Monday, 16 December 2013

New phone number

Please note that due to an administrative hoo-ha our mobile phone number has had to change.


It is now 07955744802

A Merry Yule and a Happy 2014 to all our friends and customers

Clematis urophylla
Clematis urophylla ~ available now

Monday, 28 October 2013

Adenophora takedae

Adenophora takedae
A very pretty little Japanese bellflower; the flowers are relatively large for the size of the plant and held on delicate wiry stems. Fully hardy and late flowering.
For well drained (but not too dry), sunny (but not too hot) situations, with alpines or other small perennials and bulbs.
1L pots ~ £7




Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Digitalis obscura

Digitalis obscura
A very distinct small, almost shrubby species from Spain. Generally hardy in the southern portion of the UK, especially in drier areas but worthy of a special place in a raised bed or container.
Digitalis obscura
Thanks again to Dennis for the seed.
sold out for now

Friday, 11 October 2013

Spiraea thunbergii

Spiraea thunbergii
I get the impression that Spiraea is one of those groups, like Hypericum, that most keen gardeners tend to scoot past, and generally speaking I'd do likewise, but I've come to learn that almost every group has something choice to offer and it can be fun locating it.

Spiraea thunbergii is one such gem - hardly an obscurity (it has an AGM after all) but I hardly ever see it in gardens or nurseries. It is an exquisite shrub combining sprays of pure white flowers with the lightest and freshest of pale green leaves, all in a loose billowing (but not overly large) arching shrub up to about 4ft tall and across. Mine flowers surprisingly early in the year (March) and goes on into May. After that the foliage and form make a very pleasant contrast to darker heavier plants, and are never even slightly ugly.
Can be pruned quite hard after flowering if neccessary and I imagine it would make a good informal hedge.
Very easy to please on any soil in sun. Absolutely spiffing in every way.
3L pots ~ £9




Leucosceptrum stellipilum formosanum

Leucosceptrum stellipilum formosanum
Mauve pink bottle-brushes and large (to 6ins) fresh pale green foliage. A lush leafy herbaceous perennial related to Elscholtzia, Agastache and Rostrinucula, and with the same late flowering season - well into November if the weather allows.
Leucosceptrum stellipilum formosanum
Possibly best in sheltered woodland to avoid hot sun and early frosts which can damage the display. Otherwise easy and adaptable.
3L pots ~ £8




Salvia reptans

Salvia reptans
Very different – this is a slender willowy American, very late f;lowering species with very narrow, almost grassy green leaves, giving a very light fresh effect in the garden among grasses or grey leaved shrubs. The flowers are exquisite – small but of intense cobalt blue on fine stems above the foliage and produced from September until the frosts. For open well-drained sunny sites.
Salvia reptans
Two things: like many bushy Salvias, the stems are quite brittle, and the flowering, being so late can be spoilt by harsh weather, so although quite cold hardy, all in all best given some shelter.

Ps. not to be confused with S.repens which is a low growing S. African species with short spikes of mauvish flowers. I think both reptans and repens mean creeping (as in reptile) but this one, so far at least, does no such thing. Strange...
1L pots ~ £7



Monday, 23 September 2013

Gladiolus papilio

Gladiolus papilio
A terrific tall slender species that always attracts attention with its cryptically coloured nodding flowers. Easy and perfectly hardy around here and, though I've not tried it, probably worth trying to naturalise in rough grass. It can run about a bit underground, popping up here and there so I recommend planting it among herbaceous perennials or low shrubs that are done flowering for the year.
1L pots ~ £7




Monday, 2 September 2013

Keiskea japonica Pink form

Keiskea japonica pink form
Keiskea are from Japan and make extremely pretty bushy herbaceous perennials to about 2ft tall. The pink is very pale so the flowers shine out against the dark tinted foliag.
Plants that flower late into autumn are always worth having and there are a number of late season Lamiaceae (mint family) from eastern Asia that are far too little grown in the UK. Colquhounia, Elscholzia and Rostrinucula are three that I grow, and this is another.
Keiskea japonica
Adaptable and completely hardy, but possibly at their best in coolish, moistish spots.
2L pots ~ £9




Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Sussex Prairies Plant Fair

Sussex Prairies plant fair
Once again we will be at Sussex Prairies on Sunday, September 1st. This is the only fair we do at the moment (us not having a van as yet, and it being just down the road from the nursery) but it's good hectic fun and a great opportunity to chat to fellow plant nuts.

Sussex Prairies itself is famed for its immense Prairie plantings (lots of grasses and giant herbaceous perennials in huge drifts) set around a geometrical pattern of broad grass fairways. For the fair there are also sculptures to look at (and buy) and a huge selection of specialist nurseries, including some from the continent.

