Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Hydrangea heteromalla Snowcap

Hydrangea heteromalla Snowcap
Eventually a large tree-like species producing plenty of good-sized creamy white inflorescences from a young age.
Hydrangea heteromalla Snowcap
The foliage is pleasantly textured and tinted red when young. A hardy and vigorous woodland shrub.
3L pots ~ £12




Pseudowintera colorata

Pseudowintera colorata
A colourful medium-sized evergreen shrub from New Zealand - the foliage olive green/khaki, speckled and tinged with purple and black. It sounds weird but is actually rather lovely. The flowers are small and mustard yellow and not especially ornamental but pleasant.
This has proved to be a good hardy shrub for sun or part shade, but best kept out of freezing winds.
Grindelia chiloensis
New Zealand plants are often cryptically coloured in shades of brown, yellow and even orange and black, almost as if they want to look sick or dead. I assume this is some sort of camouflage against herbivores. The results are not attractive to everyone but are always intriguing. The only large native herbivores in NZ are birds, and in particular, until relatively recently, the giant flightless moa so I guess that's what they were hiding from.
1L pots ~ £9



Setaria palmifolia

Setaria palmifolia
A large and dramatic grass with strikingly ribbed leaves and forming a tussock to about 2ft high and twice that across. The flowers are relatively modest millet-like sprays but the overall effect is very lush and exotic.
Setaria palmifolia
Usually considered a tender species for subtropical bedding but I've had it for years in open borders both on heavy clay soil and the better drained soil at the nursery, mulched with straw in winter. It usually gets heavily bitten back in winter but there's always been enough root for it to come back strongly in spring.
1L pots ~ £7



Strobilanthes angustifrons (aka Pteracanthus or possibly Goldfussia)

Strobilanthes angustifrons

A relatively tall sub-shrubby species almost unknown in cultivation it seems - the name is very much in doubt too. Nonetheless an interesting species looking somewhat like a Weigela out of flower but with rich purple flowers in late summer.
Strobilanthes angustifrons

Hardiness is uncertain but there has been a good-sized specimen in the walled garden at Wakehurst for some time now. (The foliage in the photos is of a Philadelphus)
3L pots ~ £12




Dichromena (aka Rhynchospora) colorata

Dichromena colorata
An unusual little sedge to about 12ins high, with prominent white bracts beneath the heads of flowers - a bit like an umbrella grass (Cyperus) but with conspicuous 'flowers'. This is a wetland plant from warmer parts of the USA, often seen growing with Sarracenia (pitcher plants) in the wild.
Dichromena colorata
In cultivation it is easy to grow in shallow water but likely to need some protection from intense cold, and shallow water that warms up quickly in summer.
Clump-forming - not invasive.
10cm pots ~ £7




Forsythia suspensa Nymans

Forsythia suspensa Nymans
Forget about the garish yellow blobs you see about the country through February and March - Forsythia has several much choicer and less overwhelming species to offer. Suspensa is in effect a giant winter jasmine (to which it is related) that can be trained in as a climber, or allowed to drape itself among other vigorous shrubs, or pruned in summer to make an arching shrub.
Forsythia suspensa Nymans
The flowers are large and nodding and pale yellow and scattered along the branches, which, in this variety, are dark purple. Really quite choice!
3L pots ~ £12




Monday, 13 June 2016

Aristea ecklonii

Aristea ecklonii
Similar in many ways to Sisyirinchium or Libertia but with vivid gentian blue flowers through the summer. The fans of foliage are a nice fresh green.
This is not a terribly hardy species but like its relatives, it seeds about and at Pool Meadow at least (in the High Weald of East Sussex) it has persisted at least throughout the last decade. The mature plants disappeared during the harsh winter we had a while back but the seeds survived and it came back without any help from me. For a well-drained soil in sun.
1L pots ~ £8




Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Philadelphus x lemoinei Erectus

Philadelphus x erectus
I was originally impressed by this when I saw it in a garden centre in mid winter, when it was just a cluster of rather remarkable charcoal black stems.
Philadelphus x lemoinei Erectus
Now in flower it's proving to be a very attractive cultivar, with jagged white petals and a fresh scent. In its upright shape, modest size and neat foliage it has something of P.microphyllus about it, which is presumably one of the parents. A very appealing shrub for a small garden.
1L pots ~ £8



Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Crocosmia pottsii tall form

Crocosmia pottsii tall form
The common form of C.pottsii is one of the original Montbretias found in many old gardens and a parent of many modern cultivars. This tall form is quite distinct and quite rare in cultivation. The coral orange tubular flowers are held on 3ft arching stems in late summer.
Crocosmia pottsii tall form
Easy and reliable in the garden and seems hardy. Thanks to Paul Spracklin for this.
1L pots ~ £6



New shrubby Lonicera

What a fascinating genus Lonicera is. Most people I guess think of the climbing honeysuckle but there are at least as many non-climbing shrubby species, and a very varied bunch they are too. Almost all are easy and hardy in a variety of situations.

Lonicera chaetocarpa
Lonicera chaetocarpa
An unusual and very un-honeysuckle-like non-climbing species with pairs of funnel-shaped pale yellow flowers in a large bristly papery pinkish or yellowish calyx, which persists around the orange berries. 
The leaves are rich green and bristly. Very easy and hardy.
sold out already!


Lonicera myrtillus
Lonicera mytilloides
A very different species with small rounded leaves and rosy white urn-shaped flowers - almost like some sort of ericaceous shrub (hence the name). Also makes red berries.
Lonicera myrtillus
Compact and easily pleased
1Lpots ~ £10




Lonicera morrowii
Lonicera morrowii
An uncommon shrubby honeysuckle with multitudes of milky white flowers in early summer, slightly touched with cream and rose, and followed by red berries.
5L pots ~ £15




Thursday, 2 June 2016

Genista sagittalis

Genista sagittalis
A peculiar low-growing broom with flattened dark green leaf-like stems.
The bright yellow flowers appear in late spring and early summer.
Genista sagittalis
Easy on any well drained soil in sun, and makes a dense ground-cover in light dry shade.
1L pots ~ £8