Sunday, 29 July 2012

Euonymus

A real favourite genus of mine. For those who only know the rather characterless hedges of E.japonica and fortunei there are so many very different and much more interesting species to look out for, especially for their autumn colour, but the new growth, flowers and overall habit are worth checking out too.
Euonymus are especially good for chalky gardens.

Euonymus nanus turkestanicus
Euonymus nanus turkestanicus
A creeping evergreen species, quite different to the others with small narrow dark green leaves along wide-spreading stems. The leaves turn rich red brown shades in winter.
Codonopsis rotundifolia angustifolia
The flowers, though small, are plentiful and well worth looking out for. Small red spindle berries may follow.
Euonymus nanus turkestanicus
Excellent in dry shade but very adaptable.
3L pots ~ £9




Euonymus cornutus quinquecornutus 
Euonymus cornutus quinquecornutus
in flower
Euonymus cornutus and Polygonatum fruits
in fruit


What a mouthful. An Asiatic relative of our native spindle tree. The names mean 'horned' and 'five-horned' respectively, referring to the fruit which is typical Euonymus, having colourful seeds (orange in this case) emerging from a decorative casing, but in this species the casing has five long appendages (the horns) like a green propellor.
Although greenish brown, the flowers are also very pretty, carried on thread-like stems and worth looking out for in early summer. Semi-evergreen, this is a nice small willowy shrub for shade. Young plants – slow-growing.
3L pots ~ £9




Euonymus spraguei
Euonymus spraguei
Similar to E.fortunei - this is a spreading evergreen suitable for dry shade. It has green spiky fruits that split to reveal orange fruits
1L pots ~ £7




Saturday, 28 July 2012

Californian Mahonia



Mahonia ex nevinii
Mahonia ex nevini
Most of the Mahonias we grow in the UK are forest dwellers, preferring moist shady conditions, but there are quite a number of species from the drier parts of the USA that are rarely seen but well worth having - especially if your garden is well-drained and without much shade.
Mahonia ex fremontii
Mahonia ex fremontii
I have two seed strains on the nursery, one collected from M.nevinii, the other from M.fremontii (both collected from cultivated plants in California by Dennis Carvalho). Neither have flowered much yet but the foliage has a marvellous colour and form - the pale veined coppery red new growth turning to sea green, and has an unusual thin scratchy texture. Overall they look most like nevinii.
Ultimately they will make quite a dense shrub eventually up to 4 or 5 feet high. Fully hardy and very drought tolerant.
1L pots ~ £12




Saturday, 21 July 2012

Hypericum kalmianum

Hypericum kalmianum
Hypericums can seem a bit ho-hum to most keen gardeners I admit but there are some interesting ones. In this case I think the appeal is in the distinctive low rounded habit and the contrast of the fresh yellow rounded flowers with the neat elliptical sea-green leaves.
Hypericum kalmianum
Like other shrubby Hypericums though, it's easy to please and flowers over a long period in summer. Not at all weedy, and completely hardy.
2L pots ~ £8




Friday, 20 July 2012

Calycanthus occidentalis

Calycanthus occidentalis
A lovely lush medium sized shrub from California with fresh green aromatic leaves and good sized rich pink flowers over a long period.
Calycanthus occidentalis
I have no real idea why, with the popularity of C.sinensis and its hybrids, this one isn't a lot better known
Calycanthus occidentalis
Easy and hardy in the garden.
5L pots ~ £16




Sunday, 8 July 2012

Hanabusaya asiatica

Hanabusaya asiatica
I'm particularly chuffed with this one - almost unknown in the UK, this is a very posh Campanula relative with big glossy pale violet bells - reminiscent of C.punctata but not quite as big. The broad foliage is heavily tinged black too. In the wild this species apparently grows in shady rocky places (although details are hard to come by) and would maybe be best in a woodsy raised bed (alongside Strobilanthes nutans perhaps?) but since it's so little known in cultivation I really don't know what it might be capable of. Like many Campanulaceae it is susceptible to slug and snail attack but seems much stronger once planted out. Should be very cold hardy.

A customer, Minsung Kim, recently wrote to me about this plant -
"It is a very special plant to Koreans – it is a legendary and the most loved Korean “Endemic” species-  you can find them only in a couple of Korean mountains (high and cool).  And only one species in that genus.  If you ask any Korean botanists what is the most famous or important Korean wild flowers, everyone will name this one. But ironically and sadly (to our Koreans) this species named after a brutal Japanese governor (Hanabusaya) since it was named during the Japanese occupation over Korea (1910-1945).- and instead of koreana it is asiatica.   So to many Koreans this species is a symbol of  the sad recent Korean history.  It is Geum gang cho rong (diamond hand lantern) in Korean.  Because it was first discovered in the Mountain Diamond (it is in North Korea- known as  the most beautiful mountain in Korea, also geum gang can mean “the best” )-  cho rong is a traditional hand lantern shaped like the hanabusaya flower.  Anyway I was so happy that this species is available in the UK. Probably cool summer in UK is good for them but wet winter might be harmful. I heard that seed germination is quite good but in the wild most of seeds get frozen before they are mature enough."
Hanabusaya asiatica
For a sense of scale

Always in very short supply - please enquire

Friday, 6 July 2012

Jaborosa integrifolia


Jaborosa integrifolia
A peculiar creeping relative of the Petunias and Nicotianas. I got down on my knees yesterday evening and discovered that it has a rather nice fresh scent. The down side is that this has a colonising habit, running around underground over quite a wide area so not something you'd want to grow among small delicate plants. An excellent ground cover though among shrubs and trees and larger herbaceous perennials. The stock plant is growing under Myrtles against a south-facing wall in a very dry soil but it will also grow in heavier soils and is surprisingly cold hardy.
1L pots ~ £7




Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Anemopsis californica

Anemopsis californica
Not to be confused with Anemonopsis – this is a relative of Houttuynia with very striking flowers, somewhat reminiscent of a Magnolia (though actually made up of lots of small flowers, rather than one big one).
Anemopsis californica
A colonising plant for shallow water or wet mud and one of the few garden plants that should be happy in a salt marsh. Fully hardy, but grow as warm as possible in full sun for best results.
fresh lifted plants ~ £8




Akebia longeracemosa

Akebia longeracemosa
An unusual and little-known climber – and much less rampant than the more common species but with similar fresh green foliage.
Akebia longeracemosa
The dangling inflorescences are very odd, with a few larger maroon female flowers at the top and a string of small male flowers below.
All in all - very striking and easy to grow
1L pots ~ £9




More new plants


Adenophora sp.
Adenophora liliifolia?
Obtained as A.lilifolia, which I'm pretty sure it's not, and being offered by another as A.aurita (said to be from Roy Lancaster no less), the naming of Adenophora in the trade does seem unusually messy. Nevertheless a very pretty upright species of bellflower with conical violet blue bells in summer over a long period. The foliage is not at all coarse and it does not run underground (unlike some). Easy and adaptable.
1L pots ~ £5




Anemone multifida
Anemone multifida
A lovely small species with rounded creamy flowers (some with a purplish shading on the outside) through spring and summer. For a sunny or semi-shady site on any reasonably well-drained soil. This species is often offered as A.palmata, but that is a completely different species.
1L pots ~ £4