Since impatiens have become almost impossible to grow in the UK due to downy mildew (does anyone really miss them?) growers and gardeners alike have embraced begonias and new cultivars and new types appear every year. It must have been about ten years ago that I sniffed my first fragrant, tuberous begonia and I was very impressed. It seems that citrus fragrance and a hint of roses are the easiest fragrances to develop and they were distinct in those first begonias and they are the basis of two new begonias that should be available this spring. I had meant to post about them and then it slipped my mind. But I was giving a talk to a lovely group in Limerick last night and showed a photo of Sweet Spice English Rose (‘Kerbespiros’) and it was so popular caused so much interest that I promised I would post about it this morning.
Both this pink begonia and the yellow Sweet Spice Citrus (‘Kerbespicit’) were bred by David Kerley who I have mentioned before and who is responsible for the Tumbelina petunias including the ‘Priscilla’. The point of these two is the compact, trailing habit and the large, double (male) flowers and the perfume. They were available as plug plants from mail order suppliers and look out for them in garden centres soon.
Photos: Mr Fothergills Seeds, UK