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I used to avoid bedding plants as much as possible as the annual nature made me believe they were not great value for money.
However over the past few years I’ve been converted and now as well as bulbs, herbs and perennials, bedding plants have pride of place in all of my borders.
There are a few reasons why I changed my mind:
1) The Speed of Growth
Every gardener loves to watch plants grow and bedding plants offer this in abundance as they can quadruple in size in the space of just a month
2) The Size of Bedding Plants
I was quite suspicious the first time I sowed some Morning Glory seed direct as I didn’t believe this seed would grow to a few meters high by the middle of summer. I was of course proved wrong, showing me that although growing seasons maybe short they still create impressive displays.
3) The Instant Colour of Bedding Plants
From March onwards bedding plants are always readily available as plugs, as there are different varieties for every time of the year, from the early Bellis to the Autumn wallflower if you need colour during the summer months there’s always a bedding plant in flower.
4) The Availability of Bedding Plants
I’ve yet to be convinced that supermarkets offer great quality bedding plants, as their living herbs tend to die off within a week, however we can’t ignore the fact that their sale of these flowers tempt us every time we shop. Of course with planning it’s best to choose a reputable plant provider for plug plants but if you have the mother in law coming in the morning and you need to refresh your hanging baskets, supermarkets can help you out.
5) The Reusable Nature of Bedding Plants
One of the reasons I adore gardening so much is because no matter what your finances are there are always ways to extend and beautify your garden without a big budget. From dividing plants to taking root cuttings or even swapping with neighbours, gardening is a hobby you can enjoy even when there’s no money in the bank.
So it seemed strange to me that annuals were so popular when they were so short lived and the growth couldn’t be seen year after year, then of course it dawned on me, the seeds!
I’ll always remember the absolute wonder when my father opened a seemingly dead marigold to show me the hundreds of seeds inside. I had absolutely no idea at the time that this was how annuals survived. Of course in the summer it’s good practice to dead head the flowers before they form seeds in order to encourage beautiful displays, but when they’re almost spent I adore collecting seeds from marigolds, pansies, violas, lobelia, daisies, bellis, petunias and many more as from one plant you can harvest hundreds of seeds for the following year!
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