By James Wall
At this time of the year, some of our growers show some of the new plants that are in the system. One such company is Touch of Class plants, located about an hour out of Melbourne, in Tynong.
They propagate plants and sell them to growers all over Australia. Nurseries like ourselves get to see what’s coming up for future gardeners – and we all have different opinions, and here is mine:
Hebe Grace Kelly:
Ok, it’s just a hebe, but this aptly named plant has a classic antique look that is not at all modern. I shouldn’t actually like this plant, but its somewhat dated old school look would actually be stunning in the right pot. Hebe’s also make very good filler plants as they are hardy and need little water once established. This one might just end up a classic.
These come from a US breeder called Terra Nova who are famous for this range of plants. I just love the lushy leaf growth more so than the flowers. They become vivid in winter and will take a dappled light situation. Pictured above is Lime Marmalade and Black Taffeta. Below is Coco and then Sugar Plum.
Agapanthus Barley Blue:
There were quite a few nice agapanthus, but this one pictured above was my favourite. It was a lovely shade of blue and quite compact. Next to it is Phormium Back in Black, a comapct dark coloured flax that makes a great coastal plant.
These young plants look quite special. Alas, they will grow into a bigger hardy clumping plant. Apparently they have little pineapple like flowers on them. Pictured above is Dark Star and below is Freckles.
Buddleia Blue and Pink Compact:
These two buddleia are compact forms and only grow 50-60cm tall. They are long flowering, and require no dead heading. They are a much more controllable plant and pictured above is Blue Chip Jr, and below is Micro Pink Chip. These are sure to be cottage garden favourites and would be right at home in a mixed salvia garden.
Some of these plants will be released, some may not. It is pleasing to see some exciting plants in the pipeline and I will looking forward to offering them in our nursery in 2015.