Monday, 28 December 2015

Californian Ribes


Ribes speciosum
Ribes speciosum
Not rare but a classic with its rich red somewhat fuchsia-like flowers dangling all along the undersides of the branches in spring. The leaves are gooseberry-like and glossy fresh green and the red stems are viciously thorny.
Ribes speciosum
Best trained on a sunny wall, but surprisingly tough with a little protection.
3L pots ~ £9



Ribes cereum
Ribes cereum
An attractive Californian species with profuse palest rosy white flowers in spring among small shiny leaves on a compact gnarly shrub.
Ribes cereum
An ideal species for Mediterranean style gardens growing among other sun-loving drought-tolerant species.
3L pots ~ £9



Ribes aff. californicum
Ribes aff. californicum
Clearly related to R.speciosum, with small pale Fuchsia-like dangling under the spiky branches.
Ribes aff. californicum
This is an easy species to grow, with a quiet charm
3L pots ~ £8



Ribes aureum
Ribes aureum
Related to but not the same as the more familiar eastern buffalo berry - R.odoratum. This has similar tubular yellow flowers, but tinted red at the tips, and it is a much more compact plant.
Ribes aureum
The flowers appear early among the new leaves rather than on bare branches. There might even be some orange berries if you're lucky.
Out of stock at the moment

Monday, 12 October 2015

Lunaria rediviva

Lunaria rediviva
The perennial honesty has an understated beauty, with palest lilac/almost white flowers in spring over good quality foliage, and the typical translucent seed pods in autumn (though more elliptical than the more familiar annual honesty).
Lunaria rediviva
A long-lived and adaptable perennial for sun or shade on almost any soil but best in light woodland and ideal for old-fashioned cottage style plantings where the normal honesty is a bit too coarse. Seeds about a bit but not excessively.
1L pots ~ £6



Monday, 21 September 2015

Correas

I have a new batch of these splendid winter flowering Australian shrubs on the nursery. Over there they're known as native fuchsias but that really doesn't do them justice.
Most of them need careful positioning outside and are safer in pots, brought in for the winter to stop them freezing through. That said, a very sheltered sunny spot on a poor, not too limy soil will often do them, especially in milder areas and near the sea. Correas do well in the dry semi shade under Eucalypts and Pines.

Correa backhousiana
Correa backhousiana
Possibly the hardiest species and known for being an excellent seaside shrub. I collected the original in Tasmania where it can be grown everywhere and is impervious to the weather. The bell shaped jade green bell flowers, touched with brown suede are a feature from autumn to spring.
1L pots ~ £8



Correa alba Pinkie
Correa alba Pinkie
Almost as tough as backhousiana and good in the same conditions. The foliage is neater and the flowers are more open, less tubular than others, and white with a rosy tint within.
Sold out


Correa Poorinda Mary
Correa Poorinda Mary
A lovely compact hybrid with very unusual coloured flowers - clear pink but tipped with brown suede. The leaves are more or less circular, shiny green with brown felt trim. Not tried for hardiness here but with nummulariifolia in its parentage, likely to be fairly tough.
Sold out

Correa reflexa Tasmanian Green
Correa reflexa Tasmania
Unusual fresh green foliage with tubular lime green flowers part hidden among them. A somewhat gangly form, inclined to lean against other shrubs and prone to wind rock - hence best grown among other low shrubs. Another collection from Hobart and very hardy there, but needing shelter here.
1L pots ~ £8



Correa glabella
Correa glabella
A less hardy species with narrow dark glossy green leaves and tubular red flowers, tipped with pale green. Will probably need a cold greenhouse through winter in most parts of the UK.
Sold out

Colquhounia coccinea

Colquhounia coccinea
(Pronounced Cohoonia) A very striking but still little grown shrub with very good foliage and vivid scarlet flowers (marked yellow inside) in autumn. The whole plant is trimmed in white felt.
Colquhounia coccinea
After many years without flowers I have realised that this flowers on spurs off the older stems, not so much from the new shoots, as I had assumed. For this reason it is important to keep as much of the previous year's growth as possible. Shelter and a mild winter helps but not cutting them down in winter (as I had been) is the main thing.
Colquhounia coccinea foliage
Flowering relatively late, this species can be shy flowering if it does not get enough sun or if there is an early frost, but well worth persevering with. Also, despite the fact that it looks like it comes from Mediterranean climates, like many Himalayan plants it actually benefits from a fairly good soil and plenty of summer moisture - good drainage, but not dry.
Sold out for now - sorry

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Tropaeolum tricolor


Now is the best time to buy these - before they start to grow and get tangled up and are impossible to separate.

