Good Gardening with Mark Curtis: August 2019

01/08/19 News

The summer garden is a place of celebration, both with flowers and for get-togethers with friends and family. It maybe one small step out of the backdoor and one giant leap for the planting trowel, but you should definitely go and celebrate the moon landing with a plant that hails from the Americas. Coreopsis ‘Full Moon’ would be my first choice – these like a moist but well-drained sunny spot, a canary yellow with an orange button.  If you want to go further out of this world, there is the gorgeous deep crimson ‘Mercury Rising', or bold contrasts of ‘Cosmic Eye'. Closer to home is the golden yellow of ‘Flying Saucers', produced by our local nursery Farplants, at Walberton near Chichester, proving ever popular since it was launched in 1997. All long flowering and making a good cut flower.
Another summer visitor from ‘out of this world' is the migrating Painted Lady butterfly. Due to arrive on the southern coast in numbers again this year, on her 7,500 mile journey from Africa. Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies' seems an apt choice. A bee-friendly plant from the North Americas, best in full sun, in a well-drained and open soil. ‘Geyser White', ‘Snow Fountain' and ‘Papillon' are a gift for the white garden, looking great with the English Lavender ‘Edelweiss'. If you prefer a hint of pink warmth, then ‘Rosy Jane’, ‘Freefolk Rosy' or the stronger ‘Flamingo' would be ideal. Cottagey and free flowing, they are good for late flowering and nectar. Don't be concerned with the dark spotting on the leaves, as this is their natural leaf markings. With these I think “we have lift off..!”

Mark Curtis
Plant Manager, Tates of Sussex

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