B&Q has revealed that its new Imara Bizzie Lizzie varieties have become its fastest-selling plants ever, with over one million sold in the last week. To mark the successful re-introduction of the bedding plant, B&Q will make a return to the RHS flower calendar for the first time in five years.
The home improvement and garden chain has teamed up with award-winning garden designer Matthew Childs to create a show garden at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The exhbit, titled the ‘B&Q Bursting Busy Lizzie Garden’, will champion the return of the beloved busy lizzie.
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 exclusively with Syngenta Flowers to create a new variety of Imara Bizzie Lizzies that are more resistant to downy mildew than ever before. The name ‘Imara’ means ‘strong & resilient’ in Swahili, a tribute to the region in East Africa where the original busy lizzies are from.
The colourful plants are also known as ‘impatiens’, meaning ‘impatient’, which refers to the way the plant’s seed head bursts open. Visitors can expect B&Q’s garden to be bursting with busy lizzies planted in a contemporary style that will challenge perceptions of them being traditional annual bedding plant.
No stranger to the RHS, with gold medals for ‘best in show’ and ‘best conceptual garden’ under his belt, garden designer Matthew Child’s ‘B&Q Bursting Busy Lizzie Garden’ has been created in homage to the beloved annual plants and their East African heritage.
The ‘B&Q Bursting Busy Lizzie Garden’ has been described by Matthew and B&Q as the ‘ultimate feel good outdoor space’, and is inspired by recent insight about the British public’s use and enjoyment of their gardens. New research from B&Q polled 2,000 UK homeowners to find that 86% of people feel immediately happier after doing an outdoor project and 55% enjoy their space much more afterwards. When asked which elements of their outdoor space gave them the biggest emotional payback, people identified that having space to relax (65%), colourful flowers (48%), cultivating plants (45%), and entertaining outdoors (33%) all held the most ‘happiness potential’.
Designer Matthew Childs said: “It’s great to be returning to the RHS with this very special project. I am passionate about designing unique gardens for all to enjoy so B&Q’s vision of a feel good space was a perfect fit. It’s also 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!”
B&Q market director for outdoor, Steve Guy said: “We’re delighted to be returning to the RHS Flower Show circuit for the first time in five years. Our ‘B&Q Bursting Busy Lizzie Garden’ is designed to help Brits to realise the huge feel good potential our outdoor spaces hold, inspire them with brilliant garden solutions and celebrate the years of innovation that have gone into bringing busy lizzies back into UK gardens. 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 2018.