Another poor wet summer in
2009 again showed up the short comings of many of the standard summer
garden plants, Impatiens were a disaster, Petunias ended up as a soggy
mess, and many other standard bedding and container plants were unable
to function. Tuberous Begonias once more showed their reliability in
these dull and wet conditions. Following this I think that begonia sales
for 2010 will increase considerably and with many new varieties planned
for introduction this coming season, we can look forward to bright
summer displays come rain or shine.
of the new introduction for 2010 are listed below.
A seedling I saw a few
years back was a cross using a Begonia; pearcei hybrid in its
development. This has similar shaped and marked foliage to Begonia;
pearcei but was much darker with the pronounced veining similar to the
species, this gives as good a foliage display as many of the small rex
hybrids, the single apricot flowers making the whole plant a delight. It
is something that is different to many of the smaller flowered begonias.
Will be available this season it has been named
and will be suitable for containers and
compact baskets, it should also make good plants for bedding displays. I
had some misgiving regarding its ability to stand full sun outdoors which
is a problem with Begonia; pearcei, but Fred Yates the breeder has grown
it in some very open sunny positions with no ill effect to the foliage.
It has obviously inherited these characteristics from the other
varieties in its parentage.
is another of Fred’s hybrids and will also be available around the
country, this is a single dark red flower with dark foliage, its habit
is different to many tuberous begonias as it continually grows
additional shoots from the base of the plant. Its height is about 12
inches with a similar spread and it should be useful in many ways from
bedding to container growing, and possibly baskets. I saw a large
bed of this last July approximately a meter wide by about 10 meters long
just covered in bloom; I believe there was also a large bed grown at
An addition to the Million Kisses series is
Amour" different to the previous
varieties in this range, having dark foliage with reddish flowers.
Although there was a limited and exclusive introduction in 2009 of
another in the Million Kisses series, it
will now be available for general release this year, it has deeper pink
flowers that the earlier light pink "Romance" and should be equally as
There will be limited availability of my variety
being a sibling of “Peardrop” it has the same attractive foliage
although the plant height is slightly taller than
freely and is a similar size to "Peardrop" should prove very useful for
containers, it also makes a good plant for bedding purposes, the creamy
buff flowers become flushed with pink when planted in an open position.
Both Million Kisses "Amour",
and "Buffy" are available from Mr
Fothergills, more details on their web site shown below.
is not new as it was originally grown in
the early 1890s, it is now being revived and with limited commercial
production this year it is likely to be seen in a number of Garden
Centers in 2010. Salmon pink flowers just cover the plant as can be seen
in the picture, and like most of the foregoing varieties can be of value
grown in all the usual situations, containers, bedding and baskets. It
will be available in a number of garden centers during the season.
When I was over in Germany last July I was impressed with a basket
variety which is due for introduction on the continent this year. The
growths hang straight down from containers and baskets where it is being
grown, the medium sized double orange flowers are freely produced. It is
named "Elserta" the foliage appears to have a similarity to B;
boliviensis as does the flower color. It is likely some plants could
possibly arrive in the UK during the season. Unfortunately no picture is
Other new introductions for this season is a new basket cutting
produced group called
"Superstars" which is stronger than
"Illuminations" and with slightly stiffer growth does in my view show
off the double multi-layered flowers better. It is available in 5 colors
more details available on Suttons Seeds web site (Address below) the 4
illustrated are Orange, White, Red, and Pink, there is also a light
Apricot. From the pictures the variety appears to be free blooming and
should give a very bright colorful display.
The new compact fragrant seed raised variety "Parisienne"
is available in mixed pastel colors. A similar habit to the Non Stops
would make it suitable for bedding or container use, although pot or
containers planted closer to nose level would enable you to appreciate
their fragrance without getting a crick in your back. Also available
from Sutton's Seeds. Image of this variety can be seen on Sutton's web
A number of other mail order retailers
are also listing these.
Varieties from other sources
similar to the Million Kisses series will also be amongst new varieties
this season, but as many of them are so similar I feel there is no point
in listing them all.
I know other companies also have plans to send out further new
varieties, so there should be much to search out online and in Garden
Centers this spring and early summer.