A first glimpse of a new plant…
Another strange echinacea

Wonderful new plant

Fusionpeachfrost1500 This is probably the best new plant I’ve seen this year! OK, I haven’t had the chance to actually grow it myself yet and I’ve only seen it in one place – but Impatiens ‘Fusion Peach Frost’ is simply gorgeous.

Yesterday, I spent the day at Ball Colegrave in Oxfordshire. This is the British base of the Ball Group which includes PanAmerican Seeds and Ball FloraPlant; their HQ is in Chicago. They’re one of the top international breeders of patio plants, container plants, bedding plants and half-hardy perennials (often known in the US as temp-perennials). They also sell young plants and seed to growers – but not direct to home gardeners.

Their Oxfordshire show gardens are simply spectacular. Everything is beautifully grown and many of the displays are under cover – just as well in this wettest of all British summers… ever! So they look great. So what's so great about this new impatiens?

Fusionpeachfrost2500 Impatiens ‘Fusion Peach Frost’ is one of a series of impatiens which are more stylish, more subtle than the more familiar impatiens. They're a very long way from the bog-standard (as we say in the UK) impatiens. They're altogether more exotic. The almost orchid-like flowers come in six colours, all lovely in their yellow and reddish shades, and the one with peachy flowers, paling as they age, also has a creamy edge to each and every leaf. The colour of the variegation is not white, it’s a creamier shade which matches so beautifully the colour of the flowers.

Perfect in shade where the variegation shows itself off to the best advantage, in full sun the leaves turn rather pale. This is a gorgeous plant, either given a container to itself or in combination with other plants. Look out for it if you have anywhere shady in the garden.

Open to the public! On Wednesday 1 August and Wednesday 8 August these displays are open to the public from 4pm to 8pm. They’re just south of Banbury, on the Oxfordshire side of the border with Northamptonshire near the M40. There’s a map here. Just turn up, pay £2 on the gate and enjoy the most spectacular display of annuals, half-hardy perennials and hardy perennials (and even vegetables) for patio, container and garden that you’ll ever see. Really, it reallly is, it’s just great!