Friday, 24 December 2021
An impressive upright species of great character with clusters of rich rosy red and cream flowers followed by enormous amber quinces.
Very thorny but would make an excellent security hedge. Easy and adaptable.
Thursday, 21 October 2021
This was given to me as a small bit of tuber about 30 years ago - I forget who from - and it has been with me ever since.
I know nothing more about its origins but it's been a wonderful strong grower wherever I've had it, forming a dense, rounded clump. Unless someone can come up with a better suggestion I'm going to call it Cherry Pannacotta.
Many single rounded creamy flowers, edged in pink. The foliage is very glaucous grey green (a bit like mlokosewitschii - a possible parent - but the leaflets are narrower), and strongly tinted purple in spring. Does not set seeds.
Wednesday, 15 September 2021
Tuesday, 14 September 2021
The spiny edged foliage is glossy green above and white underneath and the flowers are lemon yellow – nothing unusual about any of that - except that the leaves and flowers are bigger than any similar species – the leaves up to 2ins long and the flowers an inch across, and all this on a low compact shrub not more than 3ft tall. At the same time this is as hardy and adaptable as any of the more familiar types.
Many people dismiss Berberis as just a lot of dull scruffy spikey shrubs, too often planted around carparks (and full of litter) but there are quite a few good, interesting species for the more discerning gardener – and calliantha is one.
An interesting alternative to the commoner Weigelas in cultivation, having soft yellow flowers in early summer developing orange markings inside.
More compact than the others too at about 6ft x 6ft and may be pruned quite hard after flowering. Any situation except very dry, very wet or very shady.
A form of this popular shrub with intense blue flowers over a long period in spring and summer. The foliage is a cleaner combination of white and green than the more common form.
Better in every way in my opinion.
Ideal for a hot sunny site on well-drained soil, with shelter from cold winds.
A peculiar relative of the Asarums in that it has more conventional yellow flowers in spring. The emerging foliage is soft suede and dark tinged and a feature in its own right.
The mature foliage reminds me a bit of Brunnera. An adaptable woodland or border plant.
Originally mistaken (out of flower) for a Magnolia - this species has broad lustrous oval hairless leaves and thick stems - completely different to what we normally think of as a willow.
This is the female form and the catkins are long and slender. A remarkable shrub for a retentive soil.
My sources tell me this might actually be R. sinensis, but either way, this is definitely turning out to be one of my favourite plants. The arching habit, elegant 6in blackish sea green foliage and pale bloomy stems and leaf undersides are a feature all summer.
Exquisitely sculpted 3-4 inch pearly white 'catkins' sprout mauve/pink filaments in Autumn. The whole thing has a most unusual pale/dark effect - restrained but very classy and unlike anything else. To 4ft tall. Easy in any sunny well-drained site.
A graceful, tree-like broom with silvery stems and fragrant white flowers in late spring.
Hardy here in West Sussex – undamaged by the late April frosts of 2021
I think Retamas have a grace and elegance that most brooms lack and are well worth wider planting
Primula veris x elatior
A neat small Primula with short stems, tight foliage, and the yellow flowers have relatively narrow petals in umbels on short stems.
Easy and floriferous. From Kevin Hughes.
Primula Lady Greer
A really very cute old cultivar with neat rounded leaves and umbels of pale yellow flowers.
Gradually makes a colony but hasn't seeded about. Easy and long-lived in moist shade.
A lush green perennial mainly grown for its tight bright pink inflorescences and autumn colour. To about 3ft high.
Something of a spreader but not madly so – the thick rhizomes run around just under the surface. Any soil that doesn’t dry out too much, in sun or shade.
One for your succulent collection - a very unusual species with minimal foliage but thick pencil-like blue-green stems.
The flowers are white, marked with deep pink. Easy to grow. Needs frost-free conditions.