Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Persicaria tenuicaulis

Persicaria tenuicaulis
A choice little woodlander – unlike any of the other common species. Slowly spreading to make a colony of stocky little plants with small silvery green leaves, and in spring, makes short spikes of pure white flowers with black anthers.
Adaptable but best in moist but well-drained woodsy soil in shade.
Never even slightly weedy. In fact, keep an eye on it or it might get lost.
1L pots ~ £6



Monday, 19 December 2016

Salix gracilistyla Mt.Aso

Salix gracilistyla Mt. Aso
Maybe the idea of a pink flowered willow sounds a bit kitsch but I promise you this one carries it off very tastefully indeed. This is a naturally occurring form of gracilistyla (not chaenomeloides as was originally thought) and can be quite a substantial shrub in time, very much like its relative the black willow (melanostachys) but with greyish twigs and leaves.
 Salix gracilistyla Mt. Aso
An easy and adaptable willow in any retentive soil in sun or part shade
3L pots ~ £10



Cardiocrinum cordatum Red Vein

An unbelievably easy and adaptable plant here on the nursery, especially given how dry it gets here in the summer. They've grown quickly and easily even in small pots and one even flowered after only 2 years from seed.
Cardiocrinum cordatum Red Vein
The rosette of glossy red-veined cordate leaves is the most ornamental feature in spring but the long, slightly flattened pale green/cream flowers are well worth checking out. These are produced on a 40 - 60cm tall stem in summer. Like other Cardiocrinum, the mature bulb splits after flowering to make several smaller bulbs which should flower a few years later.
Cardiocrinum - almost certainly cordatum
No doubt would be at its best in moist woodsy shady sites, but like I say, remarkably tolerant here in my normal compost even in dryish shade.
1L pots ~ £8



Saturday, 10 September 2016

Manettia cordifolia

Manettia cordifolia
An extremely pretty small herbaceous perennial climber from Brazil with lots of 2 in pure scarlet tubular flowers in late summer and autumn. Cultivation information is a little scarce but American sites seem to agree that this will grow in USDA z8 and as I grow quite a lot of z8 plants here I’m pleased to give it a try.
Manettia cordifolia
Even if it ends up being one of those plants that needs bringing in in the winter it will be worth it because its modest size and the fact that it dies down completely to tuberous roots in winter makes it very easy to handle. An ideal small vine for decorating shrubs or putting on a trellis.
1L pots ~ £8



Monday, 15 August 2016

Lonicera hirsuta

Lonicera hirsuta
A honeysuckle from North America with broad green leaves and heads of golden flowers subtended by a pair of rounded bracts.
Lonicera hirsuta
A lovely and rare woodland climber.
3L pots ~ £8



Lobelia laxiflora angustifolia

Lobelia laxiflora
A spreading perennial with fresh narrow foliage topped in summer with tubular orange and yellow flowers.
Hardy here. It might suffer in a very cold year but otherwise a reliable border perennial. This has a reputation for running but I’ve not found it excessive.
1L pots ~ £7



Allium macranthum

Allium macranthum
A quite highly sought-after Asian species, superficially similar to A.cernuum but slightly larger and without the nodding flower stem.
Allium macranthum
It also needs cooler, moister conditions.  In this form the flowers are a soft purple.
10cm pots ~ £7




Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Pulsatilla bungeana

Pulsatilla bungeana
A very lovely Chinese pasque flower with the nearest blue flowers I've seen in the group.
Pulsatilla bungeana
Easy and hardy in 'alpine' conditions (freely drained but not parched soil and full exposure to the sun and air).
Pulsatilla bungeana
This is the parent plant in a garden in Ontario. Thanks to Rob & Sharon Illingworth for the seeds.
1L pots ~ £7



Vitex negundo Heterophylla


Vitex negundo heterophylla
A hardier Chinese species than agnus-castus that seems to flower over a longer period in summer so possibly better for ordinary garden conditions. The flower spikes are looser and paler and the leaflets are broader and paler.
Vitex negundo heterophylla
In the form Heterophylla, the foliage is attractively toothed and the whole effect is fresh and light. Can make a large shrub in a sunny spot.
2L pots ~ £8



Friday, 15 July 2016

Aucuba himalaiaca dolichophylla

Aucuba himalaica dolichophylla
A slow growing and compact ‘spotted laurel’ up to about 4ft high with attractive narrow dark green foliage, lightly spotted with yellow. This is a male clone with striking dark red flowers in conspicuous branching sprays in early spring.
Aucuba himalaica dolichophylla
For exactly the same conditions as the common species but much choicer. Many thanks to Nymans for the original plant.
1L pots ~ £9



