polyanthus | why sarah loves these

Sarah shares her top varieties of polyanthus for growing as pot toppers or border fillers.

It’s the most beautiful spring day in March, and the thing I have to say this year that has given me more pleasure than anything is the polyanthus. We’re doing this trial trying to look at polyanthus to be an alternative to wallflowers, for sort of bedding with tulips, or for pot toppers, where the tulips come up through if they’re in your window box, and these, I have been picking since my birthday which is the beginning of February, and they have just been absolutely fantastic. This carpet of soft apricots, strawberry, blush colours – totally lovely – on these stems, so just like Gertrude Jekyll used to recommend, you can use these as cut flowers. This one’s called ‘Stella Champagne’. And then I’ve got another lovely one over there called ‘Victorian Lilac Lace’, and then that bright red which is quite OTT, but I think that could look rather cool in a window box in a sort of city house or garden, called ‘Scarlet Pimpernel’. And then there’s a really luscious purple one there called ‘Stella Neon Violet’. I just love them.

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