Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Buddleja colvilei large leaf form

Buddleja colvilei large leaf form
B.colvilei is known for its relatively large rich pink bell-shaped flowers - much larger than any other species that I know of. This is a very rare form with large greyish felted leaves up to 20cm long, and is descended from a plant that used to grow against the house at Borde Hill.
Buddleja colvilei
The flowers appear in mid spring on the previous year's growth and can get frosted off in bud, so a very sheltered situation is required in all but the warmest areas.
sold out

Abelia (Linnaea) floribunda

Abelia floribunda
A very striking Mexican species with long tubular dusky pink flowers and small rounded evergreen leaves. The lax spreading habit means it might be best treated as a wall shrub, but I rather like it growing through other shrubs.
Abelia floribunda
It does need shelter and warmth to flower well but is otherwise easy.
The sinking of Abelia (and also Dipelta and Kolkwitzia) into Linnaea has upset a few people but it does actually make sense if you understand the science.

Vicia gigantea

Vicia gigantea
This is a good pink form of a Californian native vetch. In the wild a potentially vigorous coloniser but here I've found it no more so than some of the popular climbing Lathyrus such as L.latifolius, and it makes a very nice change from that with its fresh green pinnate foliage and spikes of rich pink flowers.
Vicia gigantea
Even so I'd give it plenty of space somewhere it won't swamp small treasures. Spring flowering - cut it back to the ground after flowering for fresh new growth.

Phlomis 'angustifolia' Toob

Phlomis angustifolia
A very striking Phlomis with the edges of the grey leaves turned up to reveal the white undersides, giving a very smart two-tone effect, especially in winter. The flowers are a clear bright yellow.
This has proved hardy and easy in a sunny well-drained spot.
Phlomis angustifolia
Originally obtained as P.angustifolia, it seems this name is a synonym of P.fruticosa. It's not clear if it's a form of fruticosa or another species but it's a much nicer plant. Nick Macer gave it the varietal name 'Toob' because of the 'toobular' shape of the leaves.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Fascicularia bicolor canuliculata

Fascicularia bicolor & Correa Marion's Marvel
I think most keen gardeners now know about this remarkably hardy (to about -12C) Chilean bromeliad. There has been some confusion about the naming - the F.bicolor bicolor apparently has broader shorter leaves and is generally less hardy and easy to flower in the UK. F.bicolor canuliculata forms a mass of long narrow silvery leaves under a wide variety of conditions in most of the UK and flowers regularly. The only thing it definitely needs is excellent drainage. It doesn't mind drying out periodically or being root-bound, and makes an excellent container plant. It will also grow well in the dry shade of an evergreen shrub as long as it gets sun coming in from the south side, especially in winter.
In the wild it tends toward the epiphytic or lithophytic, growing in rock crevices and in the forks of branches so a raised bed is the obvious place for it. If you have a gnarly old tree I'd definitely give it a go there too - wiring the roots in a fork in the trunk, covering them in moss and giving it some water while it gets established. Try it in the crown of an old Cordyline or on the fibrous trunk of a palm.
These plants are substantial divisions of the plant in the photo
1L pots ~ £8