Monday, 7 June 2021
Unaccountably hard to come by – this is one of my absolute favourite shrubs -with its finely cut foliage and generous clusters of rosy-white flowers.
Slow-growing and oddly angular in shape – a very characterful plant and a lot hardier than is often claimed. Completely undamaged by frosts here. I give it a well-drained sunny place here, tho it might not need it.
An unusual and distinctive shrub with rich green fuzzy foliage and large, pale, soft green calyces, holding pale yellow flowers within. The flowers are followed by pairs of orange fruits and the calyces turn to pale parchment.
Hardy, slow-growing, characterful, and of modest size. Oddly appealing.
I have a suspicion people tend to pass over Hypericums when they come across them in catalogues as rather boring yellow-flowered plants, but there are a few real gems that are well worth growing. Here are a couple...
A terrific small shrub, looking more like a tiny shrubby Linum than a Hypericum – the flowers are a soft pale yellow, more or less funnel-shaped, and set among tiny grey leaves on a low bushy wiry shrub.
Hardy here for many years in a sunny dry spot.
Another small shrubby species, this time with very unusual aromatic crinkly, fresh green leaves and good size rich golden flowers of an unusually good quality.
Needs shelter, sun and good drainage. A perfect dwarf shrub – not nearly widely grown enough.
An unusual Madagascan sub shrub related to Phygelius, with similar pink tubular flowers and broad aromatic leaves. Usually an epiphyte or lithophyte in the wild - it fits in well with succulents and bulbs and other African xerophytes.
Definitely not hardy outside but needs minimal heat in winter - I keep it dry and it loses its leaves. Flowers appear on largely bare branches in autumn.
An exotic evergreen shrub somewhat resembling a Cinnamon tree or other lauraceae but actually a member of the menispermaceae. The leaves are very glossy and elliptical with 3 prominent veins. Not seen flowers yet but they’ll be very small and pale and followed by black fruits.
A highly ornamental species – maybe suitable for a very sheltered site in milder areas – otherwise best brought inside for the winter.
A unique non-climbing species from the Prairies. The plant makes a low cluster of stems clothed in simple elliptical leaves, topped in spring with nodding bell-shaped flowers of very unusual colouring.
The buds start out a rich shiny woody colour then open to reveal a soft pale green interior. Ultimately, the petals curl back and the flower turns a soft rosy colour.
Easy to grow in a well-drained sunny site.
Monday, 4 January 2021
A very distinct small, almost shrubby foxglove from Spain with 8-10in spikes of brownish orange glossy flowers over narrow evergreen leaves.
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.