Lonicera sempervirens Cedar Lane

Lonicera sempervirens Cedar Lane
A brilliant species producing 3in long tubular vivid red flowers from early spring until well into summer. The foliage is not evergreen (contrary to the specific epithet) but is a rich soft purple when it first emerges, and the top-most pair form a dish around the flowers. Fully hardy and easy in a sunny spot on a wide variety of soils. Much better than x brownii, which for some reason is usually recommended over sempervirens.
Lonicera sempervirens Cedar Lane in a Pyracantha
Grow it in a Pyracantha and make an ersatz Embothrium!
1L pots ~ £9



Blechnum penna-marina alpina

Blechnum penna-marina alpina
A perfect little creeping evergreen fern – like our native deer fern but only 2-3ins high. The new fronds are copper tinted and the plant can cover a large area in time – ideal under and amongst moisture loving dwarf shrubs and larger alpines. Fully hardy.
10cm pots ~ £5



Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Hydrangea heteromalla Snowcap

Hydrangea heteromalla Snowcap
Eventually a large tree-like species producing plenty of good-sized creamy white inflorescences from a young age.
Hydrangea heteromalla Snowcap
The foliage is pleasantly textured and tinted red when young. A hardy and vigorous woodland shrub.
3L pots ~ £9



Pseudowintera colorata

Pseudowintera colorata
A colourful medium-sized evergreen shrub from New Zealand - the foliage olive green/khaki, speckled and tinged with purple and black. It sounds weird but is actually rather lovely. The flowers are small and mustard yellow and not especially ornamental but pleasant.
This has proved to be a good hardy shrub for sun or part shade, but best kept out of freezing winds.
Grindelia chiloensis
New Zealand plants are often cryptically coloured in shades of brown, yellow and even orange and black, almost as if they want to look sick or dead. I assume this is some sort of camouflage against herbivores. The results are not attractive to everyone but are always intriguing. The only large native herbivores in NZ are birds, and in particular, until relatively recently, the giant flightless moa so I guess that's what they were hiding from.
1L pots ~ £9



Setaria palmifolia

Setaria palmifolia
A large and dramatic grass with strikingly ribbed leaves and forming a tussock to about 2ft high and twice that across. The flowers are relatively modest millet-like sprays but the overall effect is very lush and exotic.
Setaria palmifolia
Usually considered a tender species for subtropical bedding but I've had it for years in open borders both on heavy clay soil and the better drained soil at the nursery, mulched with straw in winter. It usually gets heavily bitten back in winter but there's always been enough root for it to come back strongly in spring.
1L pots ~ £7



Strobilanthes angustifrons (aka Pteracanthus or possibly Goldfussia)

Strobilanthes angustifrons

A relatively tall sub-shrubby species almost unknown in cultivation it seems - the name is very much in doubt too. Nonetheless an interesting species looking somewhat like a Weigela out of flower but with rich purple flowers in late summer.
Strobilanthes angustifrons

Hardiness is uncertain but there has been a good-sized specimen in the walled garden at Wakehurst for some time now. (The foliage in the photos is of a Philadelphus)
1L pots ~ £8



Dichromena (aka Rhynchospora) colorata

Dichromena colorata
An unusual little sedge to about 12ins high, with prominent white bracts beneath the heads of flowers - a bit like an umbrella grass (Cyperus) but with conspicuous 'flowers'. This is a wetland plant from warmer parts of the USA, often seen growing with Sarracenia (pitcher plants) in the wild.
Dichromena colorata
In cultivation it is easy to grow in shallow water but likely to need some protection from intense cold, and shallow water that warms up quickly in summer.
Clump-forming - not invasive.
10cm pots ~ £5



Forsythia suspensa Nymans

Forsythia suspensa Nymans
Forget about the garish yellow blobs you see about the country through February and March - Forsythia has several much choicer and less overwhelming species to offer. Suspensa is in effect a giant winter jasmine (to which it is related) that can be trained in as a climber, or allowed to drape itself among other vigorous shrubs, or pruned in summer to make an arching shrub.
Forsythia suspensa Nymans
The flowers are large and nodding and pale yellow and scattered along the branches, which, in this variety, are dark purple. Really quite choice!
3L pots ~ £9