Latest trend: tasty treats from the balcony planter

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Latest trend: tasty treats from the balcony planter
Latest trend:
tasty treats from the balcony planter

Fragaria 'Toscana' - edible plant with WOW-factor
Edible ornamentals are very en vogue. And even those who don’t have a garden are increasingly aware of the potential added value in the delectable plants in their balcony patio planters. Not only basic herbs like thyme, rosemary and lovage but also colourful veggies such as mangold, tomatoes and sweet peppers have become firm favourites in decorative balcony and patio pots and planters - and on the table as well.

Not only healthy and full of vitamins, but also fresh and decorative at the same time: the new garden strawberry 'Toscana' (Fragaria x ananassa), bred by
ABZ Seeds in the Netherlands, joins the product range. As a popular edible plant it fits the bill. Its thick growth of dark-pink blossoms, quickly replaced by a bounty of juicy red fruit, will make an attractive addition to every balcony. As compact plants in hanging baskets or planted in beds, this decorative summer beauty will attract all the attention. All that 'Toscana' needs is some loose humus substrate, regular watering and fertiliser once a month, and it will thank you with a constant supply of delicious-tasting berries. Hobby gardeners can reap up to one kilo of sugar-sweet strawberries from a single plant over the course of the summer.

The fact that these attractive fruiting and flowering runners will be a hit in the market for edible ornamentals was proved when it won the 2011/12
FleuroStar contest. Judging criteria in this international competition include excellent breeding properties and especially the “wow” appeal of the plant with consumers. With this award-winning combination 'Toscana' beat its competitors hands down. From the spring of 2012 this garden strawberry will be offered in well-stocked garden centres everywhere. Particularly children will delight in picking their own healthy and delicious berries from May to September, right on their own balcony. 

Images available for publication:
Photo 1 :Even those who don’t have a garden but just a balcony can still harvest a sweet-tasting summer crop, thanks to 'Toscana'.  

Photo 2 : Mmm … such healthy little treats. With the 'Toscana' garden strawberry you can harvest delicious and vitamin-rich fruit all summer long – even on the smallest balcony.
Photo 3:  Between elegant leafy ornamentals for an atmosphere of relaxed elegance, fragaria 'Toscana' is a real eye-catcher. Its clever combination of fruiting and flowering runners made it a sure winner in the FleuroStar contest.
Photo 4 : Even on the smallest balcony: fragaria 'Toscana' is not only a decorative eye-catcher. Up to one kilo of fruit per plant can be harvested every summer.


Photo 5 :Even as a potted plant in the company of other summer blooms, the 2011/12 FleuroStar winner fragaria 'Toscana' cuts a good figure with its wow appeal.
Photo 6Simple beauty on the balcony or terrace is no longer enough. Nowadays these plants must also find their niche in gourmet dishes or as healthy snacks.

Plant description available for downloading:
2011/12 FleuroStar Fragaria 'Toscana'

Decorative edible plants for balcony boxes and planters:
Basil (Ocimum ) with (edible) shoots
Eggplant (Solanum Melongena L. ) with white or purple (edible) fruit
Gooseberry (Physalis peruviana) with orange (edible) fruit
Kiwi (Actinidia) with green and gold (edible) fruit
Lemon thyme (Thymus x citriodorus) with scented (edible) shoots and leaves
Lovage (Levisticum) with (edible) leaves
Mangold (Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla ) with red, yellow and striped (edible) leaves
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum) with orange, red and yellow (edible) blossoms
Passion flower (Passiflora) with purple and orange (edible) fruit
Rosemary (Rosmarinus) with aromatic blue-green (edible) leaves
Strawberry (Fragaria ‘Toscana’) with pink blossoms and red (edible) fruit
Sweet pepper (Capsicum) with red, orange, yellow or green (edible) fruit
Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas 'Autumn') with colourful leaves and (edible) tuber
Tomato (Lycopersicum) with red, orange or yellow (edible) fruit