Friday, 16 November 2018

Indigofera decora

Indigofera decora
I've been wanting to do this for ages and here it is. I only sowed the seeds last autumn and here are the first flowers already.
This is an exquisite small ground-covering species with fresh green foliage and rosy pink flowers. 
Indigofera decora
Apparently a popular front of the border plant in warmer climates but is hardly ever seen in the UK. 
Hardy but wants a warm sheltered spot to grow and flower well.
£8



Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Photinia aff. prionophylla

Photinia prionophylla
This looks a lot like what Hilliers manual describes as ‘Formosan form’. I'm not at all sure about this identification but a very gorgeous shrub nevertheless - more rounded and compact than the normal P.serratifolia, with broad rounded leaves (to about 3ins across) opening a rich mahogany in early spring, with a soft downy white covering.
Photinia sp Bodnant
The flowers are the normal type.
Photinia prionophylla
Easy and adaptable and tolerant of heavy and wet soils.
£16



Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Aristolochia sempervirens from Carqueiranne, Toulon

Aristolochia sempervirens Carqueiranne, Toulon
A very special form of this species from the South of France with relatively large lush foliage (up to about 3ins long), a more vigorous climbing habit and very refined, richly coloured flowers.
Aristolochia sempervirens Carqueiranne, Toulon
Dominik Frank tells me "this particular form is very hardy, together with an associate from France we established it in cultivation a few years ago. Isolated properly mature specimens can take as much as -12 °C. Actually it isn't native to France, the few feral populations scattered across the Côte d’Azur seem to originate from Algeria."
Very nice indeed.
£9



Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Helleborus lividus

Helleborus lividus
This Balearic endemic dwarf hellebore is normally very hardy or long-lived unprotected in the garden but these are seedlings of a strong and floriferous plant here at the nursery.
Helleborus lividus
The slight serration in the leaves means there's a good chance that it has some argutifolius in it (which, strictly speaking, would make it a form of sternii) but it is nevertheless a nice small plant with strong silver markings in the leaves and and purple tints in the flowers.
Ranunculus calandrinoides pink form and Helleborus lividus
Flowers in late winter and spring. I grow it in dry sunny Mediterranean conditions
£8



Salix bockii

Salix bockii
A very unusual willow for its summer/autumn flowering - the catkins are creamy white up to 2ins long on long slender branches covered in small oval grey green leaves.
Salix bockii
Frankly it looks nothing like a willow, but is an adaptable small to medium shrub suitable for any not-too-dry soils in sun or semi shade.
£10




Perovskia Filigran

Perovskia Filigran
A choicer, shorter plant than the P.atriplicifolia cultivars we normally see and probably a form or hybrid of P.abrotanoides, which is less easy to grow in moist mild climates.  The silver foliage is very finely cut, the stems are white and the flowers are intense blue.
Perovskia Filigran
I’ve not yet worked out how to get the best from it but a very dry site with maximum exposure is probably the key. Very cold hardy.
£8




Pilea and Lecanthus

Pilea are probably better known as houseplants but some of the Asian species seem to be hardy in moist woodland conditions.

Pilea sp. DS 834
Pilea sp.DS 834
Another luxuriant woodland ground-cover, more like the tropical P.cadieri with serrated, silver splashed leaves.
Pilea sp.DS 834
£7



Pilea aff. plataniflora Pelling PB02-518
Pilea cf. plataniflora Pelling PB02 518
A low bushy woodlander with smooth elliptical fresh green leaves with three prominent veins, and branching sprays of tiny creamy flowers.
For damp shady conditions
£7




Lecanthus aff. peduncularis
Lecanthus aff. peduncularis
A peculiar little woodlander – a member of the nettle family (but non-stinging) making a fresh green ground-cover. The flowers are individually tiny but gathered into pale fruit pastille-like heads, reminiscent of a Dorstenia.
Lecanthus aff. peduncularis
More of a curio than a great beauty but I really like it.
£7



Aristolochia baetica

Aristolochia baetica
A small climber from southern Spain and Portugal that can be seen there twining about among the shrubs with its grey heart shaped leaves and maroon pitcher-shaped flowers. It’s one of the more vigorous and obvious of the Mediterranean species and worth trying in a sheltered sunny well-drained site, but it isn’t very hardy. I recommend planting it under a smallish shrub like a Cistus or broom and letting it grow forward among the branches. Even if it gets frosted the roots will usually regenerate
£10



Bomarea aff. caldasii

Bomarea maybe caldasii
There seems to be some confusion about exactly whether caldasii is in cultivation but with funnel shaped orange and red flowers this appears to be something very similar. The inner petals are orange/yellow, the outer are coral red. There are no other markings but the black anthers are prominent.
Bomarea maybe caldasii
Untried outside, but like many Bomarea, the roots go so deep that they are unlikely to freeze in a normal UK winter. Climbing to about 2m, and dying down in winter.
£12



Viburnum cylindricum

Viburnum cylindricum
An evergreen species grown for the unusual greyish cast to the foliage and panicles of creamy flowers in summer. Bloomy black fruits. 
Viburnum cylindricum
An uncommon large shrub – excellent on chalk.
£16



Two plants for dry shade


Strobilanthes nutans
Strobilanthes nutans
A really nice change from the better known upright purple flowered species – this one trails over the ground and is seen at its best in a shady raised bed (or a hanging basket? Why not?) with it’s pure white, hop-like inflorescences dangling over the side.
Strobilanthes nutans
Hardy so far here and unusually classy.
£8



Euonymus fortunei Wolong Ghost
Euonymus Wolong Ghost
Very different to other forms of fortunei in cultivation – this is a creeping/climbing plant with relatively narrow dark green leaves, the veins picked out in white.
Euonymus Wolong Ghost
Makes an excellent ground cover in dry shade
£8




Some Shrubs and Larger Perennials


Colquhounia coccinea
Colquhounia coccinea
Pronounced Cohoonia, a very striking and exotic species, hardy and easily grown in a sunny, well-drained but not parched situation. Stems may die back during a hard winter but grow back during the summer in time to flower in the autumn.
Colquhounia coccinea
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.
£16




Buddleja limitanea
Buddleja limitanea
A relatively small species which may or may not be a form of forrestii. The foliage resembles davidii but is smaller and neater and more evergreen. The flowers are fewer but larger and bell-shaped and of soft mauve with the usual orange eye. The fact that it doesn’t get huge should be enough of an incentive to grow it for many people
£12


Caryopteris (Tripora) divaricata
Caryopteris divaricata
A lush green upright bush, dying down completely in winter. The late flowering is the same but the flowers themselves are larger, rich blue, and much more interesting. Another purveyor of rare plants describes the flowers as merely ‘harmless’ which I think is rather a shame. They’re not huge or especially plentiful, but they are jolly pretty. Hardy and adaptable.
Caryopteris divaricata
Very different to the familiar grey twiggy subshrubs (C. x clandonensis and the like) and this is now classified under another name - Tripora
£9



Jasminum fruticans
Jasminum fruticans
A lovely small shrub with fresh yellow (unscented) flowers in summer and neat little pinnate leaves. Makes a twiggy bush not more than three feet high here. Easy in any sunny spot in the garden where it won't be overwhelmed by boisterous neighbours. I have no idea why this is not very popular indeed.
£8