Just because something has been around for years, it doesn’t mean it is the best or most suitable option.
Take corsets for example, no self respecting lady was seen without one for hundreds of years until someone developed a more practical and comfortable alternative – this is exactly what I think about bedding!
I know Nurseries and Garden Centres love them, as they sell lots every year, but when was the last time any bedding plant looked good all summer that you bought, (unless you fed and watered regularly and dead headed religiously).
Whenever I have tried to do the hanging basket bit, or put bedding in pots, after two weeks I can’t keep up with it, the soil dries out and shrinks, it never gets enough food and is usually covered in aphids – why is that?
Well professional growers give these little plants a luxurious start in life, water, food, heat, light and lovely warm greenhouses that are regularly expunged of pests. The result, beautiful pretty little plants ready to sing and dance away, but as these plants suddenly get placed in a less idyllic environment, they tend to turn from cute little party princesses to stroppy teens, that sulk and flop everywhere which demand more and more from you but give less!
There are much better alternatives that last longer. Many of these bedding plants have been produced to maximise flower sizes and intensify the colour, and sometimes that is, in my opinion, to the detriment of real beauty. Not all bedding plants fall into this category, but the usual ones you see in garden centres add very little to the beauty of plants.