Wednesday, 9 December 2020
Sunday, 1 November 2020
This is a perfect combination of the two parents, with the striking violet and white bicolor of one and the ease adaptability of the latter - though without it's rampant tendencies. It doesn't set seed either so won't take over other parts of the garden.
Suitable for any wet site - from the pond's edge to damp soil in sun or part shade. I don't know why it's so rarely seen.
Fresh lifted rhizomes £8 each
Thursday, 29 October 2020
Wednesday, 28 October 2020
Easy-going but probably best with some shade from deciduous trees and shrubs. Grow Cyclamen and Scillas through it.
Male and female plants are available.
The female form has denser clusters of flowers with conspicuous bracts. Black berries are occasionally produced
Tuesday, 27 October 2020
I used to think Deutzias were a rather boring group of shrubs but the cognoscenti know different. It's a surprisingly varied genus and many of them are exquisite in flower.
A seldom-seen scrambling shrub with subtly variegated clover-like foliage (2 or 3 shades of green) and rich pink pea flowers.
Either grow it among other shrubs so it can scramble about among them, or, if you feel motivated, train it against a wall. Either way it makes a very welcome splash of colour in late summer and autumn
Wednesday, 27 May 2020
Fuchsia magellanica Arauco
An absolutely exquisite, possibly naturally occurring, form of this popular shrub - always attracts attention with it's finely crafted purple white and pink flowers and neat dark green foliage. It can make a large shrub in time but, like most Fuchsias, responds well to pruning.
This is less drought tolerant than other Fuchsia - not good in small containers and definitely most at home in cool moist conditions.
nb. the variety Lady Bacon (left) is very similar and they can be hard to tell apart, but seen together, Arauco is definitely the more refined plant with better colours, and smaller leaves and flowers. I grow both but I would always recommend Arauco. It just has that certain something that even people who don't generally go for Fuchsias can appreciate.
Tuesday, 26 May 2020
An excellent smaller species - vigorous but not overwhelming - almost evergreen and with remarkable flowers. These, as is usual for the family, consist of smaller male flowers below and larger female flowers above, but in this case the male flowers are in a long dangling raceme (hence the name) and the whole inflorescence is a dusky maroon.
Very hardy and easy in a wide variety of situations
Sunday, 26 April 2020
The Southeast Asian taros (Colocasia species) are very popular right now for subtropical plantings, with their huge tropical looking aroid leaves - often dark and beautifully textured. In this case the leaves are up to about 2ft across, a soft matt green and heavily marked black toward the centre. Yellow arum flowers appear in summer.
Like many subtropicals (Canna, Dahlia etc), some of them are surviving the winters outdoors in the UK these days but very few are reliably hardy. This is where gaoligongensis comes in as it's reckoned to be the hardiest, and under good conditions (damp and warm in the summer) is a vigorous big exotic herbaceous perennial. It will grow in drier conditions but the leaves will be smaller.
Not letting it get too wet in winter is probably important but here at least, it seems remarkably easy - running around on stolons and potentially filling a large area. Grow it with other big vigorous perennials - nothing too small and delicate, in sun or part shade.
sold out for this year - more next year
Some of you may know that Epimedium grandiflorum nanum is an exquisite miniature form of this popular species where the new foliage is fresh green, less than an inch across, and broadly edged in maroon, and the milky white flowers, despite the tiny size of the plant, are normal size. The whole thing is only a couple of inches tall. Sadly it also has a reputation for being difficult to keep - I've had it and lost it twice. This is why I was so pleased when I came across this at Marchant's Hardy Plants a few years ago.
Its a bit bigger than nanum - about 5ins high but more vigorous and easy to keep. In every other respect it seems identical.
It is still slow to increase though so I'll only ever have a few small plants to sell.