Jubilee and Olympic planting inspiration from the RHS

Gardeners wanting to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics can now find advice pages on The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) website for some red, white and blue planting schemes.

RHS Jubilee and Olympics planting scheme ideasThe charity has brought together a selection of plants with red, white and blue flowers that will go well together. The RHS Members’ Advisory Service has even anticipated the challenge of getting these colours in the garden in time for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June.

“Unfortunately June is not the best time to have masses of colour from plants grown from seeds,” says Jenny Bowden, one of the RHS Member Advisors. “But we have come up with some great suggestions that are relatively easy to grow. We know how important these two wonderful events are to people and we just thought that some patriotic planting would help in the celebrations.”

To ensure colourful flowers in June, the charity is suggesting that gardeners buy partially grown plants and to put them in containers and hanging baskets. Plants to look out for are white verbenas, lobelias and Nemesia ‘Wisley Vanilla’, red pelargoniums (geraniums) and blue Lobelia Panthera ‘Cobalt’. These plants will have to be purchased as early as possible, and plant centres are likely to have supplies from April.

“Although it will be necessary to get the plants into containers and hanging baskets as soon as possible, gardeners also need to ensure that they are kept in sunny, frost-free conditions until the threat of frost has passed. A temperature of 15°C (59°F) is ideal,” says Jenny Bowden.

Because the Olympics and Paralympics are being run during the end of July, August and early September, gardeners will have enough time to grow plants from seeds and the RHS suggests that gardeners might like to consider growing red, white and blue sweet peas, red-flowered Salvia splendens, Nicotiana (tobacco plant) in red and white, and blue flowers such as ageratums or Salvia farinacea ‘Victoria’ (AGM).

For those who want to do something different, gardeners may want to consider planting a wall of blue, white and red. Plants to consider are begonias, lobelias, verbenas and ivy-leaved pelargoniums.  You can also create your Jubilee or Olympic display in containers and hanging baskets.

All four RHS Gardens will be featuring planting displays to celebrate both the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics. One, RHS Garden Harlow Carr, is even extending the idea by planting red (‘Highland Burgundy Red’), blue (‘Purple Majesty’) and white (‘Elisabeth’) potatoes.

More information

Royal Horticultural Society – Official website; Quenn’s Jubille and 2012 Olympics planting advice

Thompson & Morgan – Plants for patriotic displays of red, white and blue.

Petunia “Easy Wave Union Jack mix – Special offer on trays of plug plants from Thompson & Morgan

Dahlia Diamond Jubilee – Stunning white Dahlia from the RHS

Van Meuwen – Cost effective trays of plug plants

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