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Osteospermum. 5 6

Osteospermum or Cape daisy, has come a long way in the last few years. Originally introduced as

white daisy-like flowers with an unusual blue centre starred by drops of golden pollen, the blossoms now come in a range of colour from orange and gold to buttery cream to purples to pinks and reds. Some introductions have stun- ning, spoon-shaped petals. This plant likes cool weather and does best toward fall.

Thunbergia is one of the best

annual vines with its cheery yellow, gold or pink-tinged, black-eyed

ning flowers on shrubby plants. Brug- mansia, (sometimes called angels’ tears) whose trumpet-shaped flowers point downwards, is a half-hardy peren- nial that can be overwintered indoors. Datura is a wide spreading plant suited to a large space in the garden. It produc- es upright trumpet-shaped blossoms in white to purple.

7& 9 8

Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ is a fairly new introduction that is rapidly gaining fans for its airy


clouds of tiny white flowers on clear green stems. This plant just gets better all season long and the word is out that it overwinters well indoors.

Rex begonias have a new life as fabulous foliage plants. They come in a dozen differ-

ent shapes, sizes, textures and leaf colours that erupt into anything from contrasting shades of purple and silver to round shiny green tops with hairy

flowers. This is a very tough plant that blooms well all summer long and can take a touch of frost or almost anything else you care to throw at it, including punishing winds and drought.

Brugmansia and Datura, two kinds of angel’s trumpet, produce stun-


Banana. Datura ‘Ballerina’.


Rex begonia ‘Escargot’.

red stems and undersides – the possibil- ities are endless. These fantastic plants easily outshine and outclass the giant- leafed ‘Kong’ coleus, albeit by a small margin only. So Lori can pitch the petunias, shun

the impatiens and leave the granny plants to grannies. There’s a whole new world of garden adventure to explore and the wow factor has never been more in reach. (Of course, you don’t have to be an

old fussbudget to love the old-fashioned annuals. I’ve got plenty of petunias and I wouldn’t have a summer without snap- dragons. And I’m no fussbudget.) s

Euphorbia. Spring 2016 • 29

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