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The perfect choice for a colourful garden

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Written by Deb Delahunty, Horticulture teacher

Bedding plants can be a wide range of different species, from annual plants, biennials and even short-lived perennials. ‘Bedding plant’ is the name we give to any plants that are used for a short-term display. Usually, we grow them for their colour and then, as soon as the flowers finish, we remove and discard them – even our bedding plants have become a victim in this throw-away society. The most well-known bedding plant display is the floral clock in St Kilda Road, Melbourne.

Bedding plants on display now include Pansies, Alyssum, Dianthus, Foxgloves, Hollyhocks, Polyanthus, Primula, Ageratum, and Violas.

If you want to grow your own seedlings for spring, think about buying seeds for Impatiens, Coleus, Cosmos, Marigolds, Snapdragons, Sunflowers, Petunias and, Zinnias - to name a few. There are, of course, many other beautiful bedding plants you could try. 

Bedding plant displays were extremely popular a generation ago and a normal garden feature for many generations before that. Many colourful displays have now been replaced by water-wise gardens and low maintenance designs. Bedding plants are high maintenance and can be extremely water consuming so take this into consideration before you spend time and money putting in a bedding plant display.

Bedding plant displays are perfect for garden weddings. Instant colour to match the wedding theme can be achieved easily. Maybe you just want a change of colour in the garden, plant some seedlings or go all out and buy established ‘potted colour’ that’s available at all our local nurseries.

If you’re thinking about selling your house, you can spruce up the garden and add a blaze of colour with bedding plants, nothing looks nicer than a beautiful garden.

If you think buying potted colour is too expensive – you’re in luck. Most of the bedding plants are what I call ‘self-perpetuating’, this means they produce masses of seed that falls into the garden bed and germinates. Usually, the removal of spent flowers is advised to keep the plants looking brilliant, but let a few flowers go to seed. It’s best to collect and store the seed to use when it’s needed. 

So when you feel like adding a splash of colour to your garden, check out the seedling section at one of our local nurseries.


The Agriculture/Horticulture Department at Wodonga TAFE have short courses available throughout the year in a number of different disciplines.  If you need training in the AgVet Chemical Users Course, chainsaw training or even training in side by side utility vehicles – contact the department on 1300 MY TAFE (1300 698 233).



The Marigold produces masses of seed.  It’s easy to collect, sow, and even easier to grow for a splash of colour.


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