Sweet Pepper ‘Redskin’ (Capsicum annuum var. annuum (Grossum Group) F1) is a naturally dwarf sweet pepper cultivar. These diminutive looking plants produce large sized green fruit that start off green but eventually ripen to red. The Royal Horticultural Society has awarded Sweet Pepper ‘Redskin’ with an Award of Garden Merit; a coveted accolade that recognises this plants ability to perform well, given the appropriate growing conditions.
French bean ‘Red Swan’ (Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Red Swan’) is a dwarf French bean cultivar. These plants will grow up to around 30-50cm (1-1.5ft) tall. I find French bean ‘Red Swan’ plants are usually a little too tall to grow in a container without at least few stakes or supports to prevent the plants from becoming annoying and lolling all over the ground.
‘Golden Sunrise’ is a tomato cultivar that produces medium-sized, golden yellow salad (these are larger than cherry tomatoes, but smaller than beefsteaks) tomatoes. This variety is best grown as a cordon (intermediate) tomato, where the plant’s sideshoots are removed and the plant is strengthened by a strong and sturdy support system. When growing these types of tomatoes, it’s important that the cordon-trained tomato plant’s sideshoots are removed at regular intervals, so the plant’s energy is channeled towards producing more tomatoes and not just new stems and leaves.
‘Black Russian’ is a beefsteak tomato cultivar. Plants perform best when trained as a cordon (also known as an intermediate) tomato; this is easily achieved, simply by regularly removing the plant’s sideshoots and training the plant up a study support system.
Given its name, it won’t surprise you to know that ‘Black Russian’ originates from Russia, where this cultivar was reportedly grown by Russian monks.
Rhinanthus minor (often called Yellow Rattle) is a hardy annual wildflower with handsome yellow flowers that are held hostage by pumped up, yet slightly flattened, calyxes, each one flanked by a toothed green leaf. Plants grow in meadows, grasslands, and prairies, flowering during the summer moths. This is a widespread species that’s a native plant of many European countries.
If you’re looking for a glimpse of Rhinanthus minor, you’ll often find this wildflower growing in grassy places.
Helianthus annuus ‘Little Dorrit’ is a rather charming little sunflower that’s short in stature and very sweet. Plants grow to around 60cm (2ft) tall. Each Helianthus annuus ‘Little Dorrit’ plant produces a stout and sturdy stem that holds these stunning single flowers, with dark raised centres, encircled by a ring of golden yellow petals. The blooms are large in comparison to the demure height of the plant but they’re not over-sized.
Centaurea nigra has many common names, including Hardheads, Common Knapweed, and Lesser Knapweed. This hardy perennial can be found growing as a wildflower across Europe. Plants don’t need any special care, making these herbaceous perennials great plants to grow in containers, or as part of low-maintenance gardens, wildflower gardens, meadows or pastures.
This is a great plant for wildlife. In the UK, Centaurea nigra flowers from June until September.
Arctium lappa can be found growing wild across Europe, Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean, as well as other locations around the world. In the UK, Arctium lappa is more commonly known as Greater Burdock, but I’m sure that this plant has a range of common names, as it’s a native plant of so many countries.
This is an edible and medicinal plant that is grown or foraged for food and medicine.
Achillea millefolium is a herbaceous perennial that produces lovely ferny, scented foliage and large flat flower heads; each flower is made up of numerous individual florets. This is a wildflower of the UK, as well as many countries in Europe and Asia. Plants have spread further afield to colonise other countries and continents, after Achillea millefolium was used as an arable feed and escaped from gardens.
Origanum onites is one of my favourite plants; its a pretty little thing with a long flowering period; plants bloom over the summer months. This is a superb plant for a wildlife garden. Origanum onites plants produce an abundance of these sweet, dainty flowers that are adored by bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and moths. Commonly known as marjoram, Origanum onites is a culinary and medicinal herb with aromatic leaves that will enhance a wide variety of culinary dishes.
