Monday, 20 March 2017


Cardamine glanduligera
Cardamine glanduligera
In my estimation the best and showiest of the Eurasian species with rich purple flowers and deeply textured foliage.
Cardamine glanduligera
A vigorous spreader in a retentive soil in part shade, and probably a bit too vigorous with choice woodlanders, but a splendid groundcover among shrubs and larger woodland perennials.
1L pots ~ £6

Cardamine kitaibelii
Cardamine kitaibelii
A much more slender and less vigorous species than glanduligera needing a little more care to keep it, but not difficult once happy. The heads of nodding flowers make this one of the most graceful of the Cardamines. Very few.
1L pots ~ £6

Aesculus californica

Aesculus californica
This is a very large spreading shrub (or low spreading tree) and needs a lot of space - the flowers are fragrant, creamy or rosy white and held in solid ‘candles’. The foliage is neat and attractive and the bark is chalky white (especially good in winter after the leaves fall). 
Aesculus californicus
Given an open sunny well-drained site this will be one of the most magnificent woody plants we can grow. Hardly ever offered and I have no idea why it isn't better known. Young plants grown from conkers collected in California. 
5l pots ~ £21

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Field-grown Plants #1

Stachys thunbergii and Chrysogonum virginianum
Stachys thunbergii and Chrysogonum virginicum

I have decided after much struggle with potted specimens to offer some plants lifted directly from the garden. These are mostly species that seem to hate being cooped up in a pot long term and won't mind being disturbed, even in growth. This is actually more common than one might imagine. Moving things in the depths of winter when the temperatures are too cold to repair any damage is a traditional practice only really tolerated by the toughest of plants. Many plants recover quickly if transplanted in full growth. Spring and early autumn are ideal for many, but even high summer is ok as long as the roots don't dry out. Lifted plants often establish more quickly than they do from pots.
Nb. when lifting plants it is better to cut out a lump with a spade, cleanly severing the roots, rather than lifting with a fork, which produces a fringe of damaged roots. If you think about it, it's the same as pruning - a clean cut grows away quickly, whereas damaged shoots just hang around doing nothing and may die back.
Also, if you order field-grown plants you will likely get a stronger more generous lump than you would in a pot. These will mostly not be bare rooted - you will likely get a clod of soil with them.

Campanula takesimana
Campanula takesimana
A beautiful species with 2in long ivory flowers, lightly speckled red inside, over fresh shiny green foliage.
Campanula takesimana
Like its coarser relative C.punctata, this is a coloniser, but in my experience, not to anything like the same extent, and in fact I've had it peter out a couple of times, possibly from too much competition.
Easy in any moist rich soil in sun or part shade

Campanula Paul Furse
Campanula Paul Furse
Another spreader of uncertain parentage perhaps involving punctata or takesimana, but with violet flowers. A useful vigorous late-flowering ground cover - happier in shade than takesimana so ideal to combine with shrubs and trees. Best not with small delicate perennials.

Chrysogonum virginicum
Chrysogonum virginianum
Unusually in the sunflower group these are restrained and even refined plants - flowering over a long period through summer and autumn in a wide variety of conditions.
I have two forms of this - the basic virginicum, above, is the more vigorous and possibly a little coarser, while australe, below, is a choicer, more compact plant, but both are equally easy and adaptable.
Chrysogonum australe

C.v.virginicum sold out

C.v.australe ~ £6

Sanguisorba applanata
Sanguisorba applanata
Not flowered here yet for some reason but an excellent foliage plant, reminiscent of a low spreading Melianthus or a giant Acaena. The flowers should be white bottle brushes, but are not the main reason for growing this plant. Suitable for any moist fertile soil in sun.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Plant Fairs 2017

Great Comp
Great Comp Spring Fling 
Sunday 9th April
11am - 5pm,
Great Comp Garden,
Comp Lane,
Platt, Sevenoaks,
TN15 8QS
01732 885094

AGS Wimborne Show (aka the Rocky Show formerly Summer Show South) 
Saturday May 27th 
9am - 4.40pm
Queen Elizabeth's School
Blandford Road
Wimborne Minster
BH21 4DT
Dorset and Hampshire local groups host on behalf of the national AGS

Garden House Brighton
The Garden House Brighton
3rd June 2017
11am - 5pm
Bridgette & Deborah
The Garden House
5 Warleigh Road
07788 668595 or 07729 037182

Sussex Prairies
Sussex Prairies Unusual Plant and Garden Fair
Saturday 3rd September
11am until 5pm
Morlands Farm,
Wheatsheaf Road (B2116), near Henfield,
West Sussex,
01273 495902

Others may be added later
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