Friday 12 January 2024
Soft pink flowers in dangling clusters among soft green foliage any time from autumn to spring in its native California, where it is important for nectar for birds and insects.
Not the most brightly coloured Ribes but certainly one of the earliest flowering - in full flower here through frost and snow in January.
Completely hardy here. Suitable for sun or shade, especially among evergreens.
Friday 13 October 2023
An amazing large herbaceous perennial from Crete with luxuriant pinnate fresh green leaves on tall arching stems to 7 or 8 ft. The small green flowers appear in long tassels at the ends.
Despite its origin, the natural habitat of Datisca is moist and shaded ravines and stream sides, and they grow well in ordinary soils in the UK.
Our classic native Sea Kale (seed collected locally, on Shoreham Beach by the way) with phenomenal big waxy wavy pale grey leaves and chunky heads of honey-scented white flowers.
The new leaves are purple and can be blanched under an old bucket and then steamed as a vegetable.
Easy almost anywhere sunny but definitely looks best planted among pebbles.
A compact and hardy South African species with very striking narrow foliage - the undersides and stems being soft and white, contrasting with the deeply veined green upper surfaces.
The flowers are small and white and often dismissed as uninteresting, but I like them for their dark brown eyes which has a striking effect. Full sun, good drainage and some shelter.
One of many new hardy Begonias on the market now. This one is a relatively understated species - unusual for its symmetrical leaves and the petiole being attached to the middle, not the edge of the leaf.
The leaves are olive green, to about 18cms long and jaggedly toothed. The flowers are pale pink, and small but plentiful. Hardy and tolerant here so far. Happiest on moist shady sites but, like many hardy Begonias, surprisingly resistant to drought. Dies down to small tubers in winter.
Not to be confused with a very different species with larger mottled leaves and yellow flowers that is being sold under this name.
A simple understated species with perfectly formed white Anemone flowers on upright leafy stems up to about 40cms tall in early summer.
This species runs underground which makes it a problem among small delicate plants, but it is an excellent ground cover among shrubs, being very shade tolerant. Not fussy about soil or aspect but not too hot and dry is probably best.