Dahlias and chrysanthemums ‘popular despite the weather’

Certain plants have proven very popular with gardeners despite the poor conditions recently experienced nationwide.

This is according to editor of Amateur Gardening magazine Tim Rumball, who specified dahlias and chrysanthemums have been a favoured choice of flower due to their spectacular blossoms.

He added a fashionable stigma that used to surround these varieties has since been lost, which added to their success.

Other plants he noted offer visually pleasing displays throughout the colder seasons included trees and shrubs such as Acers, Boston Ivy, crataegus – also known as ornamental hawthorns – and Virginia Creepers.

Colchicum and certain species of camellias sasanqua, crocus and cyclamen were cited as examples of plants that flower specifically in autumn, as well as Rudbeckias and asters.

Mr Rumball stated new growers of fruit and vegetables may have been particularly challenged by diseases and pests, which he warned will not dissipate.

As gardeners become more knowledgeable about the activity, he suggested they might become increasingly adept at selecting winter-flowering plants such as Chaenomeles, hazel and winter Jasmine.

In terms of attractive flowerers for later in the year and into early summer, crocus, daffodil and Iris sibirica were recommended.

"Undoubtedly the biggest growth in interest from people in general – even those who've never raised a fork in anger, has been in growing veg. Fuelled by TV programmes from the likes of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, everyone wants to grow their own," the expert commented, conceding he may have been wrong in his prior assumptions the fad would not last.

"The allotment site where I have a pitch has a waiting list of 50 – that could represent a wait of ten years," Mr Rumball concluded.

A recent side-effect of the Indian summer was an explosion of moles into areas where they are not usually found, which may also have surprised new gardeners. 

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