Tropaeolum tricolor
Like a shoal of tropical fish swimming among the pond weed...
A delicately built herbaceous climber, and definitely one for the greenhouse as it grows and flowers through the winter. The tubers need a dry rest in the summer.
Tropaeolum tricolor
It needs almost no heat though - just frost free is enough, and given that it's as easy as anything.
Sold out this year - sorry

Friday, 4 September 2015

Heptacodium miconioides

Heptacodium miconioides
A large and very hardy shrub from northern China, grown mainly for the clusters of white flowers which are produced in late summer and which are extremely popular with butterflies. After a hot summer, these turn pink, or at least, the calyces turn pink around the fruits.
Heptacodium miconioides
The long curving leaves are also good, and in winter the flaking bark is a feature.
Heptacodium miconioides
To keep the plant a more manageable size and to get really big leaves (up to 9ins long), cut it back hard every few years.
For almost any soil in sun.
2L pots ~ £8



Heimia salicifolia

Heimia salicifolia
This is an unusual small shrub related to Lythrum and found all the way from south-western USA through Central America to as far south as Argentina apparently, and remarkably easy and adaptable. A hard winter will cut it down but being so late flowering it has time to get its act together.
Heimia salicifolia
The deep yellow flowers are an unusual shade but are complemented by the reddish new growth, and look very well indeed as a foil for red and orange flowers in the late border.
1L pots ~ £6



Thursday, 3 September 2015

Ugni molinae - 2 forms


I am extremely pleased to learn (from Gary Firth, holder of the national collection of Myrtus and its relatives) that I am growing a distinct form unlike any others he has and he has suggested I give it a cultivar name. Now it just so happens that I've had it in mind to name something after Miss Green, the lady I worked for the last ten years, and who died last spring. It's especially apposite as the parent plant is in her garden and has been for several decades and she probably got it from one of the many expert nurserymen she was friends with back in the day. So here it is -

Ugni molinae Miss Green
Ugni molinae
A modestly sized Chilean species with neat glossy rounded leaves and equally neat rounded white flowers in summer, followed by masses of dark red berries that scent the garden with (to me at any rate) toffee apples. Not a bad flavour - a bit like apples. Can't resist scrumping a few every time I pass.
Ugni molinae fruits
Suitable for sheltered woodland but flowering and fruiting best on a sunny wall. The parent plant was quite badly damaged a couple of winters ago but fully recovered very quickly. A perfect ‘ericaceous’ plant for those of us without acid soil.
Compact hardy form - very free fruiting
Sold out - sorry


Ugni molinae - slender form
Ugni molinae
This taller more open form is perhaps less hardy but more elegant. Provide shelter and/or grow among other shrubs. Very choice. Thanks to Gary Firth for this.
Ugni molinae
1L pots ~ £8




Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Commelinas


Commelina tuberosa ex BSWJ10353
Commelina tuberosa ex BSWJ10353
A very compact form from the highlands of Guatemala, producing clear gentian blue flowers all summer on short stems (to a maximum of about 7ins) among clusters of fresh green foliage.
Commelina tuberosa ex BSWJ10353
Very adaptable but probably needs a good mulch in most parts of the UK to ensure survival through the winter.
10cm pots ~ £6




Commelina dianthifolia
Commelina dianthifolia
A very pretty little plant, making a succession of intense gentian-blue flowers in early summer. Easy in a sunny spot and well drained soil. Quite hardy but mulch it just to be on the safe side.
10cm pots ~ £5




Sunday, 30 August 2015

Clematis serratifolia

Clematis serratifolia
A member of the same group as tangutica and orientalis, but with broad serrated leaves. The flowers are of a fresh pale yellow.
Clematis serratifolia
An easy and adaptable late flowering species.
1L pots ~ £7



Friday, 28 August 2015

Acis autumnalis (aka Leucojum autumnale)

Acis autumnalis
Autumn snowflake. Nothing like the more familiar spring and summer snowflakes with which it used to be classified, except that they have pale nodding flowers. No more than four inches high with very fine glossy almost evergreen foliage. Flowers mostly in August and September.
Acis autumnalis
A very pretty and hardy little bulb – easy in a well-drained sunny spot without too much competition.
10cm pots ~ £5