Despite the stiff competition when it comes to choosing summer plants, petunias still hold their own. I have always liked them and when it comes to providing a mass of colour, and often perfume, you can’t really beat ’em. Amazing as it now seems, when I started gardening there were only seed-raised kinds and these were either small-flowered multifloras, which were weather resistant and fairly dependable but a bit boring or the Grandifloras which had wonderful big flowers but which looked like a mass of wet bog paper if it rained. How things have changed!
Apart from the fact that most of us buy cuttings-raised plants that rarely set seed, the colour range, plant habit and weather resistance has improved enormously.
Although not really new, Proven Winners’ ‘Pretty Much Picasso’ is novel enough to create a gasp of disbelief from most people who see it. One of the Supertunias range it is a neat, mounding plant that will spill from a pot or basket and is tolerant of heat and is labour saving because it does not need deadheading. The lilac flowers are not huge but they stand out because each bloom is edged in green. The effect is slightly diluted because the green is the same shade as the leaves which, in theory at least, means the flowers look smaller than they are! But in practice the effect is something very special!