Sunday, 12 March 2017

Field-grown Plants #1

Stachys thunbergii and Chrysogonum virginianum
Stachys thunbergii and Chrysogonum virginicum

I have decided after much struggle with potted specimens to offer some plants lifted directly from the garden. These are mostly species that seem to hate being cooped up in a pot long term and won't mind being disturbed, even in growth. This is actually more common than one might imagine. Moving things in the depths of winter when the temperatures are too cold to repair any damage is a traditional practice only really tolerated by the toughest of plants. Many plants recover quickly if transplanted in full growth. Spring and early autumn are ideal for many, but even high summer is ok as long as the roots don't dry out. Lifted plants often establish more quickly than they do from pots.
Nb. when lifting plants it is better to cut out a lump with a spade, cleanly severing the roots, rather than lifting with a fork, which produces a fringe of damaged roots. If you think about it, it's the same as pruning - a clean cut grows away quickly, whereas damaged shoots just hang around doing nothing and may die back.
Also, if you order field-grown plants you will likely get a stronger more generous lump than you would in a pot. These will mostly not be bare rooted - you will likely get a clod of soil with them.

Campanula takesimana
Campanula takesimana
A beautiful species with 2in long ivory flowers, lightly speckled red inside, over fresh shiny green foliage.
Campanula takesimana
Like its coarser relative C.punctata, this is a coloniser, but in my experience, not to anything like the same extent, and in fact I've had it peter out a couple of times, possibly from too much competition.
Easy in any moist rich soil in sun or part shade
£6



Campanula Paul Furse
Campanula Paul Furse
Another spreader of uncertain parentage perhaps involving punctata or takesimana, but with violet flowers. A useful vigorous late-flowering ground cover - happier in shade than takesimana so ideal to combine with shrubs and trees. Best not with small delicate perennials.
£6



Chrysogonum virginicum
Chrysogonum virginianum
Unusually in the sunflower group these are restrained and even refined plants - flowering over a long period through summer and autumn in a wide variety of conditions.
I have two forms of this - the basic virginicum, above, is the more vigorous and possibly a little coarser, while australe, below, is a choicer, more compact plant, but both are equally easy and adaptable.
Chrysogonum australe

C.v.virginicum ~ £6




C.v.australe ~ £6



Sanguisorba applanata
Sanguisorba applanata
Not flowered here yet for some reason but an excellent foliage plant, reminiscent of a low spreading Melianthus or a giant Acaena. The flowers should be white bottle brushes, but are not the main reason for growing this plant. Suitable for any moist fertile soil in sun.
£6



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