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Pansies, snapdragons, carnations and much more – creating a cottage garden

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Impatients

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Impatiens

By Rachel Vogan

impatiens This week I am going to talk about Impatiens. Accent impatiens is the most used Impatiens in USA, United Kingdom and New Zealand. Regional councils and botanical garden worldwide all choose to grow “Accent” Impatiens. You don’t get this kind of dominance unless the plants are “the Best”. Many of you would have seen hanging baskets on your overseas travels; chances are pretty high that the Impatiens was “Accents” Impatiens, are well known to many gardeners throughout the world. As a bedding plant they have proven themselves over and over again. They are useful for bold and colourful summer bedding displays and as reliable container specimens.

The “Accent” series of impatiens are an impressive group to watch out for. They have many benefits to the home gardener. Many older types of Impatiens can produce poor results and may have inconsistent growth habits. The Accent range has been bred for their reliability and consistent performance.

Impatiens have the following characteristics:

Accents Impatiens are a very good range to look out for, they are uniform across the whole series. There growth habit is very compact and the height varies little from colour to colour. This is a fabulous feature, as often when you are planting baskets or pots you want a symmetrical growth habit from the different colour plants. Sometimes different colours can grow in different ways. This giving an unbalanced look. The plants come in 25 different colours, and a number of superb blends that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Look out for varieties such as ‘Accent Mystic Mixture’ and the exciting new “Accent watermelon” there must be a colour for all gardens in this range The flowers are large and they cover the dark green foliage with ease. The plant have a very long flowering period, e.g. they flower from spring until the early frosts. This is wonderful for a bedding plant to give so much colours for such a long time. Possibly in sheltered spots the plants will survive all year round, but I suspect this would only be in warmer North Island areas. Impatiens are an excellent choice for hanging baskets, containers and tubs, Remember to choose good potting mix, with water storing crystals when planting your precious tubs. Plant in a shaded spot, as opposed to full sun. They will grow in the sun but the flowers will be smaller. This variety does not need to be pinched as it has a naturally branching habit. Try not to over water as it encourages more vegetative growth (this is more leaves and foliage rather than flowers) Impatiens are available in punnets and a potted colour in the bedding plant section of garden centres.