Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Magnolia wilsonii

Magnolia wilsonii
With nodding flowers in early summer and attractive fresh green foliage this is an ideal small tree/large shrub for light woodland or to mix with other woodlanders such as Acer and Euonymus.
Very interesting fruits too.
Magnolia wilsonii fruit
Like most Magnolias it will need a deep, moist and fertile situation but does not require lime-free soil.
1L pots ~ £8




Helianthus mollis

Helianthus mollis
I've never really been into the perennial sunflowers (Jerusalem artichokes are a typical example), which I'd have previously dismissed completely as coarse and garish. Lately though I've come to appreciate them more and more, just for their sheer exuberance and sunniness.
Helianthus mollis
The ashy sunflower is a case in point. The foliage is of good quality and complements the soft golden yellow flowers, which are produced over a long season in summer and autumn.
Any rich soil in sun.
3L pots ~ £8




Iris confusa Martyn Rix


Iris confusa
One of the peculiar evergreen 'shrubby' irises - that is, the usual iris fans of foliage develop at the top of green bamboo-like stems up to 18ins off the ground. The frilly mauve flowers appear on further stems above in spring and may be followed by further fans of leaves. The total effect is quite exotic and somewhat orchid-like.
These plants are cuttings from a colony growing vigorously in dry shade in a local garden and have been unaffected by the recent harder winters.
1L pots ~ £7




Monday, 9 August 2010

Sophora davidii

Sophora davidii
A very lovely medium sized evergreen shrub with fresh green pinnate foliage and white flowers tinted dark violet. The more vigorous stems are also dark violet and can be a feature in winter. The seed pods too are a bit unusual.
Adaptable and easy in any well drained sunny site.
5L pots ~ £14




Salix lanata


Salix lanata, originally uploaded by peganum.
Another excellent small to medium sized shrub and unusual in that most plants with silvery or glaucous leaves prefer dry conditions. Our native woolly willow however, like most willows, thrives in heavy and wet soils and does not mind some shade (though more silvery and compact in sun.)
Be aware though that this is not one of the miniature 'alpine' species and can grow to three or four feet tall and twice that across.
For any soil that does not dry out too much, in sun or semi shade.
1L pots ~ £9




Hydrangea involucrata

Hydrangea involucrata
Why doesn't everyone grow this? A reliably neat dwarf Hydrangea with dense heads of mauve flowers (with a few white 'lacecap' florets surrounding) and plush foliage.
Hydrangea involucrata
Best in shade or humid conditions and mustn't dry out at the roots.
2L pots ~ £8





Crusea coccinea


Crusea coccinea
A relatively new plant to cultivation, this Central American woodlander with vivid red tubular flowers is in fact related to the tropical Ixora and Bouvardia. Not very hardy but easy from cuttings or in a sheltered shady garden perhaps.
10cm pots ~ £7




Euptelea polyandra


Euptelea polyandra, originally uploaded by peganum.
A collector's piece - the two species of Euptelea are unusual hardy deciduous small trees or large shrubs (to about 5m), somewhat reminiscent of a Tilia perhaps but not closely related to them or to anything else for that matter.
Euptelea polyandra
The flowers are a dusky reddish colour with prominent anthers but are more curious than striking and this is one of those trees (like Zelkova, Nyssa, Cercidiphyllum or Parrotia for example) grown more for foliage effect and overall form.
Adaptable in sun or semi shade. I've not tried it on chalk, but I've no reason to think it would object as long as not too dry.

7L pots ~ £20 Too large to post


Silene zawadskii

Silene zawadskii

If you have ever admired the fresh white blooms of the white campion but wished it wasn't quite so weedy this might be the answer. This 'alpine' version is very neat and adaptable.
3in square pots ~ £5




Silene zawadskii