Monday, 16 December 2013

New phone number

Please note that due to an administrative hoo-ha our mobile phone number has had to change.


It is now 07955744802

A Merry Yule and a Happy 2014 to all our friends and customers

Clematis urophylla
Clematis urophylla ~ available now

Monday, 28 October 2013

Adenophora takedae

Adenophora takedae
A very pretty little Japanese bellflower; the flowers are relatively large for the size of the plant and held on delicate wiry stems. Fully hardy and late flowering.
For well drained (but not too dry), sunny (but not too hot) situations, with alpines or other small perennials and bulbs.
1L pots ~ £7




Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Digitalis obscura

Digitalis obscura
A very distinct small, almost shrubby species from Spain. Generally hardy in the southern portion of the UK, especially in drier areas but worthy of a special place in a raised bed or container.
Digitalis obscura
Thanks again to Dennis for the seed.
sold out for now

Friday, 11 October 2013

Spiraea thunbergii

Spiraea thunbergii
I get the impression that Spiraea is one of those groups, like Hypericum, that most keen gardeners tend to scoot past, and generally speaking I'd do likewise, but I've come to learn that almost every group has something choice to offer and it can be fun locating it.

Spiraea thunbergii is one such gem - hardly an obscurity (it has an AGM after all) but I hardly ever see it in gardens or nurseries. It is an exquisite shrub combining sprays of pure white flowers with the lightest and freshest of pale green leaves, all in a loose billowing (but not overly large) arching shrub up to about 4ft tall and across. Mine flowers surprisingly early in the year (March) and goes on into May. After that the foliage and form make a very pleasant contrast to darker heavier plants, and are never even slightly ugly.
Can be pruned quite hard after flowering if neccessary and I imagine it would make a good informal hedge.
Very easy to please on any soil in sun. Absolutely spiffing in every way.
3L pots ~ £9




Leucosceptrum stellipilum formosanum

Leucosceptrum stellipilum formosanum
Mauve pink bottle-brushes and large (to 6ins) fresh pale green foliage. A lush leafy herbaceous perennial related to Elscholtzia, Agastache and Rostrinucula, and with the same late flowering season - well into November if the weather allows.
Leucosceptrum stellipilum formosanum
Possibly best in sheltered woodland to avoid hot sun and early frosts which can damage the display. Otherwise easy and adaptable.
3L pots ~ £8




Salvia reptans

Salvia reptans
Very different – this is a slender willowy American, very late f;lowering species with very narrow, almost grassy green leaves, giving a very light fresh effect in the garden among grasses or grey leaved shrubs. The flowers are exquisite – small but of intense cobalt blue on fine stems above the foliage and produced from September until the frosts. For open well-drained sunny sites.
Salvia reptans
Two things: like many bushy Salvias, the stems are quite brittle, and the flowering, being so late can be spoilt by harsh weather, so although quite cold hardy, all in all best given some shelter.

Ps. not to be confused with S.repens which is a low growing S. African species with short spikes of mauvish flowers. I think both reptans and repens mean creeping (as in reptile) but this one, so far at least, does no such thing. Strange...
1L pots ~ £7



Monday, 23 September 2013

Gladiolus papilio

Gladiolus papilio
A terrific tall slender species that always attracts attention with its cryptically coloured nodding flowers. Easy and perfectly hardy around here and, though I've not tried it, probably worth trying to naturalise in rough grass. It can run about a bit underground, popping up here and there so I recommend planting it among herbaceous perennials or low shrubs that are done flowering for the year.
1L pots ~ £7




Monday, 2 September 2013

Keiskea japonica Pink form

Keiskea japonica pink form
Keiskea are from Japan and make extremely pretty bushy herbaceous perennials to about 2ft tall. The pink is very pale so the flowers shine out against the dark tinted foliag.
Plants that flower late into autumn are always worth having and there are a number of late season Lamiaceae (mint family) from eastern Asia that are far too little grown in the UK. Colquhounia, Elscholzia and Rostrinucula are three that I grow, and this is another.
Keiskea japonica
Adaptable and completely hardy, but possibly at their best in coolish, moistish spots.
2L pots ~ £9




Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Sussex Prairies Plant Fair

Sussex Prairies plant fair
Once again we will be at Sussex Prairies on Sunday, September 1st. This is the only fair we do at the moment (us not having a van as yet, and it being just down the road from the nursery) but it's good hectic fun and a great opportunity to chat to fellow plant nuts.

Sussex Prairies itself is famed for its immense Prairie plantings (lots of grasses and giant herbaceous perennials in huge drifts) set around a geometrical pattern of broad grass fairways. For the fair there are also sculptures to look at (and buy) and a huge selection of specialist nurseries, including some from the continent.

