Saturday, 30 May 2020

Pasithea caerulea

Asphodeline taurica and Pasithea caerulea
A lightly-built Chilean monocot - unremarkable in every way except for the vivid blue flowers that appear in early summer on tall wiry stems. The rest of the plant consists of fleshy roots and grassy leaves.
Pasithea caerulea
Seems hardy here but needs a well-drained sunny site that doesn't freeze deeply in winter.
£8



Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Fuchsia magellanica Arauco


Fuchsia magellanica arauco
An absolutely exquisite, possibly naturally occurring, form of this popular shrub - always attracts attention with it's finely crafted purple white and pink flowers and neat dark green foliage. It can make a large shrub in time but, like most Fuchsias, responds well to pruning.
Fuchsia magellanica arauco
This is less drought tolerant than other Fuchsia - not good in small containers and definitely most at home in cool moist conditions.
Fuchsia magellanica Lady Bacon, left, and arauco
nb. the variety Lady Bacon (left) is very similar and they can be hard to tell apart, but seen together, Arauco is definitely the more refined plant with better colours, and smaller leaves and flowers. I grow both but I would always recommend Arauco. It just has that certain something that even people who don't generally go for Fuchsias can appreciate.
£10



Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Centranthus ruber First Blush

Centranthus ruber Spring Blush
A very pale rosy form of the common red valerian. Most of us will know this as a colourful weed growing out of walls and stony places - especially near the sea. Mostly it comes in three colours - vivid pink is the commonest, along with some reds and whites. This pale pink form is not one I've seen 'in the wild' (it's not a native UK species) and would make a pleasant addition to the mix.
Centranthus ruber First Blush
As yet, here I've not found many self-sown seedlings but I'm assuming it will get about like the more common forms and will be a nice addition to a dry, sunny wild garden, but don't expect it to be well-behaved.
£6



Canna x ehemannii

Canna x ehemannii
Back again by popular demand - this stunning and pretty much hardy species is huge - up to 10 ft tall and with 18in rich green leaves. The flowers are rather elegant drooping rich pink and trumpet-shaped and are produced from mid summer until winter.
I find most Cannas a bit blousy - exuberant and colourful for sure, but not exactly refined. This one is the exception. It's a choice as anyone could wish.
Canna x ehemannii
Here I grow it in a well-drained soil in full sun with nothing but a pile of straw over the base in winter, which in fact it might not really need. It makes a big clump and is an ideal accompaniment to other big 'hardy exotics' like Zantedeschia Hercules and Tetrapanax Rex
Generous portions - £15



Aristolochia pistolochia

Aristolochia rotunda
An easy herbaceous European species for a sunny open well-drained situation.
Aristolochia rotunda
The seed was obtained as A.rotunda but I am reliably informed that this is pistolochia.
£8



Akebia longeracemosa

Akebia longeracemosa
An excellent smaller species - vigorous but not overwhelming - almost evergreen and with remarkable flowers. These, as is usual for the family, consist of smaller male flowers below and larger female flowers above, but in this case the male flowers are in  a long dangling raceme (hence the name) and the whole inflorescence is a dusky maroon.
Akebia longeracemosa
Very hardy and easy in a wide variety of situations
£15



Monday, 18 May 2020

Buddleja speciosissima

Buddleja speciosissima
A genuinely red-flowered Buddleja no less! Not totally hardy but not much tried yet outside in the UK, so well worth a try in a very sheltered spot with plenty of sun. Otherwise grow it in a really big container and bring in for the winter.
Buddleja speciosissima
Makes a large, lax shrub with clean white felted foliage, stems and calyces.
Buddleja speciosissima
3L pots ~ £15