Thursday, 20 September 2012

Helwingia

Helwingia chinensis
Helwingia chinensis
A peculiar evergreen woodland shrub which makes its flowers on the upper surfaces of the leaves (the flower stem is fused to the midrib). This on its own makes it a botanical curio, but it is also a pleasant and intriguing species with dark glossy leaves, maroon tinged when young, and an attractive upright habit.
Helwingia chinensis
In good years, red berries will appear, also attached to the leaves. An excellent small to medium sized shrub, best in moist sheltered woodland. Hardy but better with shelter from too much sun and wind.
2L pots ~ £10




Helwingia himalaica
Helwingia himalaica
A slight variation on the above. 
Helwingia himalayensis
Equally nice but with leaves a little bigger and if anything, the new foliage is even glossier.
Hardy but best in moist sheltered sites. Hates freezing winds.
1L pots ~ £8 



Monday, 17 September 2012

Iris milesii

Iris milesii
A really choice relative of I.tectorum and japonicum with tall branching sprays of remarkable, frilly, purple speckled flowers. Easy on any sunny freely drained soil. Extremely nice.
field grown ~ £8




Ribes viburnifolium

Ribes viburnifolium
An unusual low spreading evergreen species from California. Not terribly cold hardy but otherwise easy in a sheltered sunny spot.
1L pots ~ £8





Saturday, 15 September 2012

Bomarea


Bomarea edulis
Bomarea edulis (aka hirtella)
A fabulous species - basically a climbing Alstroemeria with umbels of bell-shaped flowers on and off through the summer until the frost. In autumn, the green fruits split to reveal bright orange seeds.

Bomarea edulis fruits
Possibly the hardiest Bomarea – the parent plant has gone from strength to strength completely unprotected in our semi shady woodsy raised bed, climbing through a dwarf Prunus. A stunning herbaceous climber to about 6ft.
1L pots ~ £8





Bomarea salsilla
Bomarea salsilla
A more delicately built species with coral pink flowers on twining stems. I've not tried it outside yet but it should be hardy enough in a sheltered spot with the tubers planted deep.
1L pots ~ £8




Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Iris fulva

Iris fulva
A legendary Iris (is that too strong a word?) from the deep south of the USA with flowers as close to red as any. This species is cold hardy but does have a reputation for needing more heat than we typically get in the UK. Nevertheless these seedlings have proved quick to flower here and very vigorous. For shallow water in full sun, so that it heats up quickly in spring. Thoroughly recommended.
2L pots ~ £8


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Digitalis


Digitalis micrantha
Digitalis micrantha
Basically exactly like a tiny version of D.lutea - very cute
1L pots ~ £6



Digitalis parviflora
Digitalis parviflora
A very distinctive foxglove with narrow spires of intricately crafted caramel-brown flowers.  This is a reliable and easy herbaceous perennial, suitable for a wide variety of conditions in sun or semi-shade.
Digitalis parviflora 1
One of those plants that repays close inspection.
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