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

Rubus calophyllus

Rubus calophyllus
Related to Rubus lineatus but leaves consist of with one broad leaf instead of several leaflets. Otherwise it has the same very beautiful corrugated leaves, fresh green above and silver below. The flowers are small but red.
Rubus calophyllus
Hardy but needs moisture and shelter to thrive.
£16

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Viburnum obovatum

Viburnum obovatum
Almost never available in the UK, this is a very distinctive species from the south-eastern USA with tiny blunt rounded leaves on very fine stems. The new shoots are red/purple tinted and being semi-evergreen, it also colours up a bit in autumn. Pretty white flowers are produced in dense clusters in spring and the berries are blue/black. Can make a large shrub but easily controlled. 
Viburnum obovatum
Not entirely hardy in the UK so a sheltered site is recommended, not too dry.
£16

Setaria palmifolia

Setaria palmifolia
A large and dramatic grass with strikingly ribbed leaves and forming a tussock to about 2ft high and twice that across. The flowers are relatively modest millet-like sprays but the overall effect is very lush and exotic. 

Setaria palmifolia
Usually considered a tender species for subtropical bedding but I've had it for years in open borders both on heavy clay soil and the better drained soil at the nursery, mulched with straw in winter. It usually gets heavily bitten back in winter but there's always been plenty of root for it to come back strongly in spring.
£8

Photinia glomerata

Photinia prionophylla
This looks a lot like what Hilliers manual describes as ‘Formosan form’, and for a while I was offering it as P.prionophylla, but I am assured that glomerata is the correct identification. 
Photinia sp Bodnant
A very gorgeous shrub nevertheless - more rounded and compact than P.serratifolia, with broad rounded leaves (to about 3ins across) opening a rich mahogany in early spring, with a soft downy white covering. The flowers are the normal type. Easy and adaptable and tolerant of heavy and wet soils.
£18

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Phlomis lanata

Phlomis lanata
A dwarf version of the well-known Jerusalem Sage. The flower heads are a similar (but I think better) dusky gold colour and the foliage is of much the same fuzzy grey green, but everything about the plant is neater and better shaped than the larger species. 
Phlomis lanata
This is another plant previously thought to be too tender for most gardens, I've found it very easy to please so far, given full sun and free drainage. Height ultimately about 2ft, 4ft across.
£12

Notocactus (now Parodia) magnificus

Notocactus magnificus
I have a few babies of this magnificent cool-growing species ready to go in 3in pots. 
Mature plants are more or less spherical, up to 10ins across, sea green with dense bands of straw-coloured prickles along the ridges. Lemon-yellow flowers are produced regularly.
Notocactus magnificus
Not hardy, but doesn't need much heat - just frost free and dry in winter.
£6

Rubus acuminatus

Rubus acuminatus
Surely the most un-bramble-like bramble you've ever seen, and one of my absolute favourite shrubs of any kind. A small evergreen shrub that neither scrambles nor suckers. To me it looks a lot like Ribes laurifolium, but the nodding white flowers are typical Rubus.
Rubus acuminatus
Adaptable but best in woodland shade with shelter and moisture. Many thanks to Barry Clarke for letting me have cuttings of this one.
£18

Lonicera syringantha

Lonicera syringantha
A medium-sized shrubby species with heavily fragrant rosy pink trumpet-shaped flowers in spring. The foliage is neat and grey-green. Easy and adaptable – one of the best fragrant shrubs.
£16


Aloe descoingsii

Aloe descoingsii
A gorgeous miniature succulent from Madagascar that forms a solid mass of 2in brownish green rosettes, topped in early summer by slender spikes of vivid scarlet urn-shaped flowers. 
Aloe descoingsii
Definitely NOT FROST HARDY, though happy overwintering dry in my barely frost-free greenhouse. An easy and dependable houseplant.
£8

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Euphorbia hierosolymitana

Euphorbia hierosolymitana
A bushy semi-evergreen species to about 18ins high, growing from a tuber. 
In most respects a typical Mediterranean Euphorbia – easy in a sunny dry situation. Despite its Middle-Eastern origins seems hardy and easy here.
£8

Friday, 17 June 2022

Delphinium tricorne

Delphinium tricorne
An unaccountably rarely seen small tuberous spring-flowering American woodland species up to about 12ins high but often much shorter, with relatively large purple flowers. 
Delphinium tricorne
An excellent and easy addition to a spring woodland collection with Erythroniums, Trilliums etc. Here they're in a raised bed in full sun but not dry, where they do very well.
£8

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Clematis scottii

Clematis scottii
Surprisingly large (to more than an inch in diameter) rounded violet flowers are produced on lax stems up to about 18ins long in spring and summer followed by feathery seed heads. The foliage is greyish green pinnate. 
Clematis scottii
Plants die down completely in winter. In time will build up into a hefty clump of fine-cut foliage with the flowers held above, a bit like some sort of giant Pulsatilla. 
Clematis scottii hybrid
Easy to grow here in large pots, over-wintered in the tunnel, but better in a sunny, very well drained spot outside, especially in the drier parts of the country. Exciting plants.
3L tall pots ~ £21


Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Centranthus ruber First Blush

 Centranthus ruber Spring Blush
A rare pale rosy form of the common red valerian. Most of us will know this as a colourful weed growing out of walls and stony places - especially near the sea. Mostly it comes in three colours - vivid pink is the commonest, along with some reds and whites. This pale pink form is not one I've seen 'in the wild' (it's not a native UK species) and would make a pleasant addition to the mix. 
Centranthus ruber First Blush
A nice addition to a dry, sunny wild garden. So far much less prolific than the common forms.
£8

Canna x ehemannii

Canna x ehemannii
This is a wonderful plant - I normally find Cannas a bit too garish for my taste but this one has elegant and vivid cerise flowers in nodding sprays and on tall dark stems and broad lush green leaves, plus it's an enormous tropical looking banana-y thing to 10ft or more in full flower. Plus, it's been hardy here. All I've done is give it a thick pile of straw in winter. 
Canna x ehemannii
It dies down completely (the straw is held in place by the dead stems) but always reappears in May and is luxuriant and magnificent by August. A wonderful plant for anyone with a taste for the tropics. 
£15