Tuesday, 22 October 2013
Friday, 11 October 2013
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
Possibly best in sheltered woodland to avoid hot sun and early frosts which can damage the display. Otherwise easy and adaptable.
3L pots ~ £8
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.
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