Please feel free to contact me in advance if you would like to reserve some plants to pick up at the fair.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Rudbeckia maxima


Rudbeckia maxima
An extraordinary tall species without the overwhelming bulk of so many of the sunflower fraternity. The large upright glaucous paddle-shaped leaves make an attractive cluster at ground level through the spring, then the very tall (anything up to 10ft tall!) flower stems appear in late summer, each with a classic black and gold cone flower at the tip.
Rudbeckia maxima
If you grow it among taller plants the basal leaves tend to be spoiled so best placed among low growing plants at the front of the border, or as an isolated specimen, perhaps in a (not too dry) gravel garden.
For any retentive soil in sun.
4L pots ~ £9





Monday, 29 July 2013

Cynara humilis


Cynara humilis 
Cynara humilis
An exquisite dwarf cardoon to 18ins high and the same across, making rosettes of finely cut dark
green spikey leaves on the ground and relatively large vivid violet thistle heads. Wonderful.
Cynara humilis
For dry sunny sites.
Sold out - sorry

Cynara humilis white flowered form
Cynara humilis white
Often white forms do not compare well with the basic forms but this is at least as good. The
narrow filaments remind me of white chocolate cake decorations. Gorgeous.
Many thanks to Sal Soares for the seed.
3L pots ~ £9




Four Prairie legumes


Desmodium canadensis
Desmodium canadense
A hardy herbaceous perennial species from the USA with 3ft stems, fresh green pinnate foliage and loose sprays of bright pink pea flowers. Totally hardy and adaptable in any soil.
1L pots ~ £7




Petalostemon (Dalea) purpureum
Dalea purpurea
A small upright prairie plant related to Clover but you wouldn’t know it. The flowers are more like a Teasel. A nice understated addition to the prairie planting with grasses, Helenium, Sidalcea, Oenothera and the rest. Retentive or dryish soils in sun.
Sold out

Desmanthus illinoinensis
Desmanthus illinoinensis
A fully hardy herbaceous perennial mimosa with incredibly fine (tripinnate?) green foliage and white fluffy flowers. Any soil in sun.
Sold out for now



Orbexilum pedunculatum psoralioides (Psoralea psoralioides)
Orbexilum pedunculatum
A subtle little legume with soft mauve spikes of flowers, suitable for interplanting with other North American Prairie species like Callirhoe involucrata. Quietly pretty.
1L pots ~ £7




Monday, 15 July 2013

Adiantum venustum

Adiantum venustum
A completely hardy Maiden-hair fern – every bit as delicate looking as you’d expect but quite vigorous given a well-drained leafy soil in shade.
1L pots ~ £7





Clerodendron trichotomum fargesii

Clerodendron trichotomum fargesii
Masses of fragrant creamy flowers in summer followed by striking blue berries with contrasting wine red calyces in autumn.
Clerodendron trichotomum fargesii
A deservedly popular hardy shrub or small tree of which there never seem to be enough available.
Easy on almost any soil in sun.
Sold out for the time being - more soon

Silphium

My favourite sunflowers, and very unfairly neglected in the UK. The flowers are not bad - just a few, fresh yellow, on rigid upright stems, but the main thing is that they produce among the biggest, most luxuriant leaves of any hardy perennial - phenomenal at the front of the border emerging from lower growing types. These plants form a hefty root stock, but don't spread at all. Easy going but excellent on heavy fertile soils in sun.

Silphium laciniatum
Silphium laciniatum leavesSilphium laciniatum
Like some huge tropical fern - those leaves are 2ft tall. The stiff upright flower stem is a bonus, but cut it off if you don't like sunflowers. Easy in any fertile, retentive soil, and best at the front of the border where its stature can be appreciated. Perfect for prairie-style plantings, but best grown with plenty of space around it, or at the front to show the leaves off.
4L pots ~ £10




Silphium terebinthinaceum
Silphium terebinthinaceum
With huge aroid-like foliage (like a Colocasia or Anthurium?) to 12ins across - a stunning border plant, best grown among low foliage or in gravel to get the full effect.
Silphium terebinthinaceum
The flowers rise high above the leaves - to 10ft or more, and are smaller and on more slender stems than laciniatum, but still very tall.
sold out

Monday, 8 July 2013

Gladiolus flanaganii


Gladiolus flanaganii
An absolutely astonishing hardy species from near vertical cliffs in the Drakensberg. The plant is only 10ins high but the outsized vivid red flowers are rich red and grow out sideways. Hard to explain – has to be seen.
Gladiolus flanaganii
Closely related to the equally extraordinary G.cardinalis and should be just as hardy over much of the country in a well-drained sunny spot.
10cm pots ~ £7



Monday, 1 July 2013

Indigofera


Indigofera hebepetala
Indigofera hebepetala
A very striking species with fresh green leaflets and dramatic magenta and maroon flowers over a long period in summer. Easy and adaptable in any ordinary garden soil in sun.
Indigofera hebepetala
May need shelter in cold areas.
4L pots ~ £12




Indigofera pendula
Indigofera pendula
A tall lax shrub best grown among other sturdier shrubs which it will decorate with its fine silver green pinnate foliage and pendulous strings of pink pea flowers from June until the frosts come.
Indigofera pendula
Almost any half decent soil in sun. May need shelter in cold exposed areas.
Sold out for now - sorry

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Penstemon venustus

Penstemon venustus
A bushy plant with broad serrated leaves and without basal rosettes, at flowering time anyway. The flowers in this form (sent to me as Purple 36") are a particularly nice dusky purple.
Penstemon venustus
Like the other Serrulati, this should be a relatively reliable and long-lived species for a well-drained sunny site.
2L pots ~ £7