Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Aechmea recurvata recurvata

Aechmea recurvata 
Another near-hardy bromeliad – definitely hardy to a few degrees below zero, planted in a very free-drained bed as you would Fascicularia, or mounted on a branch or wall as an epiphyte. 
Aechmea recurvata
The small rosettes are green and produce dense stemless inflorescences of vivid pink and purple, surrounded by red tinted leaves. 
£10


Arum creticum Marmaris White

Arum creticum Marmaris White
A good white flowered form of this hardy and prolific species, with relatively long narrow spathes. 
Arum creticum Marmaris White
For sun and good drainage with shelter. As easy to grow as its relatives and especially nice in a situation on the sun-ward side under the edge of an evergreen shrub
£9


Sunday, 1 November 2020

Iris versicolor x pseudacorus Regal Surprise

Iris Regal Surprise

This is a perfect combination of the two parents, with the striking violet and white bicolor of one and the ease adaptability of the latter - though without it's rampant tendencies. It doesn't set seed either so won't take over other parts of the garden.
Iris Regal Surprise
Suitable for any wet site - from the pond's edge to damp soil in sun or part shade. I don't know why it's so rarely seen.
Fresh lifted rhizomes £8 each





Asclepias exaltata

Asclepias exaltata

To my mind one of the best new things I've come across, and I have no idea why I so rarely sell any. Although the flowers are not vividly showy they are exquisitely crafted in jade and ivory and dangle elegantly on long filaments from the tips of the 2ft stems. 
Asclepias exaltata
Completely frost hardy and easy to please on any fertile retentive soil in sun or part shade.
£9


Cachrys alpina

Cachrys alpina and Athamanta sp.
A gorgeous and choice umbellifer from the moment it emerges when it forms a dense mass of purple foliage on the ground, to the point when the dessicated plants blow away in autumn. The leaves consist of fine thread-like leaflets, like fennel, but forming a flat-topped cloud about 2ft across, and about 18ins high. 
Cachrys alpinaThe inflorescence is made up of many tiny acid-yellow flowers held on a stiff stem 12ins or so above the foliage, so overall not a big plant. 
Cachrys alpina
A good perennial - not weedy in any way at all, and compact enough to grow with small Mediterranean and alpine plants and choice bulbs. For a well-drained sunny situation.
£8


Ribes viburnifolium

Ribes viburnifolium
An unusual low spreading evergreen species from California with rounded glossy foliage and small blood red flowers. 
Ribes viburnifolium
Not terribly cold hardy but otherwise easy in a sheltered sunny spot.
£15



Indigofera pendula

Indigofera pendula

A tall lax shrub best grown among other sturdier shrubs which it will decorate with its fine silver green pinnate foliage and pendulous strings of pink pea flowers from June until the frosts come. 
Indigofera pendula
Almost any half decent soil in sun. A very easy-going plant.
£17



Thursday, 29 October 2020

Clematis socialis

Clematis socialis
A gorgeous small species of non-climbing herbaceous and somewhat suckering habit - popping up here and there around the original plant, but without being in any way a nuisance. The foliage is narrow and fresh green. The quite large bell-shaped pale violet flowers are classic viorna type. 

Clematis socialis
A very rare plant from the Georgia and Alabama but hardy and easy to grow
£12


Arum

Arums obtained as concinnum Mt.Ida (bottom) and sp. Crete
 
A couple of interesting species from the garden here - neither of them correctly named when I got them and both a bit obscure. 

Arum concinnatum Mt.Ida
Arum sp. obtained as 'concinnum Mt.Ida' is probably a form of italicum (Mount Ida is in Crete - outside the distribution of italicum, so who knows?) It has large leaves with well defined pale markings and a scattering of black spots. The spathes seem to me to be unusually large - up to nearly 1ft tall, are pale and marked with maroon lines. A hardy and prolific plant.
£9


Arum aff.  concinnatum Crete
Arum sp. Crete - possibly a new species according to Peter Boyce. This is a smaller, less prolific plant than the above, with plain green leaves, cream spadices, and pale spathes, touched lightly with brown. Seems to be easy and adaptable.
£9



Aloe cooperi

Aloe cooperi

A fascinating species with fleshy upright foliage and striking orange inflorescences. This is one of the so-called grass Aloes (along with linearifolia and ecklonis) native to the Eastern Cape - these grow in grasslands and die down in winter to just a couple of central leaves. 

Aloe cooperi
Like many South African bulbs, they're cold hardy, but must have a dry winter, so only for the most sheltered spot outside - preferably with some sort of roof from November to March.
£12

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Ribes laurifolium

Ribes laurifolium
Another winter flowering shrub and one of my favourites. Nothing like the blackcurrants to which it is related, this is a low, gnarly, rather picturesque evergreen, producing dangling trails of pale greenish yellow flowers from red bracts in earliest spring. 
Ribes laurifolium Amy Doncaster
Easy-going but probably best with some shade from deciduous trees and shrubs. Grow Cyclamen and Scillas through it. 

Male and female plants are available.
Ribes laurifolium Amy Doncaster (male)
The common male form is known, confusingly, as Amy Doncaster and has more rounded open flowers
£14




Ribes laurifolium female
The female form has denser clusters of flowers with conspicuous bracts. Black berries are occasionally produced
£14



Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Deutzia hookeriana

Deutzia hookeriana

I used to think Deutzias were a rather boring group of shrubs but the cognoscenti know different. It's a surprisingly varied genus and many of them are exquisite in flower. 

Deutzia hookeriana
Hookeriana is one of the best with almost unbelievably finely crafted sugar pink flowers in neat rounded heads in late spring. The overall shape and foliage are also good. Like most Deutzia, and easy adaptable plant. 
£15



Fritillaria hupehensis (monantha in part)

Fritillaria hupehensis, a segregate of the F. monanthos complex

This plant has been in the trade for a while now under a few different names. I got it as F.sinica but apparently the above name is correct, or at least, the best I've found so far. 
It's very distinctive both for its very short stature and its large deep pink/white chequered flowers. Basically the stem is only a couple of inches high and the flower is a couple of inches long. The foliage is deep green. 

Fritillaria sinica Pink form?
Unlike many Sino-Himalayan Fritillaries it is not a difficult plant to grow, although I suspect it would prefer cooler conditions than I can provide here in Sussex. 
A gritty open situation suits it but drought does not. Typical alpine really. 
£8 per pot


Desmodium (Ototropis) callianthum

Desmodium callianthum

A seldom-seen scrambling shrub with subtly variegated clover-like foliage (2 or 3 shades of green) and rich pink pea flowers. 

Desmodium callianthum

Either grow it among other shrubs so it can scramble about among them, or, if you feel motivated, train it against a wall. Either way it makes a very welcome splash of colour in late summer and autumn

£15




Thursday, 3 September 2020

Opuntia scheeri

Opuntia scheeri Lancing, Sussex, UK

An excellent and choice hardy prickly pear with pads about 6-8ins across and forming a solid small shrub quite quickly. The fine evenly spaced yellowish areoles on a sea green background make for a very satisfying effect. Don’t however underestimate the tiny barbed spines which get everywhere. Handle it with thick leather gloves and plant it well away from the path.

Opuntia scheeri and Canna x ehemannii

The parent plant is in a front garden in Lancing, Sussex, in ordinary soil and gets no protection at all. I hear of other plants as far north as Lancashire also doing well fully exposed to the elements. 

Opuntia scheeri

Pale amber yellow flowers appear in spring. 

£10