Much of my summer planting may be still struggling into bloom due to the foul Scottish weather, but not Nemesia Carnival Mix. A single £1.49 packet of seeds from Suttons is responsible for about 70% of the flowering joy in my pots at the moment. In bold oranges, reds, yellows and pinks, every pot that contains, or is near these fabulous little plants looks better for it. It puts a smile on my face whenever I see it.
- Yes – the plants flower quickly and brightly coloured – think dazzling oranges not wishywashy greyish pinks.
- Yes – they are compact plants bearing large flowers, much more so than the Nemesia Paintbox Mix I have used in the past. Compared to the Carnival Mix, the Paintbox plants seem quite straggly and weedy (though until discovering this variety, they have been my previous first choice of Nemesia.)
- YES – they are weather tolerant.Even Scottish Highlands weather tolerant. Even gales and four times the monthly rainfall in 2 hours tolerant. Even low night-time temperature tolerant that has made the pelargoniums sniffy, which is a lot to ask from a half hardy annual.
They have been flowering for several weeks now and are due to go on until September (longer maybe if the weather holds, as I did second, later sowing). The plants in flower now were sown 20th February. I started them off in the propagator, then potted them into a bigger tray and moved them outside relatively early (after first hardening them off on the window sills). They made good growth in April before being sat back, like everything else, by the miserable May.
I’m sure in warmer places they would have been flowering for months now, but given that my fuschia, lillies, phlox, godetia and lots more have still to break a bloom, I’m very happy with all their efforts so far. Their rewards have been far in excess of the effort it took to grow them and both germination rates and survival rates have been very good.
I have only had one mature plant from the entire sowing go poorly on me and that is because I first baked it, then drowned it. After giving it drying out time in the greenhouse tent, it is bouncing back with new flowers and the foliage has perked up.
According to Sutton Seeds’s website, I can make an August/September sowing for early flowers next year. It will involve the plants moving indoors with me, but it will definitely be worth a try. I assume I leave them to flower indoors, because I can’t imagine they will cope with the February/March temperatures here.
So, based on alround versatility, flower quality, ease of growing, size and bushiness and general loveliness – Nemesia Carnival Mix is my flower of the year so far. And I still have some of that £1.49 packet of seeds left! These other images, taken today, show its full versatility, I hope: