Monday, 2 April 2018
A very distinct small, almost shrubby species from Spain with 8-10in spikes of brownish orange glossy flowers over narrow evergreen leaves.
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.
There seems to be some confusion about the name of this. Some seem to think it’s really Bomarea boliviensis. The seeds of mine are definitely like Alstroemeria anyway – without the orange coat of Bomarea seeds. Either way it’s a terrific herbaceous perennial – not climbing, making upright to arching glaucous leafy shoots, and umbels of unusually coloured tubular flowers.
Like many in this family, the deep roots mean that it is surprisingly hardy as long as well-drained.
Monday, 23 October 2017
A South African Iris relative with extremely striking round creamy flowers with three bold orange and black blobs towards the centre. The plant gradually forms a dense evergreen tussock, very like a Libertia, with the flowers held on wiry sems above.
Although this plant is happy in a wide variety of conditions it will need a very sheltered well-drained site in the UK or a large pot, brought inside for the winter. The parent plant has overwintered fine in a terracotta pot in an unheated tunnel for many years now, but I haven't planted any outside yet.
A very choice member of this often rather weedy genus from Gran Canaria. It has relatively large (2cm) pouch shaped flowers – lemon yellow within contrasting with relatively large rich red petals. The resemblance to the related Phygelius is quite noticeable in this species. The foliage is lush rich dark green.
Untried in the UK but almost certainly tender, requiring a frost-free greenhouse in winter but flowering throughout so worth it. Any well-drained soil in sun or part shade.
Monday, 9 October 2017
A very pretty Californian species combining good sized lavender flowers all summer, and greyish stems and foliage on a low spreading subshrub. Not at all coarse or weedy.
This is untried in the UK to my knowledge but is rated as z7 in the USA. Full sun and excellent drainage will probably be the crucial things. If not then it'll be a nice container plant