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.
3L pots ~ £15




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.
sold out



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



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

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.
3L pots ~ £9




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 PAB 1347
Ugni molinae
Previously identified as U.candollei - 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
3L pots ~ £15




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