The March talk was on Bedding Plants by David Usher
David spent much of his earlier career working for Bath Parks Department before being appointed Head Gardener at the famous Hestercombe Garden in Somerset. Gertrude Jekyll did not like formal planting, and her design of the lower garden at Hestercombe was a reaction against the straight lines and clashing colours of formal schemes.
David suggested that a great use of bedding plants is to create seasonal change around more permanent plants, and recommended using plug plants for good results. David emphasised the importance of pinching out the growing tip of young plants to ensure well shaped plants. He also recommended planting media such as Sutton’s Sow and Grow Pellets, which are particularly good for cuttings.
David demonstrated how to prepare your plant pots and sow the seeds. Good air circulation is essential in the greenhouse, so don’t shut the door unless the weather is particularly bad.
David then showed slides of useful bedding plants (such as Bidens, Cuphea, Euryops, Gazania, Heliotrope and Salvia) and the growing conditions they prefer. He has been kind enough to send us some of his photos, which are shown below.