Aug 252015
 

A fine growing season for the genus Eucryphia – cool and moist. This deciduous species, E. glutinosa is awash with white petalled flowers supporting a spectacular central mass of delicate stamens. The red anthers split releasing copious amounts of pollen. As the flower buds first expand, the brown sepals protecting the immature petals contrast against the tightly rolled cylinder.
First introduced from Chile in 1859; looking through details of our wild collected plants it has been found growing from 60 – 700m in lush, species rich Chilean forest dominated by Nothofagus, at lower altitudes observed growing at stream margins in dry forest.

Eucryphia glutinosa

Eucryphia glutinosa

Eucryphia glutinosa

Eucryphia glutinosa

Eucryphia glutinosa

Eucryphia glutinosa

Aug 182015
 

Astilbe japonica has plumes of pure white flowers with a musty scent attracting the pollinators, as the name implies, a native to Japan. The generic name Astilbe, is from the Greek “without brightness” referring to the leaves lack of brightness. Growing to 1.2m it is a strong growing clump forming plant, flowering more prolifically in sun but thriving in light shade.

Astilbe japonica

Astilbe japonica

Astilbe japonica

Astilbe japonica

Aug 112015
 
Desfontainia spinosa
Desfontainia spinosa

Desfontainia spinosa

Desfontainia spinosa a native to Chile, Ecuador, Peru. The parent plant of this specimen was growing in the Alerce Andino National Park, Chile at a relatively low altitude of 200 metres. The plant is covered in striking mid red tubular flowers, the lobes coloured yellow. The stamens are fused to the inner of the corolla tube with the needle like stigma tube retained on the plant well after the corolla drops. This well branched slow growing evergreen shrub has leaves with unforgiving spines. It is well worth sourcing this plant for the colour it provides.

Desfontainia spinosa

Desfontainia spinosa

 

Aug 032015
 

The spectacular flowers of Romneya coulteri are to be seen in the Queen Mother Memorial Garden on the north boundary border. The large white pleated petals surround the prominent ring doughnut grouping of yellow anthers. These lightly fragrant flowers are produced on the current season’s growth of glaucous blue foliage and are more prolific given a warm, sheltered situation with well-drained soil. A native to Mexico and California where it will bake in their summer temperatures. Considering the lack of sunshine this month in Edinburgh it illustrates how adaptable the plant is. Resentful of root disturbance, Romneya will sucker away from the parent plant and may become invasive where climate and soil suit. Here it has razzled through the Yew hedge and protrudes through the boundary railings. During the winter these outlying shoots can be severed and transplanted.

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

Jul 282015
 

Stephanandra tanakae a deciduous shrub with long arching growth. Native to Honshu Japan where it was seen growing on steep NE facing rocky cliffs at 920m. Here only attaining 1m x 1m in size. In our deeper, more fertile soil the plants are reaching 2m x 2m and producing a mass of small white flowers contained in terminal panicles. Ideally grow in full sun where the flowers are much more prolifically produced than in a shaded situation. Foliage a fresh mid green with a serrated edge.

Stephanandra tanakae

Stephanandra tanakae

Stephanandra tanakae

Stephanandra tanakae

Jul 212015
 

The fashion to breed tighter more compact plants for modern gardens by passed this species from Japan. Hemerocallis exaltata is a vigorous herbaceous plant, the flower spikes reaching almost two metres in height. Showy, bright yellow trumpets are seen best with the sun on them. Certainly the clump planted in the garden border is visible from a distance away across the Oak Lawn.
A gentleman by the name of Arlow Stout (1876 – 1957) crossed many species and cultivars of Hemerocallis in the United States. An academic who understood the intricacies of pollination he became a prolific hybridiser and writer. Arlow worked at New York Botanical Garden from 1911 until 1948 where he also initiated a study to produce seedless grapes.

Hemerocallis exaltata

Hemerocallis exaltata

Hemerocallis exaltata

Hemerocallis exaltata

Jul 012015
 
Styrax officinalis

Styrax officinalis

Styrax officinalis

Styrax officinalis

Styrax officinalis

Styrax officinalis

Styrax officinalis; a deciduous shrub with the most attractive white flowers. These are produced on the current season’s shoots. Initially a spherical creamy bud that on opening reveals a cluster of yellow anthers held on white filaments. Reference material mentions scented flowers; it is barely perceptible, even on a warm, still, humid day.
The ovate foliage is velvety to the touch and has a vague grey tomentose sheen to the reverse.

A native to southern Europe and the Middle East. Plants were observed growing in southern Anatolia, Turkey in field margins, cultivated areas and on steep slopes at 1098m. Our plants growing near the west gate have signs of winter tip dieback, but nothing detrimental to the plant which has put on good growth through this spring and into early summer.

Jun 232015
 
Paeonia 'Rose Garland'

Paeonia ‘Rose Garland’

Paeonia 'Rose Garland'

Paeonia ‘Rose Garland’

Paeonia 'Rose Garland'

Paeonia ‘Rose Garland’

Paeonia 'Rose Garland'

Paeonia ‘Rose Garland’

 

 

 

 

 

The herbaceous Peonies; short lived in bloom but once established in the border are you callous enough to dig them out? This cultivar, Paeonia ‘Rose Garland’ dates from the 1940’s, benefitting from a few pea sticks to hold the top heavy growth in place. It repays the gardener and florist with colour from bud swell stage, when they are ideal for cutting to place in a vase, to petal drop. Left in place the seed pods ripen and split open adding interest later in the season.

Jun 162015
 

Let your eye run the length of the alpine wall; an intricate mass of flower is your reward. Petrophytum hendersonii cascades down the south face of the limestone with catkin like racemes of flower. A native to NW USA where its dwarf mat like growth can be found clinging to cliffs and rock faces. The multitude of off white flowers have a slight scent and are ideal to detract from the hideous shades of the dwarf Phlox cultivars belching out lurid shades of red though the diverse range of planting within the limestone mulch.

Petrophytum hendersonii

Petrophytum hendersonii

Petrophytum hendersonii

Petrophytum hendersonii

Alpine wall mid June 2015

Alpine wall mid June 2015

Jun 102015
 
Rodgersia pinnata 'Irish Bronze'

Rodgersia pinnata ‘Irish Bronze’

The bronze foliage cultivar of Rodgersia pinnata ‘Irish Bronze’ is particularly showy when the sun sifts through the leaves. It highlights the shades of colour contrast; deep bronze through light shades and ranging to almost translucent when the direct sun shines at its most powerful. Be sure to take a look at the group in the F beds here at RBGE from both pathways to appreciate the full contrast of colour.

Walking through the garden many variations in foliage colour and form within the genus Rodgersia can be seen. All are herbaceous, growth arising from a thick mass of root that prefers to sit on or just below the soil surface. All Rodgersia species enjoy a moisture retentive soil and a seasonal mulch with organic matter.

Rodgersia pinnata 'Irish Bronze'

Rodgersia pinnata ‘Irish Bronze’