Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Jamesia americana

Jamesia americana
Looks like a cross between a Deutzia and a Viburnum and is in fact a close relative of the former, but from the western USA, rather than Asia. I have it on good authority that this never flowers in the UK - mine evidently haven't been informed. 
I have two forms - the 'normal' form, a medium sized shrub with leaves about 2ins across, and a compact form from Larimer Co. Colorado, which has smaller, more textured foliage. Both are flowering at the moment.
Jamesia americana
I've been keeping them with the other Californians in a relatively open sunny hot place but I now suspect they are better in a moist semi shady situation. 
2L pots ~ £12




Saturday, 23 May 2015

Canna x ehemannii

Now for the big one - I've been looking forward to this. I finally have some divisions from the big clump on the nursery.
Canna x ehemannii, Caryopteris divaricata & Thladiantha dubia
This is a wonderful plant - I normally find Cannas a bit garish for my taste but this one has both vivid flowers and real class, plus it's an enormous tropical looking banana-y thing to 10ft or more in full flower with broad lush green leaves.
Canna x ehemannii
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.
Many thanks to Alan for the original plant.
Canna x ehemannii
5L pots ~ £20




Hugueninia tanacetifolia suffruticosa

Hugueninia tanacetifolia suffruticosa
What a mouthful! A peculiar and almost unheard-of small European brassica with very finely cut tansy-like foliage (tanacetifolia) and a soft woody base (suffruticosa)
Hugueninia tanacetifolia suffruticosa
I like the foliage best - especially in winter, but the yellow alyssum flowers are sweetly fragrant and popular with insects.
Hugueninia tanacetifolia suffruticosa
An easy plant for a well drained spot in sun.
1L pots ~ £6



Schisandra chinensis

Schisandra grandiflora
A vigorous but choice vine with nodding rounded creamy gardenia-scented blooms in late spring. Best in a moist soil in a cool spot but quite adaptable.
3L pots ~ £14




Friday, 8 May 2015

Horminum pyrenaicum - two forms

Horminum pyrenaicum
A choice Pyrenean alpine making lush rosettes of crinkly leaves with one-sided spikes of rich dark purple flowers in spring. Good for planting in a crevice between rocks, Like many true alpines, although they need good drainage they don't cope well with drought.
1L pots ~ £7



Horminum pyrenaicum alboviolaceum
Horminum pyrenaicum alboviolaceum
A form with white flowers tinged with violet at the edges. Very pretty.
1L pots ~ £7




Xanthoceras sorbifolium

Xanthoceras sorbifolium
A rare and highly sought-after small tree or medium sized shrub from Central Asia. As the name implies it has pinnate (Sorbus-like) leaves and in spring it produces handsome clusters of good sized white flowers, turning pink with age. Easy and hardy in a sunny well-drained spot and an excellent choice for poor chalky soils. The photo is the first flowering on a four year old seedling. The plants on offer are a year younger but big enough to plant out in the garden.
2L pots ~ £12 (very few)




Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Deutzias

Deutzia I think get unfairly ignored by the discerning gardener - possibly too many memories of D.scabra plena bought from Woolie's gardening department back in the 70s - possibly the dreariest and least interesting shrub commonly in cultivation. There are plenty of good Deutzias though. The flowers are beautifully designed and repay close inspection. I offer two examples...

Deutzia crenata nakaiana
Deutzia crenata nakaiana
A pretty low growing plant with pure white flowers in late spring.
Deutzia crenata nakaiana
Like most Deutzia it is unfussy about soil type and will grow well almost anywhere as long as not smothered by stronger neighbours.
2L pots ~ £8




Deutzia pulchra
Deutzia pulchra
A potentially quite large semi-evergreen species with flaking bark.
Deutzia pulchra
The flowers remind me very much of Correa flowers being bell-shaped and with the same soft texture, though in this case a simple chalky white. Easy and reliable in a variety of situations.
3L pots ~ £10