Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Persicaria tenuicaulis

Persicaria tenuicaulis
A choice little woodlander – unlike any of the other common species. Slowly spreading to make a colony of stocky little plants with small silvery green leaves, and in spring, makes short spikes of pure white flowers with black anthers.
Adaptable but best in moist but well-drained woodsy soil in shade.
Never even slightly weedy. In fact, keep an eye on it or it might get lost.
1L pots ~ £6



Monday, 19 December 2016

Salix gracilistyla Mt.Aso

Salix gracilistyla Mt. Aso
Maybe the idea of a pink flowered willow sounds a bit kitsch but I promise you this one carries it off very tastefully indeed. This is a naturally occurring form of gracilistyla (not chaenomeloides as was originally thought) and can be quite a substantial shrub in time, very much like its relative the black willow (melanostachys) but with greyish twigs and leaves.
 Salix gracilistyla Mt. Aso
An easy and adaptable willow in any retentive soil in sun or part shade
5L pots ~ £23




Saturday, 10 September 2016

Manettia cordifolia

Manettia cordifolia
An extremely pretty small herbaceous perennial climber from Brazil with lots of 2 in pure scarlet tubular flowers in late summer and autumn. Cultivation information is a little scarce but American sites seem to agree that this will grow in USDA z8 and as I grow quite a lot of z8 plants here I’m pleased to give it a try.
Manettia cordifolia
Even if it ends up being one of those plants that needs bringing in in the winter it will be worth it because its modest size and the fact that it dies down completely to tuberous roots in winter makes it very easy to handle. An ideal small vine for decorating shrubs or putting on a trellis.
1L pots ~ £8



Monday, 15 August 2016

Lobelia laxiflora angustifolia

Lobelia laxiflora
A spreading perennial with fresh narrow foliage topped in summer with tubular orange and yellow flowers.
Hardy here. It might suffer in a very cold year but otherwise a reliable border perennial. This has a reputation for running but I’ve not found it excessive.
1L pots ~ £7



Friday, 15 July 2016

Aucuba himalaiaca dolichophylla

Aucuba himalaica dolichophylla
A slow growing and compact ‘spotted laurel’ up to about 4ft high with attractive narrow dark green foliage, lightly spotted with yellow. This is a male clone with striking dark red flowers in conspicuous branching sprays in early spring.
Aucuba himalaica dolichophylla
For exactly the same conditions as the common species but much choicer. Many thanks to Nymans for the original plant. aka Aucuba chinensis angusta
sold out

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Strobilanthes angustifrons (aka Pteracanthus or possibly Goldfussia)

Strobilanthes angustifrons

A relatively tall sub-shrubby species almost unknown in cultivation it seems - the name is very much in doubt too. Nonetheless an interesting species looking somewhat like a Weigela out of flower but with rich purple flowers in late summer.
Strobilanthes angustifrons

Hardiness is uncertain but there has been a good-sized specimen in the walled garden at Wakehurst for some time now. (The foliage in the photos is of a Philadelphus)
3L pots ~ £12




Dichromena (aka Rhynchospora) colorata

Dichromena colorata
An unusual little sedge to about 12ins high, with prominent white bracts beneath the heads of flowers - a bit like an umbrella grass (Cyperus) but with conspicuous 'flowers'. This is a wetland plant from warmer parts of the USA, often seen growing with Sarracenia (pitcher plants) in the wild.
Dichromena colorata
In cultivation it is easy to grow in shallow water but likely to need some protection from intense cold, and shallow water that warms up quickly in summer.
Clump-forming - not invasive.
sold out

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

New shrubby Lonicera

What a fascinating genus Lonicera is. Most people I guess think of the climbing honeysuckle but there are at least as many non-climbing shrubby species, and a very varied bunch they are too. Almost all are easy and hardy in a variety of situations.

Lonicera chaetocarpa
Lonicera chaetocarpa
An unusual and very un-honeysuckle-like non-climbing species with pairs of funnel-shaped pale yellow flowers in a large bristly papery pinkish or yellowish calyx, which persists around the orange berries. 
The leaves are rich green and bristly. Very easy and hardy.
sold out already!


Lonicera myrtillus
Lonicera mytilloides
A very different species with small rounded leaves and rosy white urn-shaped flowers - almost like some sort of ericaceous shrub (hence the name). Also makes red berries.
Lonicera myrtillus
Compact and easily pleased
1Lpots ~ £10




Thursday, 26 May 2016

Salvia hierosolymitana

Salvia hierosolymitana
One of the big Mediterranean clary sages with rosettes of large basal leaves and tall branching sprays of mauve pink, hook-shaped flowers.
Salvia hierosolymitana
Fairly cold tolerant but from the Middle East so needing a very well-drained hot sunny site.
1L pots ~ £7



Ledebouria cooperi

Ledebouria cooperi
For a long time I thought this plant was called Ledebouria adamii. Anyway, a charming little South African bulb with brown lined leaves and rich pink flowers. It builds up quickly into a nice dense pot-full.
Ledebouria cooperi
Not really a cold hardy plant - it's best kept dry in winter - but I hear claims that it can do well in a sheltered, sunny, well-drained spot outside in milder areas. Perfect undemanding plant for a terracotta pot in an alpine house or stood outside for the summer.
10cm pots ~ £5



Two new dates for your plant hunting diaries

To add to previously announced dates, this summer, Brighton Plants will also be at :-