Please feel free to contact me in advance if you would like to reserve some plants to pick up at the fair.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Rudbeckia maxima


Rudbeckia maxima
An extraordinary tall species without the overwhelming bulk of so many of the sunflower fraternity. The large upright glaucous paddle-shaped leaves make an attractive cluster at ground level through the spring, then the very tall (anything up to 10ft tall!) flower stems appear in late summer, each with a classic black and gold cone flower at the tip.
Rudbeckia maxima
If you grow it among taller plants the basal leaves tend to be spoiled so best placed among low growing plants at the front of the border, or as an isolated specimen, perhaps in a (not too dry) gravel garden.
For any retentive soil in sun.
4L pots ~ £9





Monday, 15 July 2013

Adiantum venustum

Adiantum venustum
A completely hardy Maiden-hair fern – every bit as delicate looking as you’d expect but quite vigorous given a well-drained leafy soil in shade.
1L pots ~ £7





Monday, 8 July 2013

Gladiolus flanaganii


Gladiolus flanaganii
An absolutely astonishing hardy species from near vertical cliffs in the Drakensberg. The plant is only 10ins high but the outsized vivid red flowers are rich red and grow out sideways. Hard to explain – has to be seen.
Gladiolus flanaganii
Closely related to the equally extraordinary G.cardinalis and should be just as hardy over much of the country in a well-drained sunny spot.
10cm pots ~ £7



Monday, 1 July 2013

Indigofera


Indigofera hebepetala
Indigofera hebepetala
A very striking species with fresh green leaflets and dramatic magenta and maroon flowers over a long period in summer. Easy and adaptable in any ordinary garden soil in sun.
Indigofera hebepetala
May need shelter in cold areas.
4L pots ~ £12




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. May need shelter in cold exposed areas.
Sold out for now - sorry

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.
Sold out for now - sorry

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Penstemon venustus

Penstemon venustus
A bushy plant with broad serrated leaves and without basal rosettes, at flowering time anyway. The flowers in this form (sent to me as Purple 36") are a particularly nice dusky purple.
Penstemon venustus
Like the other Serrulati, this should be a relatively reliable and long-lived species for a well-drained sunny site.
2L pots ~ £7




Monday, 17 June 2013

Dodecatheon dentatum

Dodecatheon dentatum
Quite distinct from the well-known pink flowered species – this is a lower growing, more spreading species with white flowers. Best in moist leafy woodland situations.
Despite the distinctive flower shape, Dodecatheon are now included in Primula
10cm square pots ~ £6




Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Viburnums

I've always had a lot of time for Viburnum. I especially love the variety of form and foliage. The flowers are generally small and either white or rosy pink but produced in large quantities and often fragrant, and then most of them produce a good show of berries in the autumn.
The main reason though for their being so popular around here is that they grow so well on chalky soils.
I'm offering a few of the more rarely seen species.

Viburnum cinnamomifolium
Viburnum cinnamomifolium
A wonderfully big lush exotic shrub, and essentially a tree-like version of the common (and unfairly despised) V.davidii. Both species have among the very best evergreen foliage of any hardy shrub, and are well worth growing even without the flowers, which are the usual small rosy white, or the berries, which are intense blue with red stems. You will need male and female plants to get fruits but davidii will pollinate cinnamomifolium apparently.
5L pots ~ £15




Viburnum atrocyaneum
Viburnum atrocyaneum

A neat evergreen with small rounded very glossy leaves with a distinct wine red cast. The flowers are the usual small pinkish white affairs, followed by bloomy black berries. Very adaptable and easy.
3L pots ~ £12




Viburnum cylindricum
Viburnum cylindricum
An evergreen species grown for the unusual greyish cast to the foliage and panicles of creamy flowers in summer.
Viburnum cylindricum
Bloomy black fruits. A rare large shrub – excellent on chalk.
sold out - sorry


Viburnum erubescens
Viburnum erubescens
A very high quality and strangely little-known evergreen species. Perfectly formed bell-shaped white flowers are produced in spring on red stems. The foliage is glossy green but also has a distinct red tint and turns rich maroon in winter. Overall the shrub has a graceful layered spreading effect. Excellent in every way.
sold out - sorry


Viburnum henryi
Viburnum henryi
To my mind the very best. This one has well textured foliage that, although evergreen, turns unusual warm fawn/maroon shades in winter, tinted red and with a pale midrib. There are also creamy flowers in summer and berries turning translucent red to bloomy black in autumn.
Viburnum henryi fruit
Suitable for most ordinary garden situations but especially good on chalk.
sold out for now

Monday, 10 June 2013

New perennials for summer 2013


Moraea huttonii
Moraea huttonii
Stupendous tall Iris with beautifully crafted yellow ‘flags’ on rigid upright stems well above the narrow strappy green leaves (easily hidden among other perennials).
Moraea huttonii
For open sites on fertile moist soils ideally but very tough. Basically they’ll grow anywhere Agapanthus or Kniphofia succeed.
5L pots ~ £10




Amsonia hubrichtii hybrid
Amsonia hubrichtii hybrid
None of the Amsonias are exactly garish but all have a real beauty that is well worth a close look. The tubular flowers are a soft but clear blue over willowy foliage. Hubrichtii itself (which I hope to have for sale next year) is a bit of a classic, with extremely fine narrow foliage turning intense golds and oranges in autumn, but it is on the small side and can be hard to please. The hybrids we have are larger overall but with the same narrow foliage and good autumn colour. An easy border perennial.
1L pots ~ £6




Phytolacca acinosa
Delphinium carolinianum & Phytolacca acinosa
A big wide branching perennial mainly grown for the fruits, like elongate mutant blackberries, in late summer, by which time the entire plant will have developed a rhubarb-pink hue.
Phytolacca acinosa
Earlier on it’s a big lush green thing decorated with spikes of creamy flowers. It looks well with other large herbs, such as Datisca or Zantedeschia, or Ligularia. Grows quickly in any moist fertile soil in sun or part shade.
3L pots ~ £8