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Gardening: Top seeds; Time to plan a bright future.

Byline: PIPPA GREENWOOD

IF you're feeling a bit glum now the festive season is over, cheer yourself up and think floral.

There is a definite trend towards regal colours in the 2003 seed catalogues, with plenty of blue-purples and golden blooms.

Suttons offer Rudbeckia Spotlight, which has richly golden flowers with dark-brown central blotches. It is compact and makes a great show in beds or containers in late summer. Similar in colour is Coreopsis Unwins Gold, but this has semi-double flowers with a rather more red central ring. It, too, looks good in pots as well as beds.

Johnsons have added Delphinium Annual Cloud Trio, a mix of airily informal delphiniums in blue and white to be grown as a hardy annual. But if it's drama you want, take a look at Hibiscus Red Shield, a half-hardy perennial with beautiful divided red leaves.

Under the heading "easy to grow and a little unusual", Thompson and Morgan have a good selection of hardy annuals, including the mahogany and gold Cosmidium Phillipine, and the crazy pompom blooms of Carthamus Quadricolour Mixed in shades of orange-gold.

Agastache Golden Jubilee appears in both Suttons and Unwins catalogues, and combines pale lavender flower spikes with golden foliage. These grow to about 60cm (2ft) and have an unusual aniseed aroma.

There are many first-year flowering perennials about. And Unwins Seeds have a great half-price offer for Mirror readers. They've put together a selection of Agastache Golden Jubilee, Berkheya Zulu Warrior, Coreopsis Unwins Gold, Dianthus Sweetness and Penstemon Violet Dusk - all new for 2003. Normally pounds 9.71, you can buy them for pounds 4.75.

Either call the credit-card hotline on 01945 588 522 or send a cheque for pounds 4.75, made payable to Unwins Seeds Ltd, plus your name and address, to: Daily Mirror Perennial Offer, Unwins Seeds Ltd, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire PE13 2RF.
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Title Annotation:Review
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 4, 2003
Words:309
Previous Article:Gardening: MUST DOs.
Next Article:2003 will take some Beatings; GAVIN MARTIN likes the sound of things to come in the year ahead.


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