Tanacetum parthenium is a useful herbaceous perennial. This is a really easy to grow, undemanding plant that flowers during the summer months. I cut my plants back heavily after their flowers fade. I usually cut my plants right back to the ground – don’t worry – this doesn’t harm the plants – they soon grow up and flower again! Plants bloom in cycles, from June until September.
Rosa Rhapsody in Blue = ‘Frantasia’ PBR is an award-winning rose that was bred by Frank Cowlishaw and released in 2003. This tall shrub rose produces clusters of these rather glamorous, semi-double mauve flowers; as each bloom ages, the ashy grey tones of the flowers’ petals become more prominent.
Insects can be forgotten by plant breeders, who tend to focus on double frilly flowers without any pollen; we need more roses with blooms that offer an abundance of pollen to reward our pollinators!
Echium vulgare is a hardy biennial with hairy stems; plants produce pretty pink buds, which open as sky-blue coloured flowers. This is a superb plant for a wildlife garden, as whilst it’s blooming, Echium vulgare is a veritable bee magnet!
This is a UK native plant that can also be found growing naturally in the wild in other European countries. Echium vulgare thrives in areas that are out in the open and warmed by the sunshine.
Rosa ‘Champagne Moment’ = ‘Korvanaber’ (PBR) is an award winning rose that was bred by the renowned german rose breeders, Kordes. In 2006, Rosa ‘Champagne Moment’ won the coveted title of the winner of the Rose of the Year Competition! This floribunda rose produces clusters of apricot cream coloured flowers that pale to white, as they age; the flowers are perfectly complemented by gorgeous dark green, glossy foliage.
Knautia macedonica is a superb garden plant, with a long flowering season. This herbaceous perennial is hardy and reliable, producing an abundance of stunning deep wine-red coloured flowers. The blooms are circular; they resemble mini rosettes and are absolutely adored by bees and butterflies! Knautia macedonica plants hold the majority of their leaves within the lower half of the plant; their tall and slender flowering stems have a branching habit, giving the plant an open appearance that allows you to easily view the plants growing behind and around it (in a similar way to Verbena bonariensis).
Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ is a super duper perennial; it’s the ideal plant choice, if you’re looking for a floriferous perennial or a plant to encourage bees and butterflies. Plants produce neat maroon buds that open to reveal mauve flowers that fade to lilac, which are complimented by Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’s silvery glaucous foliage. Once it has started flowering, Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ keeps going, pumping out flower after flower, throughout the spring, summer, and autumn months.
Tomato ‘Veranda Red’ is a dwarf tomato variety, that’s perfectly suited to growing in containers. This is a really small tomato variety; it’s a tomato you could grow in small planters and hanging baskets.
Miniature tomato varieties of this size tend to produce fruits that are typically lacking in flavour; they’re often very bland and tasteless. I wouldn’t put Tomato ‘Veranda Red’ on my list of best tasting tomatoes, but I can tell you that Tomato ‘Veranda Red’ has a nice tomatoey flavour.
Chilli peppers (also known as chillies, chile peppers, and by their botanical names of Capsicum annuum, Capsicum frutescens, Capsicum baccatum, Capsicum pubescens, and Capsicum chinense) are a group of tender vegetables that flourish in warm and sunny conditions. Gardeners can grow green, white, red, yellow, orange, purple, black, and indigo, coloured chillies; they’re decorative and handsome plants that are nice to have around.
Sweet Pepper plants (also known as peppers, bell peppers, Capsicums, or by their botanical name of Capsicum annuum) are tender vegetables that thrive in warm, bright areas. When all risk of frost has passed, these vegetables can be grown outside in the garden, but until then the seedlings need to be grown in a warm, protected environment. In early summertime, try growing Sweet Peppers in containers on a sunny patio or planted in a South facing border.
Melons (also known by their botanical name Cucumis melo) are tender, sweet tasting fruits that can be successfully grown from seeds, in the UK. Sow melon seeds in springtime – from March to the middle of May. If you’re too late to sow seeds (or if you don’t have access to a glasshouse), you don’t have to miss out, as young melon plants can be purchased from many nurseries and garden centres.