it. You couldn’t do that to a Hydrangea!

 

Gaillardia Experimental X3694

Gaillardia Experimental

You want yellow in your border, but some yellows are, y’know, too ‘yellow’. Wouldn’t a lovely butter yellow like this work much better? You need to put pressure on the buyers though, apparently this GORGEOUS Gaillardia hasn’t been selected for sale, yet.

Gaillardias are total sun lovers, and the colour range has slowly increased, and even boasts some shimmering almost-pink shades too.

 

Gaillardia Experimental X3681

Gaillardia Experimental

Ugh. I love this so much! Have to have it.

 

Delphinium Experimental X3860

Delphinium Experimental

So, Michael, why did you leave this until almost last?? WHAT A PLANT. It’s a RED Delphinium, blimey. Now, those in the know will recognise ‘Princess Caroline’, one of the first mythical red Delphi. But they weren’t such strong plants, and not quite as hardy.

But, this. THIS! This is really something. It is said to be strong, and trouble-free. Imagine the colour palette against the blues and purples?? Swoon.

 

Delphinium Experimental X3862

Delphinium Experimental

It would be easy to walk past this one, but look very carefully. Each floret is actually a swirl, quite different to the usual delphinium ‘bee’. Give it to me already.

 

Osteospermum F1 Akila Sunset Shades

Osteospermum F1 Akila Sunset Shades

Whoever put this mix together needs a medal. Red and purple with yellow and orange is such a tonic. Cape Daisies are easy-peasy, the worst thing you can do is over-water them! They love the sun the most though.

 

Zinnia Zesty Mixed

Zinnia Zesty Mixed

Zinnia come a long way. My Nana and I used to grow them from seed, but they were always quite late summer bloomers. ‘Zesty’ is ace, and the blooms are super chunky. I love that!

Bees and butterflies love them. So next time someone tells you bedding plants aren’t good for wildlife, go tell them to pinch a bunch of nettles!

 

Agastache Morello

Agastache Morello

Sneaky trick, harvest Agastache micro-greens as a dessert garnish, for a little sweet tang! But, you’ll want to keep some to grow on, of course, especially when they look like this!

The plants also emit a noise, as they’re usually full of buzzing bees!!

 

Dianthus F1 Rockin' Red

Dianthus F1 Rockin’ Red

Ethereal, these are a world away from traditional Sweet Williams. Lovely long stems for cutting, you’ll get a whole bunch from a single stem. Not tooo much fragrance, but you’ll be too distracted by the flower form to even notice!

 

Dahlia Gardenetta Fireball

Dahlia Gardenetta Fireball

Dahlias that don’t look like Dahlias, part 25.

 

Pink flower

Dahlia Needs a Name

This absolutely beaut needs a name. I say ‘Cosmopolitan’, but Nat at Happy Plants says ‘Stardust’. What do you say, though??

 

Angelonia Experimental

Angelonia Experimental

And, finally, a plant that I think deserves more acclaim. Like a hybrid between a Lupin and a Delphinium, these are the ideal cottage garden bedding plant. Give them a try.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour. Keep an eye out for some of the varieties in garden centres next spring, in mail order catalogues, and on the QVC shopping channel.

 

Comments
  • Ruthie Armstead

    Oh my! Every one is amazing. You have the best job Michael. THANK YOU FOR SHARING

    August 5, 2021
  • Cecile Mason

    They are all quite beautiful. My favourites are the leucanthemum and coridalis. Thanks for sharing

    August 5, 2021
  • JEAN and MCLEAN

    Dania needs a name should be called ‘ star burst ‘ in my opinion.

    August 6, 2021
  • Margaret Vanns

    Some very interesting plants. I will certainly be looking out for them.

    August 8, 2021
  • Suzi from Scotland

    What a beautiful selection hope we don’t have to wait too long fot these thanks

    August 9, 2021
  • Stephen

    This is why we love you! What an inspiring selection of future wonders you have teased us with! Hopefully most feature on QVC very soon. Remember though Michael, there are Scottish summers also 😉

    August 10, 2021
  • Rod

    Dania needs a name should be called ‘StarDust’ It is such a beautiful flower and I think that name is just right for it.

    August 31, 2021
  • Dahlia needs a name. Facinator, it looks just like those overly showy a d demanding of attention wedding ‘hats’

    August 31, 2021
  • Susan Turner

    Love the calibrachoa, can’t wait to buy them as mine have done fantastic this year

    August 31, 2021

Leave a Reply

You don't have permission to register
%d bloggers like this: