Monday, 16 December 2013

New phone number

Please note that due to an administrative hoo-ha our mobile phone number has had to change.


It is now 07955744802

A Merry Yule and a Happy 2014 to all our friends and customers

Clematis urophylla
Clematis urophylla ~ available now

Monday, 28 October 2013

Adenophora takedae

Adenophora takedae
A very pretty little Japanese bellflower; the flowers are relatively large for the size of the plant and held on delicate wiry stems. Fully hardy and late flowering.
For well drained (but not too dry), sunny (but not too hot) situations, with alpines or other small perennials and bulbs.
3in pots ~ £5




Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Digitalis obscura

Digitalis obscura
A very distinct small, almost shrubby species from Spain. Generally hardy in the southern portion of the UK, especially in drier areas but worthy of a special place in a raised bed or container.
Digitalis obscura
Thanks again to Dennis for the seed.
1l pots ~ £6



Monday, 14 October 2013

Salvia roemeriana

Salvia roemeriana
A diminutive representative of the of the American red Salvia group from Texas. Makes a neat little plant with rounded leaves. Cold hardy but needs very well drained sunny sites.
2L pots ~ £6



Friday, 11 October 2013

Spiraea thunbergii

Spiraea thunbergii
I get the impression that Spiraea is one of those groups, like Hypericum, that most keen gardeners tend to scoot past, and generally speaking I'd do likewise, but I've come to learn that almost every group has something choice to offer and it can be fun locating it.

Spiraea thunbergii is one such gem - hardly an obscurity (it has an AGM after all) but I hardly ever see it in gardens or nurseries. It is an exquisite shrub combining sprays of pure white flowers with the lightest and freshest of pale green leaves, all in a loose billowing (but not overly large) arching shrub up to about 4ft tall and across. Mine flowers surprisingly early in the year (March) and goes on into May. After that the foliage and form make a very pleasant contrast to darker heavier plants, and are never even slightly ugly.
Can be pruned quite hard after flowering if neccessary and I imagine it would make a good informal hedge.
Very easy to please on any soil in sun. Absolutely spiffing in every way.
1L pots ~ £7



More Autumn flowering labiates

Following on from my listings of Colquhounia, Elscholzia, Rostrinucula and Keiskea, here are a few more to look at. All have a pleasantly informal easy-going look that is perfectly in keeping with the season. They combine as well with the sunflower types (Helenium, Rudbeckia etc) as they do with the autumn flowering woodlanders such as Tricyrtis. All are ideal for covering up after the Trilliums and Erythroniums are done.

Rabdosia longituba
Isodon longitubus (aka Rabdosia longituba or Plectranthus longitubus)
Despite the indecision over the name, one of the absolute best late flowering perennials, with shoals of clear violet flowers over a long period from late summer and well into autumn.
Rabdosia longituba
The flowers really glow in the low autumn light like tiny violet blue gas flames. The camera never does it justice. Any soil in sun or semi shade. Easy but may not emerge until May or June.
sold out for now - more later in the summer


Plectranthus excisus
Plectranthus excisus
Closely related to the above, this one produces a profusion of violet flowers too, but in long slanting racemes.
Plectranthus excisus
The foliage is also unusual in shape and takes on pleasant tints as the season progresses.
May be late to appear in summer. Very few this year, but more next.
sold out for now - more later in the summer

Chelonopsis moschata
Chelonopsis moschatus
Quite different - this one has tubular pink flowers more like a Penstemon (some of which used to be classified as Chelone - hence the name) and foliage that reminds me a bit of a Hydrangea. This is a rhizomatous perennial, spreading steadily but not in a bad way. Usually grown as a woodlander (where it is admirable) but adaptable, and flowering over a long period.
sold out for now - more later in the summer

Leucosceptrum stellipilum formosanum
Leucosceptrum stellipilum formosanum
Mauve pink bottle-brushes and large (to 6ins) fresh pale green foliage. A lush leafy herbaceous perennial related to Elscholtzia, Agastache and Rostrinucula, and with the same late flowering season - well into November if the weather allows.
Leucosceptrum stellipilum formosanum
Possibly best in sheltered woodland to avoid hot sun and early frosts which can damage the display. Otherwise easy and adaptable.
2L pots ~ £6



Salvia reptans

Salvia reptans
Very different – this is a slender willowy American, very late f;lowering species with very narrow, almost grassy green leaves, giving a very light fresh effect in the garden among grasses or grey leaved shrubs. The flowers are exquisite – small but of intense cobalt blue on fine stems above the foliage and produced from September until the frosts. For open well-drained sunny sites.
Salvia reptans
Two things: like many bushy Salvias, the stems are quite brittle, and the flowering, being so late can be spoilt by harsh weather, so although quite cold hardy, all in all best given some shelter.

Ps. not to be confused with S.repens which is a low growing S. African species with short spikes of mauvish flowers. I think both reptans and repens mean creeping (as in reptile) but this one, so far at least, does no such thing. Strange...
2L pots ~ £7



Monday, 23 September 2013

Iris gracilipes

Iris gracilipes
Neat grassy tussocks (quite ornamental in themselves) sprout multitudes of small but perfectly formed mauve flowers in June. A terrific little Evansia, related to I.cristata and verna but much much easier to grow and flower.
Iris gracilipes
Seems more than happy so far in well-drained shade but I have the feeling it'll be quite adaptable elsewhere.
Another one of those plants I grow here that I look at and think Why on earth isn't everyone growing this?
10cm pots ~ £6




Gladiolus papilio

Gladiolus papilio
A terrific tall slender species that always attracts attention with its cryptically coloured nodding flowers. Easy and perfectly hardy around here and, though I've not tried it, probably worth trying to naturalise in rough grass. It can run about a bit underground, popping up here and there so I recommend planting it among herbaceous perennials or low shrubs that are done flowering for the year.
10cm pots ~ £5




Commelina robusta

Commelina robusta
A stunning North American species similar in many ways to the popular but tender C.tuberosa, with bigger flowers, and a rather sprawling habit that makes it perfect for growing among plants that need a bit of jazzing up late in the season. Late to emerge (June) but flowers continuously from mid summer until bitten back by the frost.
Commelina robusta
Give it as much sun as possible and a retentive fertile soil, and maybe give it a protective mulch (though I'm not really convinced it needs it).
sold out

Monday, 2 September 2013

Keiskea japonica Pink form

Keiskea japonica pink form
Keiskea are from Japan and make extremely pretty bushy herbaceous perennials to about 2ft tall. The pink is very pale so the flowers shine out against the dark tinted foliag.
Plants that flower late into autumn are always worth having and there are a number of late season Lamiaceae (mint family) from eastern Asia that are far too little grown in the UK. Colquhounia, Elscholzia and Rostrinucula are three that I grow, and this is another.
Keiskea japonica
Adaptable and completely hardy, but possibly at their best in coolish, moistish spots.

1L pots ~ £7




Boehmeria

Vigorous and lush herbaceous perennials of the nettle family

Boehmeria tricuspis
Boehmeria tricuspis
Suggest growing an ornamental nettle to most gardeners and I suspect they'd look at you funny and head off in another direction, but this really is a good one - not stinging, and not at all invasive - just good lush foliage and attractive catkins in late summer.
Boehmeria tricuspis
Thrives best in moistish woodsy conditions but happy anywhere that doesn't dry out too much.
Sold out 

Boehmeria sieboldiana
Boehmeria sieboldiana
Very like a big lush nettle actually, but don't let that put you off - not at all invasive (or stinging) with pale creamy catkins.
Boehmeria sieboldiana
A good summer woodlander for rich moist soils.
1L pots ~ £6



Monday, 26 August 2013

Eriogonum grande rubescens

Eriogonum rubescens grande dark form
A charming curio from California. (Thanks again Dennis.) Dense clusters of rosy flowers on disproportionately long, wiry, branching, green stems.
Eriogonum grande rubescens
The leaves are a small rosette with a fine coat of white silk.
Eriogonum grande rubescens
Hard to describe but reminiscent, to me at least, of a very choice Limonium (Sea Lavender).
For hot dry conditions and easily replaced from seed if the winter sees them off.
1L pots ~ £6



Mertensia pterocarpa yezoensis

Mertensia pterocarpa yezoensis
A superb little mountain woodlander from Japan with foliage almost exactly like a tiny Hosta sieboldiana (very glaucous) and in good condition all summer. The sky blue flowers are mostly produced in spring but apparently occasionally later on too. Keep cool and moist but not wet in sun or semi shade.  Very rare.
1L pots ~ £7




Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Sussex Prairies Plant Fair

Sussex Prairies plant fair
Once again we will be at Sussex Prairies on Sunday, September 1st. This is the only fair we do at the moment (us not having a van as yet, and it being just down the road from the nursery) but it's good hectic fun and a great opportunity to chat to fellow plant nuts.

Sussex Prairies itself is famed for its immense Prairie plantings (lots of grasses and giant herbaceous perennials in huge drifts) set around a geometrical pattern of broad grass fairways. For the fair there are also sculptures to look at (and buy) and a huge selection of specialist nurseries, including some from the continent.

Please feel free to contact me in advance if you would like to reserve some plants to pick up at the fair.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Zaluzianskya ovata orange centred form

Zaluzianskya ovata two forms
For those who don't know it, Zaluzianskya ovata is a small herbaceous perennial commonly sold for rockeries, front of the border, bedding or hanging baskets (which gives you some idea how easy going it is). The main attraction is the flowers which, as with night scented stocks, open in the evening and fill the air with fragrance. (In the day time all you can see is the wine-purple backs of the petals.)
This form is exactly the same except that (you guessed it) each flower has a bold orange blob at the centre, which I think, makes them much more eye-catching, and the foliage seems better too - more compact and a darker green. The picture shows both types side by side so you can compare.
For sunny well-drained sites, and usually fairly cold hardy but take cuttings if in doubt.
Sold out for now

Monday, 5 August 2013

Rudbeckia maxima


Rudbeckia maxima
An extraordinary tall species without the overwhelming bulk of so many of the sunflower fraternity. The large upright glaucous paddle-shaped leaves make an attractive cluster at ground level through the spring, then the very tall (anything up to 10ft tall!) flower stems appear in late summer, each with a classic black and gold cone flower at the tip.
Rudbeckia maxima
If you grow it among taller plants the basal leaves tend to be spoiled so best placed among low growing plants at the front of the border, or as an isolated specimen, perhaps in a (not too dry) gravel garden.
For any retentive soil in sun.
Vigorous young plants in 1L pots ~ £6





Monday, 29 July 2013

Two very spikey creatures


Cynara humilis 
Cynara humilis
An exquisite dwarf cardoon to 18ins high and the same across, making rosettes of finely cut dark
green spikey leaves on the ground and relatively large vivid violet thistle heads. Wonderful.
Cynara humilis
For dry sunny sites.
Sold out - sorry

Cynara humilis white flowered form
Cynara humilis white
Often white forms do not compare well with the basic forms but this is at least as good. The
narrow filaments remind me of white chocolate cake decorations. Gorgeous.
Many thanks to Sal Soares for the seed.
1L pots ~ £7