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December Flowers and Christmas Greetings from Downside Nurseries

Zinnias, Magellan, Impatiens, Brugmansia

The cut flower Zinnias we grow in the vegetable garden (Benary’s Giant) were greatly admired last year. They need little support and produce splendid bunches of flowers until the frosts. They last a good week or more in a vase. They would also look well planted in a herbaceous border. We have sown extra for sale this year as we promised.  There will be the shorter Magellan mixed as usual in our ‘Summer Shiner’ range.

Impatiens (Busy Lizzy) used to be one of the mainstays of summer bedding, flowing all year and being shade tolerant.  They have been in decline recently because of a nasty mildew imported a few years ago on some cutting’s plants.  (it doesn’t affect the New Guinea variety). We have never experienced it on the Nursery and know of only one customer who had serious problems in that initial year.  As far as we know there is very little problem around here and the mildew cannot survive a cold winter.  Because people are still cautious, Ball-Colegrave are trialling a new mildew-resistant variety ‘Beacon’.  We have managed to obtain a small quantity to try to look out for them.  We would be most interested to know how they perform in your garden.

Brugmansia (Angel’s Trumpets) – There will be fewer than usual available this year… For forty years or more we have been using a mixture of fungicides on the autumn cuttings with great success. These have now been withdrawn and whilst the pro-biotic replacement is working very well for the herbaceous perennials, it is not suitable for cuttings and we have had losses.  The stock plants are beginning to grow and we will try and take some late spring cuttings to make up.  Lavender, in particular, can be very vulnerable to root rot in its early stages.

New Guinea Impatiens at DownsideBedding at Downside NurseryZinnia,

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