Garden House Specialist Plant Fair
A surprisingly large and beautiful country and kitchen garden emerges from behind a narrow Brighton town house. Quite remarkable
The Garden House
5 Warleigh Road, Brighton BN1 4NT
Saturday 4 June, 11am to 5pm
£2:50 – children free


Plant Fairs Roadshow
Hall Place & Gardens
Bourne Road, Bexley, Kent DA5 1PQ
Sunday 3 July 2016, 10am – 3pm
free entry

Hope to see you there

Friday, 13 May 2016

Tradescantia bracteata and ohiensis

The hardy North American Tradescantias are one of the few groups of plants that will grow almost anywhere in the garden (without becoming a nuisance) and which has almost no major pests or diseases. Mostly of course people grow the cultivars, but as you might be aware by now, I tend to prefer the wild species.

Tradescantia bracteata
Tradescantia bracteata
This is a remarkably choice low compact species with substantial violet flowers on short stems.
Tradescantia bracteata
Quite variable
sold out

Tradescantia ohiensis
Tradescantia ohiensis
A much more graceful, slender species than we are used to, with pale green grassy foliage and soft lavender flowers over a long period in summer.
Tradescantia ohiensis
1L pots ~ £6


Monday, 9 May 2016

Rhodotypos scandens

Rhodotypos scandens
This vaguely Rubus-like shrub is in fact most closely related to Kerria but in this case the flowers are fresh pure white with only four petals and the fresh green leaves are attractively textured. A very lovely arching shrub for almost any conditions. The shiny black seeds are also a feature in late summer.
3L pots ~ £14




Two Unusual Aquatics

Saururus chinensis
Saururus chinensis
A curious, somewhat aroid-like aquatic perennial making a leafy colony in shallow water or wet mud. This is a better looking plant than the more common S.cernuus - the inflorescence is a creamy white spadix, but with a conspicuous white bract. Hardy and vigorous but much better behaved than its other relatives, Houttuynia and Anemopsis.
1L pots ~ £8



Sagittaria graminea
Sagittaria graminea
A pretty miniature 'arrow-head' with narrow spatula-shaped leaves, and submerged linear leaves. The simple three-petalled flowers are produced through the summer (nb. the upper picture shows male flowers, the lower, female).
Sagittaria graminea
Hardy and vigorous and ideal for colonising an area of shallow water or wet mud. Although short in stature, this plant does multiply freely by stolons.
(I bought the original plant as graminea but it could well be S.platyphylla)
bare-rooted plants ~ £4 each



Chamaecytisus

Now included in Cytisus - this is a group of very pretty small shrubs ideal for raised beds and rockeries, growing with alpines and bulbs in full sun. Unlike most of the familiar brooms, these are not leafless in summer.

Cytisus purpureus
Chamaecytisus purpureus
With rosy mauve pea flowers for a few weeks in spring and glaucous trifoliate leaves. For any well-drained soil in sun.
Chamaecytisus purpureus
If anybody knows the whereabouts of the white (albus) or dark purple (Atropurpureus) forms of this species I'd be very interested to know. It's possible they've slipped unnoticed from cultivation.
sold out for now


Cytisus Lilac Lady
Chamaecytisus purpureus Lilac Lady
Apparently a hybrid of purpureus and praecox. Generally very like the former but a more compact shrub with denser, smaller leaves and pale violet flowers. Needs exactly the same conditions
sold out for now

Cytisus hirsutus
Cytisus hirsutus
A lovely small arching shrub with fresh lemon yellow pea flowers over a long period in spring and soft pale green leaves. Well drained sunny soils
1L pots ~ £7



Friday, 22 April 2016

Moraea vegeta

Moraea vegeta
A small South African bulb only a few inches high, with Iris type flowers of an unusual soft cocoa colour with a bright yellow centre. I give it a dry summer and protect it in winter but this is a dependable, easy species and might well grow in a sheltered, sunny, well-drained place outside.
£6



Thursday, 7 April 2016

Storm Katie Ate my Polytunnel

Just to apologise for delays getting people's orders out - it's been one hell of a wet winter and now this...
Storm Katie 11
Nevertheless I'm still open for business.
Thanks, in advance, for understanding.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Plant Fairs 2016

Dixter
Dixter last October - a really lovely event

RHS Garden Wisley Spring Plant Fair
Friday 18th – Sunday 20th March
RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB
0845 260 9000

Great Comp Spring Fling 
Sunday 10th April
11am - 5pm,
Great Comp Garden,
Comp Lane, Platt, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15 8QS
01732 885094

Great Comp or bust
Great Comp or bust!

Great Comp Summer Show
Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th August 
11am - 5pm,
Great Comp Garden,
Comp Lane, Platt, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15 8QS
01732 885094

Sussex Prairies Unusual Plant and Garden Fair
Saturday 3rd September
11am until 5pm
Morlands Farm, Wheatsheaf Road (B2116), Near Henfield, West Sussex, BN5 9AT
01273 495902
www.sussexprairies.co.uk

Great Dixter Plant Fair
to be announced
Northiam, TN31 6PH
01797 254048
www.greatdixter.co.uk

Others may be added later

Petworth
I am more than happy to bring along plants for you to pick up on the day if you let me know in advance. I may ask for prepayment if the plant is in short supply and likely to sell out.

Hope to see you there

Steve