Britain’s best-loved plant is making a comeback as B&Q reintroduced Busy Lizzies to its garden centres, selling nearly a million per week.
The garden centre and DIY store also returned to the RHS Flower Show calender to create a show garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace called the Bursting Busy Lizzie Garden.
Busy Lizzies disappeared from garden centres in 2012 after the widespread “Impatiens Downy Mildew” disease hit the UK and Europe. Since then, B&Q has been working with Syngenta Flowers to create a new variety of Imara Bizzie Lizzies that are more resistant to downy mildew. The name ‘Imara’ means ‘strong & resilient’ in Swahili, a tribute to the region in East Africa where the original Busy Lizzies are from. The new variety comes in six bright shades.
The colourful plants are also known as ‘Impatiens’, meaning ‘impatient’, referring to the way the plant’s seed head bursts open.
The B&Q Bursting Busy Lizzie Garden was inspired by the thought that gardens are the sweet spot of British home happiness. New research from B&Q polled 2,000 UK homeowners to find that 86 per cent of us feel immediately happier after doing an outdoor project and 55 per cent enjoy their space much more afterwards.
Matthew Childs, award-winning garden designer, said: “It’s been a privilege to be among the first to see and experience the return of the fabulous Busy Lizzie – I’m sure it is set to reclaim its crown as the UK’s favourite bedding plant!”
Steve Guy, Market Director for Outdoor at B&Q, said: “Britons really do love the Busy Lizzie – we’ve sold nearly a million plants in the last week. We’ve been amazed by the high demand and we’re having to replenish our supplies every day – they are probably our fastest selling plant ever.”
The ‘B&Q Bursting Busy Lizzie Garden’ will be unveiled at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show from 3-8 July.