Annual lavateras (Lavatera trimestris) are amongst the easiest and most colourful hardy annuals to grow from seed and would be grown far more widely but for one thing: the colour range has been limited.
So fare we’ve had a shining pure white, a carmine pink and a veined pink but now there’s a new colour. Not blue or yellow, no, but white with a crimson heart and pink veins. Lovely. Reaching about 70cm in height, in spite of its name ‘Dwarf Pink Blush’ is not as short as the 50cm, bright pink ‘Novella’ but is a more attractive colour.
This is a hardy annual to sow outside in a fertile but well-drained soil in a sunny position. Alternatively, for bushier and earlier flowering plants, seed can be started in a cool greenhouse and moved on into 7.5 or 9cm pots before hardening off and planting out about 30-38in apart. Plants grow quickly and are ideal in new gardens.
Grow ‘Dwarf Pink Blush’ in front of shrub roses, amongst perennials or in a mixed border and it also makes a lovely cut flower but, because it does not transport well, is rarely seen in florists. Pick stems for the vase just as the buds are starting unfurl but before they are fully open. Give a slightly wider spacing, 45cm if growing specifically for cutting and expect about ten stems per plant.
You can order seed of Lavatera ‘Dwarf Pink Blush’ from Thompson & Morgan.