The Potting Bench Diaries

The Potting Bench Diaries – 3rd August 2022

What I’m Doing This Week: I’ve continued the biennial sowing with yet more foxgloves, so we’re going to be in for a treat with those next year. I’m now at 7 varieties I think and there are a few more on their way that I’ve ordered online. Which biennials have you sown for next year?

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, purple and orange are the DREAM colour combination in the garden – the contrast somehow makes them sit so well together. I’ve tried to add splashes of the combo here and there throughout our garden but nothing looks better than these Helenium ‘Red Army’ and Saliva ‘Amistad)’

Elsewhere we’ve got more purple and orange in the form of lavender and Bidens, which is another one of my favourite planting combos. Bidens are such a fantastic perennials (although I tend to grow them as annuals) that give a huge mound of small orange and yellow flowers, that’ll go on and on all summer long. Match them with lavender and you’ve got a colourful and well scented container or border.


Talking of scent, the latest addition to the garden are these beautiful Cosmos atrosanguineus ‘Chocamocha’. As the name suggests, they’re not only chocolate coloured but they also give off the most delicious chocolate aroma too. Somewhere between the smell of a hot chocolate and the strong scent of coffee.

These are tuberous perennials but they aren’t fully hardy so will be better grown in containers to bring into frost free conditions during winter – either that or you can grow them as an annual instead. Either way, the fragrance is like nothing else and I think if you were couple them with something like Salvia Amethyst Lips, then that combination would create a scent like no other pair of plants. Just imagine the heady blackcurrant of the Salvia mixed with the sweet notes of the cosmos….

Last week I told you about our Cafe Au Lait dahlia from The Rose Press Garden, and how it was so so close to opening….and this week, its open!! Up until now I’ve not been a fan of dahlias but I’m proudly saying that this one has completely turned me around and it’ll be back next year. I’d love your dahlia suggestions so do let me know your favourites.

In other news…? Plans are well under way for season 3 of the podcast and the lineup is set to be bigger than ever, but I’d also like to feature some fantastic lesser known gardening folk too.

Last week I asked who you’d like to hear and you came back with some fantastic suggestions of superstar gardeners but I’d love to know your favourite garden Instagrammers too! Head over to Instagram to let me know who yours are!

That’s it from me, have a great week and I’ll be back next week with more.

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