Feb 252016
 
Helleborus orientalis

Helleborus orientalis (20091439A)

Two different collections of Helleborus orientalis can be seen in the woodland garden. Both collected from Georgia. The smaller, with petals shaded pink and red was growing at 1210m on a grassy slope with Primula spp and amongst Picea and Carpinus. The more vigorous growing and consistent white flowered plants were found at a lower altitude 632m on a hillside of deciduous woodland. The variability of the wild species and its wide geographic location; Southern Europe to SW Asia, gives rise to many selected and named cultivars. Often sold as H. x hybridus cultivars.

Helleborus orientalis (20100667A)

Helleborus orientalis (20100667A)

RBGE Living Collections Accession Factsheet
Accession Number:20091439
Scientific Name:Helleborus orientalis Lam.
Family:Ranunculaceae
Genus:Helleborus
Epithet:orientalis
Collector:Mitchell, John; Brown, Richard & Harper, Geoffrey
Year:2009
Origin:West Asia and Egypt:Bakuriani:Timotesubani, across from church
Elevation:1,210m
Plant:20091439A
Location:/Living Collections/Inverleith/W21/S010
 Location: 41.810117,43.517633

 

RBGE Living Collections Accession Factsheet
Accession Number:20100667
Scientific Name:Helleborus orientalis Lam.
Family:Ranunculaceae
Genus:Helleborus
Epithet:orientalis
Collector:Brown, Richard & Prestage, Anne
Year:2010
Origin:West Asia and Egypt:Adjara:Nearer to Village of Tskhemlisi
Elevation:632m
Plant:20100667B
Location:/Living Collections/Inverleith/W09/N/A010
Plant:20100667A
Location:/Living Collections/Inverleith/W09/S/ZV010
2010.0667A (2).JPG
 Location: 41.690222,42.162583

 

Feb 162016
 

Carpets of Ivy, Hedera helix, are wonderful for ground cover but once the vigorous shoots start encroaching on tree trunks, walls and through the base of woody shrubs competition is fierce. The juvenile growth has smaller leaves. After several years mature, more woody growth is produced and this holds flowers and subsequent fruit. A giant in the ecological world, Ivy provides cover to myriad organisms, stability to soil, food in the form of pollen, nectar and berries, as a foil to mature trees, bird nesting cover. It does, however, need to be kept within acceptable bounds in a garden. Rampant Ivy saps vigour from other plants and on buildings will unseat coping stones and disrupt roof tiles.

Hedera helix

Hedera helix

Feb 092016
 

Daphne ‘Spring Beauty’ is indeed a beauty and scented too. An evergreen shrub hybridised in the 1820’s it has a mass of flowers in a terminal cluster. Purple in bud, opening a lighter shade of pink and when open a heavy powerful scent fills the air around and about. Enjoying an open situation Daphne will flower reliably from an early age. Choose a permanent position as they do dislike being transplanted. Ideally sheltered from drying winds and too bright summer sunshine, in soil that drains well.

Daphne 'Spring Beauty'

Daphne ‘Spring Beauty’

Daphne 'Spring Beauty'

Daphne ‘Spring Beauty’

Feb 022016
 
Ficus carica
Ficus carica

Ficus carica

Ficus carica needs a warm corner to produce a reliable crop of Figs in autumn. As a native to the Middle East as much for winter protection of the embryo fruit which populate the branches on the previous season’s growth. But this shelter and warmth is also essential through the year to ripen the fruit to split perfection. For the tastiest fruit, resist the temptation to harvest until the fig splits slightly and starts to ooze juice. As growth commences in spring additional fruit buds will form. Given a good growing season these too will swell and ripen.

Fig Ficus carica 22 1 2016 (2a

 

Feb 262015
 

The sand bench within the alpine house contains a swathe of colour. Spring bulbs in full bloom are always a welcome show after the winter.
Yellow, the predominant colour, with Narcissus pseudonarcissus the first of the large trumpet Daffodils to bloom.

Alpine house

Alpine house

Crocus etruseus 'Zwanenburg'

Crocus etruseus ‘Zwanenburg’

Crocus etruseus 'Zwanenburg'

Crocus etruseus ‘Zwanenburg’

Narcissus pseudonarcissus

Narcissus pseudonarcissus

Feb 172015
 
Lonicera caerulea var. glabrescens

Lonicera caerulea var. glabrescens

Lonicera caerulea var. glabrescens; sparse to flower and when it does, the terminal and auxiliary cluster are small and relatively insignificant. This is a late winter flowering multi growth shrub of deciduous habit where growth becomes a criss-cross of shoots.
It has flowered through from early January into February. The cold frosty nights have not damaged the small creamy white flowers.

The species is widely distributed geographically through the northern hemisphere and consequently exhibits many variants. Several of these wild growing varieties have been described and named, of which this is one. Plants are found growing within deciduous forest areas, reaching around 2+ metres in height.
Unfortunately Bean in his book , “Trees and shrubs hardy in the British Isles” notes “it has little or no merit for gardens but is interesting botanically.” Where better a place to cultivate than in a botanic garden? The botanical interest lies in the make-up of the ovaries that give rise to the pair of flowers.

Feb 102015
 
Iris nicolai

Deep loamy clay soil suits this bulbous Iris presently in flower in the alpine house. With the proviso that when watering none should fall on the foliage.
Collected last year within the Hazrati-Sho range in Tajikistan where it grew at 2015m with Allium, Eremurus, Rosa as associated flora in lush vegetation
A variable species in flower colour, Iris nicolai has a large flower; purple, white, yellow and splashes of deep red velvet on the falls. Quite exquisite with the early sun striking the colours through the alpine house glass.

Iris nicolai

Iris nicolai

Feb 052015
 

Days are lengthening and the soil is warming. At this time of year be aware of the weed population shooting up and flowering. Catch the winter “keepers” now. Many are flowering and others are holding embryo seed pods. Once the sun gains strength the weed population develops. There are exceptions to the, hoe all; control all, theory. Emerging bees are glad of a

Lamium album

Lamium album

Lamium album

Lamium album

nectar sink where they can take on board much needed fuel after the winter. Lamium album and L. purpureum are two self seeders that merit avoidance when wielding the hoe. These vigorous growers have square stems which hold lipped white flowers held tight in to the stem at the leaf axil. These flowers are beneficial to all emerging insects so protect a patch in your garden.

Mar 192014
 
Latua pubiflora

Latua pubiflora

Latua pubiflora has been in flower intermitently since January this year and is still going strong!

Click here for more information

Feb 252014
 
Iris unguicularis ssp. cretensis 19750060A 1 popup

Iris unguicularis ssp. cretensis 19750060A

Continuing from last weeks post with the theme of flowers requiring warmth to release their scent is Iris unguicularis ssp. cretensis. A delightful compact species with, at bud stage, tightly rolled petals. Unfurling a dominant blue reveal yellow splashes of colour with net vein lines on the falls resembling a peacock feather in miniature. A native of Crete and areas of Greece where it is baked by the intense sunlight.

In the garden, growing at the base of a conifer where the soil is dry and moisture from rainfall hard to come by.Iris unguicularis ssp. cretensis Here the rhizomatous root system manages to imbibe and store enough water to throw out fresh growth of the narrowest pencil thin foliage and produce a crop of flowers annually.