• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases


RHS trials include bedding plants such as antirrhinumsFinding where to buy the latest summer bedding and seasonal plants (annuals and container plants) is less easy than finding new shrubs, climbers or perennials. For most plants, the RHS Plant Finder is a good start – but summer seasonals are poorly represented as stocks change so quickly.

So where do we find the best new introductions?

 
First, take a look in the RHS Plant Finder, of course, you might just find what you’re looking for; all new entries are clearly marked. Next stop should be the catalogues and websites of what used to be seed companies - in recent years many have broadened their ranges dramatically and added a huge range of plugs and young plants. They’re always eager to introduce the best new cultivars and many of their websites have a “New This Season” link, or something similar, in their menus. There are also mail order plant nurseries that specialise in summer seasonals. You’ll find that an increasing number of these mail order suppliers are online-only, with no printed catalogue.

Plants by post

Plants sent by postIt’s worth noting that the packaging of seedlings, plugs and young plants has advanced enormously in recent years so your plants should be fresh, in good condition and well protected when they arrive. Many suppliers offer a flat rate P&P charge, so the more packs you order the better the value.
 
Garden centres vary in the extent to which they stick to old favourites or feature new introductions. The RHS plant centres at Wisley, Harlow Carr, Hyde Hall and Rosemoor are always worth a good look and be sure to check out your local garden centres, both small and large.
 
Start looking early, some garden centres display their summer seasonals as early as April. It’s worth checking a number of times as summer approaches, because their ranges will change through the season as they sell out and bring in new stock. Young plants and seedlings, often in special displays, may be offered as early as February.
 

Grow your own

Of course, once you have your new plants growing well, they can be propagated on the windowsill or in the greenhouse. Many are easy to grow from cuttings to expand your display, as gifts for friends, or provide young plants to overwinter for next year. Fuchsias, verbenas and dahlias are all quick to grow and should make flowering plants in the same year if propagated early.

 

Sources of new summer seasonal flowersAgastache Tangerine Dream can be used as bedding

 
Baby Plants
Brookside Nursery
DT Brown
Crocus
Dobies
Mr Fothergill’s
Gardening Direct
Hayloft Plants
Jersey Plant Direct
Kinder Garden (garden centres only)
Marshalls
J. Parker’s
Plant Me Now
Suttons
Thompson & Morgan
Unwins
Van Meuwen
Woolmans
 
* Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by the RHS; it is for information only.

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