Armeria are delightful little gems great for edging, rockeries, containers and simply adding colour to garden beds. These clump-forming perennials have a wide distribution around the world ranging from coastal zones to alpine meadows.
Armeria have some great common names, which do make sense when you stop and think about them – ‘Lady’s Cushion’ – you can just imagine ‘ladies’ out for a picnic sitting down on a nice comfy clump! ‘Thrift’ which is thought to refer to their hardy nature and ‘sea pink’ as they are often found on the coast.
There’s just something quirky about Armeria. The flower heads are almost a little ‘out of this world’. They are great if you a looking for something a little different. Maybe it’s because the flowers heads are held high above the foliage, and they appear somewhat detached from the rest of the plant giving them their unusual appearance.
The best way to describe the flower heads is impressive. They are round globes of colour, a bit like bright bubbles floating above the body of the plant.
Armeria are adaptable plants and often used in rockery planting. The ‘Bee’s Collection’ is well established in Australia and offers a variety of flower colours – there are pinks, a lilac and a salmon in the range. This collection was bred in Australia with a focus on varieties with superior garden performance.
The Bee’s Collection offers foliage that is broader than usually found in this genus which provides great textural interest year round. The foliage is a lovely deep green too which really sets off the flower colours. The biggest advantage with this series is that the flower heads are borne on stiff upright stems. It’s common for Armeria stems to want to ‘flop’ a little, but this varieties have good strength in the stems are so you can enjoy the bright flower heads sitting high above the foliage.
The success of the Bee’s Collection kicked off with Armeria ‘Bee’s Ruby’. This one has dark pink flowers and looks stunning when planted against a dark coloured backdrop. Demand for other colours soon followed and you can now enjoy ‘Bee’s Pink’, ‘Bee’s Lilac’ and ‘Bee’s Salmon’.
All members of the collection share other traits too – they are low water users, grow well in full sun positions and happily perform well in rockeries. Although pruning is not required if you trim off the dead flower heads this will encourage further blooming. You can use them as a cut flower too as the flowers last well in indoor arrangements.
Keep an eye out now as this years batches hit garden centres.
[This post brought to you by pma.com.au]