GYPSOPHILA

Old-fashioned gardeners referred to this plant as baby’s breath or chalk plant. The annual gypsophila (G. elegans) is white or rose-pink, growing to about 18 in. Give ordinary hardy annual treat- ment. It is useful for cutting and the white form associates well with sweet peas and carnations. The perennial forms prefer a limy soil and will do very well on light, dry ground, also on heavy land provided drainage is perfect. They are often very late starting into growth in spring. Some varieties are not long-lived. Gypsophila paniculata Bristol Fairy bears fairly large double white flowers from July onwards, growing to about 4 ft. Plant 31/2—4 ft. apart. It is first-rate for cutting and is very popular with market growers, although many replacements of stock are needed, by reason of periodic losses, especially on heavy ground. A larger form called Bristol Fairy Improved or Perfecta is also available. Flamingo is lilac-pink with a loose habit, Rosy Veil (Rosenschleier) is a most attractive rockery plant with pale pink double flowers, growing to about 10 in. It also makes an impressive display at the front of a herbaceous border and is best planted 4 ft. apart as it requires plenty of room. Increase by cuttings taken in June or September, using a hormone preparation, as they are often reluctant to root.

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