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Busy Lizzies are back with a bang for 2019

PUBLISHED: 11:20 23 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:20 23 July 2019

Busy Lizzies at Kiln Farm Nursery  Picture: Ruth Goudy

Busy Lizzies at Kiln Farm Nursery Picture: Ruth Goudy

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Gardening blogger Ruth Goudy is delighted to be growing a new cultivar of the popular flowering plant.

Paul and I were lucky enough to visit the Horticultural Trade Association's National Plant Fair recently. The event gives members a chance to see what other growers and suppliers are doing, see new plants that have been bred and generally have a catch up with what is going on by meeting or reconnecting with other businesses in the horticultural trade.

One of the new plants is called Impatiens Beacon and we think that it is fabulous. At the plant fair we were delighted to see that this lovely plant, also known as Busy Lizzie, had been awarded the 'Best Annual 2019'.

Who remembers having a disastrous crop of Busy Lizzies a few years ago? All of a sudden, the plants were wiped out by powdery mildew. What looked like healthy plants in the garden centre began to shed their leaves, never flowered and disintegrated, rotting at the stem bases. Work has been going on to grow a variety that is resistant to the disease and finally this year it has been launched.

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Ball Colegrave are the plant specialists who have developed the new strain and we grow their bedding plants at our nursery. Paul was offered the chance to try a few trays of the new Impatiens Beacon this year and jumped at the opportunity. The tiny plugs were only the size of a pencil head. They came in trays of over 100. We pressed them out and transplanted them into our own compost and place them in larger six packs.

They have grown into the six packs well and are flowering profusely. It is so good to have this plant back. It has always been a traditional favourite. It is low growing, spreading and covered in bright flowers in white, pink, cerise, red, salmon or orange. Best of all, it flourishes in the shade. This year you should be able to find this variety growing in good garden centres. So, if you are looking for something that lightens a dark corner and will flower all summer then look no further!

Ruth and Paul Goudy run Kiln Farm Nursery, Kesgrave in Suffolk www.kilnfarm.com. Ruth Goudy writes about flowers and plants, the joy they give and their folklore and meanings at www.ruthgoudy.com

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