Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Helianthus mollis

Helianthus mollis
I've never really been into the perennial sunflowers (Jerusalem artichokes are a typical example), which I'd have previously dismissed completely as coarse and garish. Lately though I've come to appreciate them more and more, just for their sheer exuberance and sunniness.
Helianthus mollis
The ashy sunflower is a case in point. The foliage is of good quality and complements the soft golden yellow flowers, which are produced over a long season in summer and autumn.
Any rich soil in sun.
3L pots ~ £8

Iris confusa Martyn Rix

Iris confusa
One of the peculiar evergreen 'shrubby' irises - that is, the usual iris fans of foliage develop at the top of green bamboo-like stems up to 18ins off the ground. The frilly mauve flowers appear on further stems above in spring and may be followed by further fans of leaves. The total effect is quite exotic and somewhat orchid-like.
These plants are cuttings from a colony growing vigorously in dry shade in a local garden and have been unaffected by the recent harder winters.
1L pots ~ £7