Begonias on top at Ball Colegrave showcase

A rediscovery of begonias was one of the trends emerging from Ball Colegrave's showcase of new bedding plants and trials last week.

The KinderGarden Plants range is being reduced by 25 per cent to make it easier for the consumer to make a choice. Instead of two A-Z ranges there will only be one A-Z and a single 99p price point, replacing the 75p and £1.29 options.

KinderGarden Plants general manager Ian Cole said: "The garden centres think it is a successful idea. But they felt it was still not easy enough for consumers. There was too much to choose from. So we have rationalised the range."

Foliage plants were also at the forefront, including two bold new Coleus - C. 'Dark Chocolate' and C. Kong 'Salmon Pink' - Juncus 'Twister' with a corkscrew habit and even Saccharum (sugar cane).

Marketing manager Stuart Lowen commented: "I think it's the next millet. It would add height and architecture to the garden."

Ball Colegrave has introduced 12 new succulents as well, including the glaucous-leaved Echevaria 'Shaviana'.

But begonias are the "up and coming genus", said Lowen. "In the past three years they have performed outstandingly well and our new Begonia Million Kisses 'Elegance' was voted one of the top two plants of choice by visitors."

The company has added two new colours to the Begonia Million Kisses range, with the scarlet-red 'Devotion' and the delicate white/pink 'Elegance'. The seed-raised Begonia F1 Devil series has also been expanded to add Bronze Mixed and Green Mixed.

Other outstanding introductions included the pale-green flowered Petunia Tumbelina 'Susanna' and the Petunia Fanfare series, all bred by David Kerley, and a pink flowered Scaevola 'Topaz Pink'.


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