Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Seemannia nematanthodes

Seemannia nematanthodes
A gorgeous plant producing a large crop of rich velvety scarlet flowers over a long period in late summer and autumn until the frosts come. Originally billed as the hardy Gloxinia - this is cold tolerant but needs a drier winter than we normally experience.
Seemannia nematanthodes
Best in leafy soil in shade. Try it outdoors in a sheltered spot among evergreen shrubs. Some of the tubers can be lifted in the autumn (a large crop is usually produced) as insurance. Failing that, a fabulous pot plant for the cold greenhouse.
£8



Clerodendrum trichotomum fargesii

Clerodendron trichotomum fargesii
Masses of fragrant creamy flowers in summer followed by striking blue berries with contrasting wine red calyces in autumn.
Clerodendron trichotomum fargesii
A deservedly popular hardy shrub or small tree of which there never seem to be enough available. Easy on almost any soil in sun but needs plenty of space due to suckering.
£15



Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Incarvillea Brighton Pride

Incarvillea Brighton's Pride
I requested seeds of "Incarvillea zhongdianensis alba" from the AGS exchange back in 2011. Most of them came up as I.delavayi but one came up with very rich pink flowers, well textured foliage and a bit shorter at 8-10ins tall.
Incarvillea Brighton's Pride
At first I thought it was a dark pink form of delavayi (which is itself a good thing as there aren't many cultivars of the species) but now I think it might be a hybrid. At any rate it's a very good colour (it really glows on the nursery at the moment), it seems very tough (other species have been a bit hit and miss for me here) and it comes +/- true from seed so I've been raising as many as I can and this year I'm offering it for sale.
Incarvillea Brighton's Pride
I'm calling it Brighton Pride in honour of my home town's spirit of lively diversity
£8




Rubus lineatus vietnamensis

Rubus lineatus vietnamensis
R.lineatus is a gorgeous species grown for its finely textured palmate foliage – fresh green above, silver beneath. It forms a suckering colony and can travel quite widely but I’ve never seen it become a real nuisance like some Rubus.
Rubus lineatus vietnamensis
I’d grow it among other shrubs and robust herbaceous perennials and let it wander about. The contrast with broad leathery leaves is very telling. As the foliage is damaged by drought and freezing winds it needs moist sheltered woodland to look its best.
Vietnamensis is very like the species but Barry Clark (holder of the national Rubus collection) reckoned it might be a little hardier
£14



Manfreda maculosa

Manfreda maculosa
Related to Agave and Yucca – this is a small Aloe-like perennial from Texas. The grey leaves have conspicuous black spots, are soft and brittle, and without spines.
Manfreda maculosa
These are hardy if kept dry in winter but not tried outside here yet
£8



Phlomis lanata

Phlomis lanata
A dwarf version of the well-known Jerusalem Sage. The flower heads are a similar (but I think better) dusky gold colour and the foliage is of much the same fuzzy grey green, but everything about the plant is neater and better shaped than the larger species.
Phlomis lanata
This is another plant previously thought to be too tender for most gardens, I've found it very easy to please so far, given protection from freezing winds, full sun and free drainage. Height ultimately about 2ft, 4ft across.
£8



Robinia hispida fertilis

Robinia fertilis
I’ve been wanting to reintroduce some of these shrubby Robinias for a long time – nobody seems to be doing them anymore but they’re a beautiful group (quite unlike the immense and frankly weedy black locust tree - R.pseudacacia) with lovely fresh green pinnate leaves and beautiful rosy pink pea flowers.
Robinia fertilis
The new shoots and seed pods are bristly red. Very classy.
Robinia fertilis seed pods
Medium-sized multi-stemmed shrubs, easy to grow in any well-drained soil in sun.
£12


Lonicera ligustrina pileata linearis

Lonicera ligustrina pileata linearis
Lonicera pileata has recently been reclassified as a form of ligustrina, and this is a form with longer narrower leaves than usual.
Lonicera ligustrina pileata linearis
These are seed raised plants and may well produce the purple fruits. An adaptable evergreen shrub
£10



Aesculus pavia Northern form

Aesculus pavia northern form
I have no real idea why these are not seen a lot more often in UK gardens – this shrubby buckeye is a sensible size for small gardens, has rich red tubular flowers in late spring and good foliage. It’s completely hardy in the UK (even to late frosts when the new foliage is emerging) and makes superb addition to the shrubby layer in a woodland garden.
Aesculus pavia Northern form
These are grown from wild collected seed – not grafted.
£16



Clematis urophylla Winter Beauty

Clematis urophylla
A deservedly popular winter flowering evergreen Clematis with handsomely textured leaves and soft felted white flowers of just under an inch across. There have been doubts as to the hardiness of this one but it has grown and flowered in our front garden without any damage through the last three winters.
Clematis urophylla
To be on the safe side I'd give it plenty of sun but shady and moist at the base, and shelter from the worst of the weather, in other words, exactly the same as for cirrhosa and armandii.
£16



Geranium orientalitibeticum

Geranium orientalitibeticum
A choice ground-covering species with rosy pink flowers but the main thing is the leaves which are beautifully marbled with lime green.
Geranium orientalitibeticum
An easy well-behaved small border plant
£6




Monday, 2 April 2018

Kniphofia brachystachya

Kniphofia brachystachya
A small species – only about 50cm tall, producing dense spikes of honey yellow/orange flowers from dark buds and which turn black when spent. Very striking.
Kniphofia brachystachya
Came through the recent cold spells in their pots in the open without trouble
£8



Digitalis obscura

Digitalis obscura
A very distinct small, almost shrubby species from Spain with 8-10in spikes of brownish orange glossy flowers over narrow evergreen leaves.
Digitalis obscura
Quite charming and generally hardy in the southern portion of the UK, especially in drier areas but worthy of a special place in a sunny raised bed or container.
£6




Alstroemeria isabellana

Bomarea boliviensis or Alstroemeria isabellana
There seems to be some confusion about the name of this. Some seem to think it’s really Bomarea boliviensis. The seeds of mine are definitely like Alstroemeria anyway – without the orange coat of Bomarea seeds. Either way it’s a terrific herbaceous perennial – not climbing, making upright to arching glaucous leafy shoots, and umbels of unusually coloured tubular flowers.
Bomarea boliviensis or Alstroemeria isabellana
Like many in this family, the deep roots mean that it is surprisingly hardy as long as well-drained.
£10