Bundy and petunias a good mix

Petunia Cameo.

August is always the start to the best time of the year.

As our gardens come out of hibernation with new flushes of foliage or budding in preparation for spring blooms.

Then there the trailblazers of the winter garden like the petunia, one of my favourite flowering plants.

During winter when most plants are shivering in the cold like us gardeners the petunias are brightening the coldest days.

Then in the warm months of the year, the petunia flower always looks to be one of the prettiest of all annual plants.

The petunia has come a long way from when it was just known as the sun weed.

With many years of skills, plant breeders have developed thousands of sizes and shapes in the flowering annual petunias.

Flowers colour, fragrance and double or single nature are all part of the new hybrids available to gardeners these days.

Optimum weather conditions at the moment mean that this could be the best time to brighten up your garden with the kaleidoscope of colours available.

When planting petunias, always try to prepare your flower bed so that it is sunny and well lit, with a well-drained, sandy loam that has a reasonable quantity of vegetable matter mixed in with it.

Use a complete garden fertiliser, one that has a small quantity of nitrogen and is rich in phosphorous, mixed in with your garden soil, then I would use a soluble liquid fertiliser every two to three weeks to maintain flowering. I would suggest to not fertilise any more regularly than this, as all you could get is leafy plants and no flowers.

Remember, after planting to water well, and then use moderate waterings regularly.

If possible, try to mulch around your plants, as this will always reduce your usage of water.

When you go into a nursery or hardware store looking for petunias for the garden you will fine dozens of varieties or even mixed varieties. I always like to look for the plants that are flowering in local gardens.

I remember seeing hanging baskets on a verandah in Monto of a petunia with a deep cherry with a central yellow star flower.

It was the most colourful display I had seen.

The Petunia Very Cherry is perfect for baskets, pots or as a feature in garden beds.

Petunia Very Cherry has vigorous growth and soft green mounded foliage.

To make it a little easier to find some of the toughest, almost impossible to kill petunia varieties for Bundaberg I have listed below my six of the best.

Petunia Bobby Dazzler is an old favourite with many gardeners and was the Flower of the Year 1970. This petunia has a long flowering season with masses of medium sized flowers in a wide range of bright colours.

Petunia Cameo would be one of the best petunias for pots and hanging baskets, as well as a bushy plant for the garden. It produces exceptionally large, fully double flowers, resembling a geranium flower that is available in a mixture of colours.

Petunia Galaxy is both hardy and attractive with green leaves and large flowers. Galaxy produces dark red velvety flowers with a creamy-lime spotting which will bloom from early spring through to late autumn.

Unlike many other annual petunias, Galaxy can last for two years in the garden.

Petunia Mirage makes an impressive display in mass plantings and gardens all year round. With beautiful blooms of pink, purple, red, salmon, watermelon, white and yellow.

Petunia Mirage is suitable for a wide range of conditions from coastal gardens to western frost free gardens.

Petunia Petticoat is a popular annual with excellent garden performance that was Flower of the Year 1982.

The Petticoat Petunias have eye-catching bold colours of red or purple throats with a white edge or skirt.

Petunia Potunia is a unique breed of petunia that has a large rounded habit growing up to a 1m across.

Petunia Potunias have distinctive, vivid flower colours like blue, papaya, pink, purple, strawberry, red, white and yellow. Potunia petunia will tolerate wide climate conditions, form the cold and heat of the west to the humidity of the coast.

In a pot or in the garden this petunia would make a unique and eye-catching display.