Perennials which are good in the garden and which also make good long lasting cut flowers are always in demand and a new scabious from Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants, to be launched at Chelsea, looks good on both counts.
Rob and Rosie Hardy have been selling Scabiosa africana for a while, and the usual form has mauve flowers. But their new form, ‘Jocelyn', is a lovely clear pink, and with blooms 5cm/2in across all summer on plants about 45cm/18in high it's ideal towards the front of sunny borders. Like most scabious, it lasts well as a cut flower and is best picked as the centre is starting to uncurl. With flower food in the water, it should last 12-14 days.
In the garden sunshine and good drainage are vital - scabious hate wet feet.
This delightful newcomer is named ‘Jocelyn', after their son Cameron's nanny. With the Hardys spending so much time on their three acre Hampshire nursery and travelling to shows around the country, he's a vital member of the team.
Scabiosa africana ‘Jocelyn' will be launched on the Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants exhibit at this year's Chelsea Flower Show at which they will also be celebrating twenty one years in business.