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FRUIT AND VEG.

Byline: By Wales on Sunday

Every year, seed companies battle it out to tempt gardeners into buying their new ranges, some of which are offered exclusively, from catalogues and garden centres.

It is hard to decide which new plants are right for you and which will perform well, but here's a list of promising candidates to boost your garden in the coming year.

oNigella 'Choc Ice': This hardy annual produces extra large white flowers (around 5cm in diameter) with a black centre - good for an informal border and may be used as a cut or dried flower. (Dobies)

oStock 'Hot Cakes': They will bring colour and fragrance to the patio in autumn when summer flowering starts to fade. It comes in a variety of rich colours and has a delicious fragrance and double blooms. (Suttons)

oAchillea siberica 'Pretty Flamingo': This pretty pink hardy perennial grows up to 100cm (40in) and will flower in its first year from an early sowing. (Dobies)

oBroad bean 'Scorpio': High yielding, white-flowered upward-facing clusters of four to five pods for easier harvest. Pods hold approximately four to five white small beans which are succulent and tasty. (Johnsons)

oApricot Tomcot: This self-fertile variety forms a compact tree, producing very large apricots which ripen in mid-August. Each tree is supplied as a vigorous one year maiden, around 2m (6ft) tall and will start fruiting within two to three years. (Suttons)

oBeetroot 'Kornett': A quality Detroit type producing good yields of smooth round baby beets from closely spaced plants, ideal for small areas. (Johnsons)

oCarrot 'Sugarsnax 54': If you're looking for sweetness, this is the one to choose. It's a long, pointed variety, so you'll need good deep soil for success. (Kings, Mr Fothergill's, The Organic Gardening Catalogue and Thompson & Morgan)

oGazania 'Sunshine Hybrids': Bright and cheerful, daisy-like blooms that open with the sun, ideal for bedding, borders or patio containers. Usually grown as annual, with a height and spread of 25cm (10in). They will flower in the same year between July and October. (Johnsons)

oRudbeckia 'Irish Spring': Rich golden blooms are highlighted by prominent green central cones. Beautiful in borders and as cut flowers. Usually grown as an annual.
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 9, 2005
Words:362
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