Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Drynaria sinica

Drynaria sinica
An Asiatic polypody-like fern with nicely textured pinnate fronds up to about 10ins long, on creeping rhizomes. The new growth is coppery-pink.
Drynaria sinica
Unlike most Drynaria this is a hardy species - suitable for woodland gardens, and it does much better than I would have expected in dry shade. In humid circumstances it can be encouraged to grow as an epiphyte on wood or rocks.
£10

Wednesday, 14 September 2022

Adiantum venustum

Adiantum venustum
The hardy maidenhair fern. A real classic - every garden should have it. Genuinely hardy and remarkably happy in dry shade, gradually spreading to form extensive colonies.
Adiantum venustum
An exquisite foil for any collection of choice woodlanders.
£10

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Aristolochias


Aristolochia baetica
Aristolochia baetica
A climber from southern Spain and Portugal that can be seen there twining about among the shrubs with its grey heart shaped leaves and maroon pitcher-shaped flowers. It’s one of the more vigorous and obvious of the Mediterranean species and worth trying in a sheltered sunny well-drained site. 
Aristolochia baetica
I recommend planting it under a smallish shrub like a Cistus or broom and letting it grow forward among the branches. Even if it gets frosted the roots will usually regenerate well
£10


Aristolochia sempervirens from Toulon
Aristolochia sempervirens Carqueiranne, Toulon
A very special form of this species from the South of France with relatively large, lush foliage (up to about 3ins long), a more vigorous climbing habit and very refined, richly coloured flowers. Hardy.
Aristolochia sempervirens Toulon
Very nice indeed.
£10

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Dichorisandra pendula

Dichorisandra pendula
I don't normally do houseplants but I'm making an exception for this lovely species from Brazil, which is still rare in the trade but easy to grow with ordinary home temperatures, moderate to bright light and the compost kept evenly moist. Humidity doesn't seem to be an issue.
Dichorisandra pendula
It has an exceptionally elegant graceful habit - somewhat like a willowy ginger, and produces lavender blue flowers all summer. Like most commelinaceae (Tradescantia etc) the individual flowers only last a day but are produced continuously throughout the growing season. The foliage is deep glossy green.
Dichorisandra pendula
A lovely thing - every home should have one.
£20

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Persicaria filiformis Guizhou Bronze PAB 9127

Persicaria filiformis Guizhou Bronze
A rather gorgeous form of the species with less conspicuous black markings than normal filiformis but the leaves have a wonderful rich brassy tint and the whole plant is more luxuriant. 
Persicaria filiformis Guizhou Bronze PAB 9127
Adaptable but best in moist rich soils in semi shade.
£8

Kleinia abyssinica

Kleinia abyssinica
A rare and remarkable tender succulent from NE Africa, with fleshy glaucous stems, lanceolate leaves and vivid scarlet flowers on elegant stems. 
Kleinia abyssinica
NOT HARDY but easily grown in a cool greenhouse, and intact after a winter in my barely frost-free greenhouse.
1L pots ~ £12

Plectranthus, Isodon, Rabdosia and so forth

Rabdosia longituba
Despite the indecision over the names, a splendid, if understated group of hardy late flowering perennials - adaptable but at their best in moist semi shade.

Plectranthus excisus
Plectranthus excisus
A succession of violet labiate flowers in long slanting racemes in late summer and autumn. The foliage is unusual in shape with dark purple tints. 
Plectranthus excisus
Very adaptable and fully hardy here
£8


Rabdosia longitubus
Isodon longitubus
Clear blue flowers over a long period from late summer onwards. The flowers really glow in the low autumn light like tiny gas flames. Any soil in sun or semi shade. Easy but may not emerge until May or June.
£8



Iris lazica

Iris lazica
A deservedly popular winter-flowering species related to unguicularis but happiest in woodland conditions. 
Iris lazica commonly cultivated form
Flowering sometimes as early as November but usually in February/March. Low-growing with violet flowers over broad fresh evergreen foliage.
£8

Digitalis obscura

Digitalis obscura
A very distinct small, almost shrubby species from Spain with 8-10in spikes of brownish orange glossy flowers over narrow evergreen leaves. 
Digitalis obscura
Quite charming and generally hardy in the southern portion of the UK, especially in drier areas but worthy of a special place in a sunny raised bed or container.
£8

Cicerbita plumieri

Cicerbita plumieri
A rather fine relative of the chicory from European damp alpine meadows. Loose sprays of soft violet flowers appear in late summer/autumn over broad lettuce-like leaves. Late flowers for shady conditions are always worth looking out for. Perennial and not at all invasive.
£8


Friday, 5 August 2022

Setaria palmifolia retpela pitpit wantaim waitpela mak

Setaria palmifolia retpela pitpit wantaim waitpela mak
A bit of a mouthful this one - I'm told the name is from Papua New Guinea where it was collected by Nathalie Simonsson. A remarkable variegated form which at first I mistook for some sort of Cordyline. The same broad, palm like pleated leaves as the species, but deep maroon, with striking pink edges. 
Setaria palmifolia retpela pitpit wantaim waitpela mak
A dramatic foliage plant which, if it proves anything like as hardy as the normal green form, is sure to be a huge hit for exotic designs. If not, it will be certainly be a stunning specimen for a pot or cold house. 
sold out due to very high demand - please contact me to reserve one for next year

Cardiocrinum cordatum red flowered form

Cardiocrinum cordatum red
Actually I’d describe the flowers of this form as a deep chocolate brown, with paler edges. Otherwise typical of the species – the bulbs take a few years to get big enough to flower – during which time it produces rosettes of glossy arum-like leaves. Then, one spring it’ll produce a 12in stem with several 6in long flowers. 
Cardiocrinum cordatum red
Mine have taken 6 years to start flowering from seed. Some should flower next year while others have flowered and will be making several off-sets, ready to flower in a few years time. Best in moist woodland conditions but surprisingly tolerant of recent dry summers here.
£15

Tuesday, 12 July 2022

Phymosia umbellata black

Phymosia umbellata
A wonderful Mexican mallow – very like an Abutilon, with handsome grey green palmate leaves and surprisingly large black, rounded flowers in summer. I’m tempted to call this form ‘Aubergine’ because that’s exactly what the flowers look like. Normally the species has bright red flowers but this seems to be the form most commonly grown in the UK.
Phymosia umbellata
The whole plant is intriguingly textured and tactile – especially the buds. Hardy enough to survive in my unheated tunnel without any damage, but not tested in the garden yet. In containers it gets through a lot of water so probably better in the ground. 
£18

Zephyranthes atamasca Rosy

Zephyranthes atamasca pink form
A wonderfully elegant and hardy species from the south-eastern states of the USA. These are seedlings of a relatively large and often pink-tinted form from Kevin Hughes, with shapely white flowers up to 3ins across on 8in stems. 
Zephyranthes atamasca pink form
In the wild the species occurs in open grassy places and in woodland in semi shade, often seasonally flooded. In the garden they are adaptable but very susceptible to slug attack.
£10

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Talinum calycinum

Talinum calycinum
A terrific little hardy succulent from the southern USA with vivid pink flowers on slender stems above neat tussocks of narrow green leaves. 
Talinum calycinum
Needs full sun and dry soils. Dies down to the roots in winter when it should be kept on the dry side. Fully frost hardy.
£6