Sunday, 28 September 2014

Symphyotrichum sericeum (Aka Aster sericeus)

Symphyotrichum sericeum
The Silky Aster. Asters are so often let down by their scruffy foliage - not this time. In this case the delicate violet flowers are set among silky shiny leaves on black wiry stems. A small species, less than 18ins high, and apparently new to cultivation in the UK, this should be easy to grow on a well-drained soil in full sun.
Sold out for now

Friday, 26 September 2014

Salvia azurea

Salvia azurea
A tall slender late-flowering herbaceous perennial with narrow greyish foliage.
Salvia azurea
From north-eastern North America so should be very hardy, and plays well with other prairie plants like Asclepias or Helianthus, and grasses in particular. Mesic conditions in full sun.
1L pots ~ £6



Thursday, 25 September 2014

Three Small Trees


Acer buergerianum
Acer buergerianum
The Trident Maple. A very pretty small tree or large shrub known for its small glossy three-lobed (hence 'trident') leaves which are coppery when young and colour up well in autumn but don't usually drop until early winter.
Acer buergerianum
Easy and adaptable in mesic* and woodland conditions.
1L pots ~ £7



Triadica sebifera (aka Sapium sebiferum)
Sapium probably sebiferum
The Chinese Tallow Tree - a warm temperate deciduous tree grown for its waxy fruits which are used for soap and candles, but also as a very attractive garden or street tree. The poplar-like foliage turns rich red in autumn. The flowers are small and yellow and catkin-like. This is probably not a good prospect for UK gardens except in very sheltered urban or mild maritime districts but is a good garden tree elsewhere in Europe.
1L pots ~ £7




Zanthoxylum planispinum
Zanthoxylum armatum
A deciduous large shrub or small tree with glossy aromatic pinnate foliage on spiny stems, greenish yellow flowers and red berries in profusion. Though very ornamental this plant is also grown for the seeds which can be used as a kind of pepper (Sichuan Pepper comes from a related tree). The leaves can also be used in the kitchen for their spicy citrusy flavour. Mesic* or woodland conditions.
Sold out - sorry

*Mesic - a handy ecological term for habitats that are moist but not wet, fairly fertile and not too shady. It describes the preferred growing conditions of many garden plants and is a lot quicker to write than 'moist but freely drained' or 'any retentive soil in sun or semi shade' or 'any reasonable soil'. In nature it corresponds to meadows, woodland clearings, river banks and such-like.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Chaenomeles cathayensis

Chaenomeles cathayensis
An impressive upright species of great character with clusters of rich rosy red and cream flowers followed by enormous amber quinces.
Chaenomeles cathayensis
Very thorny, but would make an excellent security hedge. Easy and adaptable.
3L pots ~ £9




Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Mandevilla laxa

Mandevilla laxa
The Chilean Jasmine. A temperate member of the group that includes the tropical Dipladenias and Allamandas. The flowers are about 2ins across, pure white and pleasantly fragrant. Certainly not completely hardy - this will require a sunny sheltered spot, ideally on a fairly rich moist soil, but it is quite drought tolerant.
Mandevilla laxa
Best planted among hardier shrubs in my opinion, which will provide some protection - if the frost gets it can come back from the base. The flowers are made on new growth in late summer/autumn. A gorgeous deciduous twining climber from South America. Aka M.suaveolens.
1L pots ~ £7



Monday, 8 September 2014

Iris aff. gracilipes purple/gold ex Minya Konka*

Iris cf. gracilipes purple/gold ex Min-ya-Konka
Or at least - that's the name the seed arrived under from SIGNA. It's obviously much larger than gracilipes and with the rich purple gold scribbled flowers it almost looked like it might be a form of chrysographes at first, however, as the plants have matured they have begun to develop that distinctive spreading tussocky foliage of gracilipes (only bigger) but are still only about 10ins tall. Perhaps more importantly, like gracilipes, they've proved more or less immune to the plagues of slugs which deflowered (is that the right word?) many of the other Irises this year.
Iris cf. gracilipes purple/gold ex Min-ya-Konka
Happy and vigorous in a shady woodsy site and not needing massive amounts of water. Brilliant plant.
Only a few as yet but more to come.
1L pots ~ £6



* Mount Gongga (simplified Chinese: 贡嘎山; traditional Chinese: 貢嘎山; pinyin: Gònggá Shān), also known as Minya Konka (Khams Tibetan pinyin: Mi'nyâg Gong'ga Riwo), is the highest mountain in Sichuan province, China. It is also known to locals as "The King of Sichuan Mountains".

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Aralia apioides

Aralia apioides ex EDHCH 9720
Aralia apiioides
Probably my favourite herbaceous Aralia - this is a relatively small (to about 3ft tall) Asian species with striking bloomy black stems and new growth, attractively veined leaflets and elegant wide branching inflorescences.
Aralia apiioides
Extremely choice and still rare. Needs a cool moist spot but otherwise easy to grow.
1L pots ~ £7




Thursday, 4 September 2014

Euphorbia corollata


Euphorbia corollata
A white flowered Euphorbia - who knew? In this case fairly normal looking bushy spurge plants produce increasingly wide branching sprays of small pure white flowers in summer – more like a Gypsophila or a Linum perhaps.
Euphorbia corollata
Completely untried here – the species originates in Eastern North America and should be completely cold hardy and easy in a sunny spot.
3L pots ~ £8




Seseli montanum and/or hippomarathrum

Seseli montanum or hippomarathrum
As with the Athamantas I offered before, I'm not totally sure of the id of this. I seem to have had the same thing under two names - S.montanum and S.hippomarathrum. Either way it's a lovely small umbellifer with a compact cluster of finely divided green foliage at the base but fairly tall flowering stems. 
Seseli montanum or hippomarathrum
The buds are reddish, opening white. Easy in any well drained sunny spot. Long lived but seeds about mildly and easy to control.
3in pots ~ £5



Carex baccans

Carex baccans
A typical tussock-forming sedge in many ways except that (surprise surprise!) it makes shiny red berry-like fruits in autumn instead of the usual greenish seeds. Unaccountably hard to come by.
Carex baccans
Not a great shot, but you get the idea. It probably needs more space to make a nice big tussock.
Cool and moist woodsy conditions are recommended. 
2L pots ~ £8