Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Salix bockii

Salix bockii
A very unusual willow for its summer/autumn flowering - the catkins are creamy white up to 2ins long on long slender branches covered in small oval grey green leaves.
Salix bockii
Frankly it looks nothing like a willow, but is an adaptable small to medium shrub suitable for any not-too-dry soils in sun or semi shade.
£10




Perovskia Filigran

Perovskia Filigran
A choicer, shorter plant than the P.atriplicifolia cultivars we normally see and probably a form or hybrid of P.abrotanoides, which is less easy to grow in moist mild climates.  The silver foliage is very finely cut, the stems are white and the flowers are intense blue.
Perovskia Filigran
I’ve not yet worked out how to get the best from it but a very dry site with maximum exposure is probably the key. Very cold hardy.
£8




Lecanthus aff. peduncularis

Lecanthus aff. peduncularis
A peculiar little woodlander – a member of the nettle family (but non-stinging) making a fresh green ground-cover. The flowers are individually tiny but gathered into pale fruit pastille-like heads, reminiscent of a Dorstenia.
Lecanthus aff. peduncularis
More of a curio than a great beauty but I really like it.
£7



Bomarea caldasii or acutifolia

Bomarea maybe caldasii
There seems to be some confusion about exactly whether caldasii is in cultivation but with funnel shaped orange and red flowers this appears to be something very similar. Some people seem sure that it's B.acutifolia. The inner petals are orange/yellow, the outer are coral red. There are no other markings but the black anthers are prominent.
Bomarea maybe caldasii
Untried outside, but like many Bomarea, the roots go so deep that they are unlikely to freeze in a normal UK winter. Climbing to about 2m, and dying down in winter.
£12



Viburnum cylindricum

Viburnum cylindricum
An evergreen species grown for the unusual greyish cast to the foliage and panicles of creamy flowers in summer. Bloomy black fruits. 
Viburnum cylindricum
An uncommon large shrub – excellent on chalk.
£16



Two plants for dry shade


Strobilanthes nutans
Strobilanthes nutans
A really nice change from the better known upright purple flowered species – this one trails over the ground and is seen at its best in a shady raised bed (or a hanging basket? Why not?) with it’s pure white, hop-like inflorescences dangling over the side.
Strobilanthes nutans
Hardy so far here and unusually classy.
£8



Euonymus fortunei Wolong Ghost
Euonymus Wolong Ghost
Very different to other forms of fortunei in cultivation – this is a creeping/climbing plant with relatively narrow dark green leaves, the veins picked out in white.
Euonymus Wolong Ghost
Makes an excellent ground cover in dry shade
£8




Some Shrubs and Larger Perennials


Colquhounia coccinea
Colquhounia coccinea
Pronounced Cohoonia, a very striking and exotic species, hardy and easily grown in a sunny, well-drained but not parched situation. Stems may die back during a hard winter but grow back during the summer in time to flower in the autumn.
Colquhounia coccinea
Flowering relatively late, this species can be shy flowering if it does not get enough sun or if there is an early frost, but well worth persevering with.
£12



Buddleja limitanea
Buddleja limitanea
A relatively small species which may or may not be a form of forrestii. The foliage resembles davidii but is smaller and neater and more evergreen. The flowers are fewer but larger and bell-shaped and of soft mauve with the usual orange eye. The fact that it doesn’t get huge should be enough of an incentive to grow it for many people
£12


Caryopteris (Tripora) divaricata
Caryopteris divaricata
A lush green upright bush, dying down completely in winter. The late flowering is the same but the flowers themselves are larger, rich blue, and much more interesting. Another purveyor of rare plants describes the flowers as merely ‘harmless’ which I think is rather a shame. They’re not huge or especially plentiful, but they are jolly pretty. Hardy and adaptable.
Caryopteris divaricata
Very different to the familiar grey twiggy subshrubs (C. x clandonensis and the like) and this is now classified under another name - Tripora
£9



Jasminum fruticans
Jasminum fruticans
A lovely small shrub with fresh yellow (unscented) flowers in summer and neat little pinnate leaves. Makes a twiggy bush not more than three feet high here. Easy in any sunny spot in the garden where it won't be overwhelmed by boisterous neighbours. I have no idea why this is not very popular indeed.
£8


Some Small Perennials


Anemarrhena asphodeloides
Anemarrhena asphodeloides
A bit like an asphodel, making a grassy clump, with spikes of narrow violet flowers on slender stems in summer.
Anemarrhena asphodeloides
As far as I know it has no close relatives and is a bit of a botanical oddity. Nice though, in an understated way, and not at all difficult to grow in a well-drained spot in sun.
£7




Anemone sylvestris
Anemone sylvestris
A common and widespread European alpine eventually making large clumps of deeply cut dark green foliage up to about 6ins high, with individual nodding white anemone flowers above. Easy and hardy in a sunny well-drained spot.
£7





Saturday, 4 August 2018

Sinningia tubiflora

Sinningia tubiflora
A South American Gesneriaceae making rosettes of soft grey leaves and tall slender stems of intensely fragrant long tubular milky white flowers.
Sinningia tubiflora
Dies down to a tuber in winter. These will survive sub zero temperatures if kept dry
£8



Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Clerodendrum trichotomum fargesii

Clerodendron trichotomum fargesii
Masses of fragrant creamy flowers in summer followed by striking blue berries with contrasting wine red calyces in autumn.
Clerodendron trichotomum fargesii
A deservedly popular hardy shrub or small tree of which there never seem to be enough available. Easy on almost any soil in sun but needs plenty of space due to suckering.
£15



Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Incarvillea Brighton Pride

Incarvillea Brighton's Pride
I requested seeds of "Incarvillea zhongdianensis alba" from the AGS exchange back in 2011. Most of them came up as I.delavayi but one came up with very rich pink flowers, well textured foliage and a bit shorter at 8-10ins tall.
Incarvillea Brighton's Pride
At first I thought it was a dark pink form of delavayi (which is itself a good thing as there aren't many cultivars of the species) but now I think it might be a hybrid. At any rate it's a very good colour (it really glows on the nursery at the moment), it seems very tough (other species have been a bit hit and miss for me here) and it comes +/- true from seed so I've been raising as many as I can and this year I'm offering it for sale.
Incarvillea Brighton's Pride
I'm calling it Brighton Pride in honour of my home town's spirit of lively diversity
£8




Rubus lineatus vietnamensis

Rubus lineatus vietnamensis
R.lineatus is a gorgeous species grown for its finely textured palmate foliage – fresh green above, silver beneath. It forms a suckering colony and can travel quite widely but I’ve never seen it become a real nuisance like some Rubus.
Rubus lineatus vietnamensis
I’d grow it among other shrubs and robust herbaceous perennials and let it wander about. The contrast with broad leathery leaves is very telling. As the foliage is damaged by drought and freezing winds it needs moist sheltered woodland to look its best.
Vietnamensis is very like the species but Barry Clark (holder of the national Rubus collection) reckoned it might be a little hardier
£14



Geranium orientalitibeticum

Geranium orientalitibeticum
A choice ground-covering species with rosy pink flowers but the main thing is the leaves which are beautifully marbled with lime green.
Geranium orientalitibeticum
An easy well-behaved small border plant
£6