Pillows of Pink Diascia

Every nice day we get at this time of year is a day less of Winter. And, even on a duller day like today, to look out at the flower border and see the Diascia flowering so well is a treat.

These guys have been planted there for 18 months, and have flowered their hearts out over the Summer. I thought they were finished their flowering period in late August, but with the extra heat and sunshine in September they are flowering better than ever!

The genus of plant comes from Africa, so  already you can tell they prefer a warm climate and wouldn't appreciate the weather being too cold. 

The first time I came across them was in the late 1980's as a young horticulturalist. The nursery owner I worked for had a variety called Diascia rigescens, which grows anything between 18-24 inches (45-60cm for the more metric minded) and produces lovely spikes of pink flowers. After dying back for the Winter, the plant produces a lot of growth quite quickly in mid-Spring, which can sometimes fall over in Summer, giving the plant a sprawling effect. 
Then came the smaller varieties of Diascia in the nineties and they quickly became popular for hanging baskets, tubs and containers. They tend to grow about 10 inches (25cm) in height and enjoy well drained soil.

A must for every garden and any flowering display! And not expensive either.

When I opened up this flower border 18 months ago, Diascia was up there on the list to get. At the time I got four of these for the border. One didn't make it through last Winter, but the three that did  have just been fantastic.

From a care perspective, they do need to be trimmed and tidied. I tend to leave this until the late Spring, as the dieback foliage can help protect the crown or centre of the plant. 

Diascia are very readily available in garden centres and nurseries in late Spring, and come in a range of colours 
from white to pink to ruby and many colours in between. As the plant breeders continue to develop them, it will be interesting to see the colours and varieties that are produced in the future.

In the meantime, I'll enjoy my pillows of pink.

Happy gardening.