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




Monday, 17 June 2013

New things # 2


Dodecatheon dentatum
Dodecatheon dentatum
Quite distinct from the well-known pink flowered species – this is a lower growing, more spreading species with white flowers. Best in moist leafy woodland situations.
10cm square pots ~ £6




Salix nakamurana yezoalpina
Salix nakamurana yezoalpina
On the face of it a lovely small, low growing alpine willow with glossy deeply veined 2in round leaves and silky catkins – like a large hairless version of reticulata. However, be prepared. This is a vigorous ground-coverer. Not so good for your rockery but excellent for not-too-dry situations with more vigorous neighbours such as Narcissus or Camassia, Trollius or Caltha, Chrysosplenium or ericaceous plants, for example.
5L pots ~ £12



 
Salix repens subopposita
Salix repens subopposita
An almost herbaceous species making a steadily expanding colony of soft silky leafy stems to about 12ins high. The stems have a yellow silky catkin on almost every node before the leaves in early spring. A pleasant ground cover for wet soils but like moist willows – very adaptable.
sold out for now


New things #1


Incarvillea zhongdianensis
Incarvillea zhongdianensis
A very choice and distinct species, somewhat smaller than delavayi, with flowers of an intense purple pink colour – almost magenta, with noticeable white lines around the throat. A stunning small herbaceous perennial for a sunny alpine bed, well-drained but not too dry. Fully hardy.
1L pots ~ £8




Arum nigrum
Arum nigrum
A Russian species very like our native Cuckoo Pint but with a magnificent tar-black spathe. Very robust and very hardy, and as far as I can tell, just as easy to grow. Only a few as yet.
2L pots ~ £8




Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Viburnums

I've always had a lot of time for Viburnum. I especially love the variety of form and foliage. The flowers are generally small and either white or rosy pink but produced in large quantities and often fragrant, and then most of them produce a good show of berries in the autumn.
The main reason though for their being so popular around here is that they grow so well on chalky soils.
I'm offering a few of the more rarely seen species.

Viburnum cinnamomifolium
Viburnum cinnamomifolium
A wonderfully big lush exotic shrub, and essentially a tree-like version of the common (and unfairly despised) V.davidii. Both species have among the very best evergreen foliage of any hardy shrub, and are well worth growing even without the flowers, which are the usual small rosy white, or the berries, which are intense blue with red stems. You will need male and female plants to get fruits but davidii will pollinate cinnamomifolium apparently.
5L pots ~ £15




Viburnum atrocyaneum
Viburnum atrocyaneum

A neat evergreen with small rounded very glossy leaves with a distinct wine red cast. The flowers are the usual small pinkish white affairs, followed by bloomy black berries. Very adaptable and easy.
3L pots ~ £12




Viburnum cylindricum
Viburnum cylindricum
An evergreen species grown for the unusual greyish cast to the foliage and panicles of creamy flowers in summer.
Viburnum cylindricum
Bloomy black fruits. A rare large shrub – excellent on chalk.
sold out - sorry


Viburnum erubescens
Viburnum erubescens
A very high quality and strangely little-known evergreen species. Perfectly formed bell-shaped white flowers are produced in spring on red stems. The foliage is glossy green but also has a distinct red tint and turns rich maroon in winter. Overall the shrub has a graceful layered spreading effect. Excellent in every way.
sold out - sorry


Viburnum henryi
Viburnum henryi
To my mind the very best. This one has well textured foliage that, although evergreen, turns unusual warm fawn/maroon shades in winter, tinted red and with a pale midrib. There are also creamy flowers in summer and berries turning translucent red to bloomy black in autumn.
Viburnum henryi fruit
Suitable for most ordinary garden situations but especially good on chalk.
sold out for now

Monday, 10 June 2013

New perennials for summer 2013


Moraea huttonii
Moraea huttonii
Stupendous tall Iris with beautifully crafted yellow ‘flags’ on rigid upright stems well above the narrow strappy green leaves (easily hidden among other perennials).
Moraea huttonii
For open sites on fertile moist soils ideally but very tough. Basically they’ll grow anywhere Agapanthus or Kniphofia succeed.
5L pots ~ £10




Amsonia hubrichtii hybrid
Amsonia hubrichtii hybrid
None of the Amsonias are exactly garish but all have a real beauty that is well worth a close look. The tubular flowers are a soft but clear blue over willowy foliage. Hubrichtii itself (which I hope to have for sale next year) is a bit of a classic, with extremely fine narrow foliage turning intense golds and oranges in autumn, but it is on the small side and can be hard to please. The hybrids we have are larger overall but with the same narrow foliage and good autumn colour. An easy border perennial.
1L pots ~ £6




Phytolacca acinosa
Delphinium carolinianum & Phytolacca acinosa
A big wide branching perennial mainly grown for the fruits, like elongate mutant blackberries, in late summer, by which time the entire plant will have developed a rhubarb-pink hue.
Phytolacca acinosa
Earlier on it’s a big lush green thing decorated with spikes of creamy flowers. It looks well with other large herbs, such as Datisca or Zantedeschia, or Ligularia. Grows quickly in any moist fertile soil in sun or part shade.
3L pots ~ £8




Monday, 3 June 2013

Here comes the sun! (or have I just jinxed it?)

Artemisia alba Canescens
Artemisia alba Canescens
The best, I think, of the genus, making low billowy mounds and cushions of silvery white extremely fine foliage. Excellent with small bulbs. Any well-drained soil in sun. Slightly taller flowering stems appear in late summer. The flowers are brown and probably best removed.
1L pots ~ £6



Teucrium flavum
Teucrium flavum
A pretty glossy-leaved shrublet with upright stems of pale yellow flowers in summer. For dry sunny sites.
1L pots ~ £5




Teucrium marum
Teucrium marum
A very small shrub with neat glossy leaves and heads of pink flowers. For dry sunny sites (and protect from cats who sometimes use it as a sort of superior catnip).
10cm pots ~ £6