Mar 012017
 
Galanthus nivalis 'Sandersii'

A lot of plants have caught my eye during the past decade while compiling a weekly profile on a seasonal plant of interest. Below are the consistently reliable ones. These are the plants that whatever the seasonal weather, will flower, produce fruit or give exceptional foliage interest. These are the ten to fill your garden with and appreciate for their resilience and growth.

January: Vinca difformis – Myriad white flowers covering a tight tangle of evergreen shoots

February: Galanthus spp. and cultivars, carpets of Snowdrops through borders and woodland.

An image is attached of G. nivalis ‘Sandersii’ growing in the frames within the alpine yard. The Sandersii group of Snowdrops are known for their yellow ovary and yellow tips to the inner tepals. This collection of bulbs is particularly fine, the colouration resembling free range egg yolk.

March: Iris histrioides – Plant tightly and appreciate the vivid blue of these flowers

April: Magnolia campbellii and the cultivar ‘Charles Raffill’ – Superb trees covered in impressive pink blooms

May: Syringa x persica – Scent and compact form make this a choice specimen

June: The deciduous Azaleas – Select a cultivar that suits your colour scheme

July: Lilium formosana var. pricei – compact, impressive flower trumpet and a heady fragrance

August: Desfontainia spinosa – A Chilean native with hanging tubular red and yellow flowers

September: Anemone x hybrid – A classic cottage garden favorite

October: Cimicifuga simplex- Long musty scented spikes of starry shaped white flowers

November: Ginkgo biloba – Golden yellow foliage covers the tree, dropping as a golden carpet

December: Helleborus foetidus – An evergreen perennial providing flower on the shortest day.

So to planting, there is always room in the garden for new planting. We are now at the start of a fresh growing season. The garden centres are filling with a wide array of plants in prime condition. Better still, visit a nursery and talk to the growers, don’t be tempted by short term planting it is too early in the season for that. Look at woody material; shrubs and trees. Make a wise selection and think of the decades of pleasure a £30 – £40 investment will give both you and your neighborhood. Don’t balk at the price, use your wealth to support our industry, this is an investment in your garden, our environment.

Prepare the soil well, incorporate organic matter and remove any large stones. For container grown plants, remove the pot and roughen up the edges and base of the compost root ball. This helps the new roots grow out into the border soil. Set the plant in the planting hole so that the top of the compost root ball is lightly covered with soil when you back fill. Firm and grade the soil in the border to a finished level.

Water gently, flicking some water over the shoots, leaves and stems to freshen up the plant. After all, it has been on a journey.

In the first year water all new plantings during dry spells and keep competing vegetation clear from the base of and around the plant.

Galanthus nivalis 'Sandersii'

Galanthus nivalis ‘Sandersii’

Galanthus nivalis 'Sandersii'

Galanthus nivalis ‘Sandersii’

Jul 262016
 

Baking in the heat on a raised terrace with flower spikes hitting two plus metres in height this Watsonia x longifolia is an elegant sight. It can be seen growing in the confines of the alpine area from where Elspeth promises to select a suitable planting site in the Garden and with due care and attention move the corms during the winter. Disliking disturbance it may then take a year or two to settle before annually producing tall flowering spikes of pink petalled flowers.

Watsonia x longifolia

Watsonia x longifolia

Watsonia x longifolia 19912196C Hilliard & Burtt 19130 (7a

Jul 112016
 
Helichrysum aucheri

Helichrysum aucheri

Helichrysum aucheri is in flower on the scree. Papery flower heads on 150mm stems. Collected in Turkey but native to greater Arabia. Grown in well drained soil and loving direct baking hot sun thus ensuring regular flowering. The silvery sheen on the foliage is sadly not at its best this year due to the continual torrential downpours we have experienced.

RBGE Living Collections Accession Factsheet
Accession Number:20000206
Scientific Name:Helichrysum aucheri Boiss
Family:Compositae
Genus:Helichrysum
Epithet:aucheri
Origin:Kasamonu, Ilgaz Dag pass
Elevation:1,800m
Plant:20000206D
Location:/Living Collections/Inverleith/R23/ZZZY10
Plant:20000206E
Location:/Living Collections/Inverleith/Q04/4
Plant:20000206C
Location:/Living Collections/Inverleith/Q27
Plant:20000206B
Location:/Living Collections/Unplaced
Plant:20000206A
Location:/Living Collections/Inverleith/Q04/1
Jul 112016
 
Cacalia aff. delphiniifolia

Cacalia aff. delphiniifolia

A collection from China is growing opposite the pond lawn. Cacalia aff. delphiniifolia (aff. means ‘akin to’ used in plant nomenclature) loves an area of bare soil within a woodland fringe. However, take a look at the red tinged arching shoots that are sent out from the parent plant. This is a strong growing, colonising herbaceous perennial. If you choose to plant it, then an annual clearance from the bases of shrubs and root zones of other herbaceous material is essential otherwise expect domination. Attractive foliage in the shape of divided leaves. The terminal flower spike is multi-budded, opening white. Needing good light to flower, those plants on the edge of the border producing strong stalks. As the shade deepens, little or no sign of flower spikes.

RBGE Living Collections Accession Factsheet
Accession Number:20091173
Scientific Name:Cacalia aff. delphiniifolia Siebold & Zucc.
Family:Compositae
Genus:Cacalia
Epithet:delphiniifolia
Collector:Howick, Charles & McNamara, William A.
Year:2000
Origin:Sichuan:above Maowen Research Station, Mao Co.,
Elevation:1,880m
Plant:20091173A
Location:/Living Collections/Inverleith/M22/Q030
Jul 052016
 

Looking for a splash of colour in the border? Trollius chinensis ‘Gold Queen’ could be the plant you are looking for. An herbaceous perennial growing to a height of 1.3m. The terminal cup shaped bright orange sepals surround the narrow mass of petals, a floral extravaganza. Also in flower is Ligustrum delavayanum, producing panicles of miniature, white, highly scented flowers. This multibranched evergreen “Privet” is found growing through Asia. Flowering as a timely reminder that when walking around suburbia the yet to be cut Privet hedges will also be full of pollinating insects making the most of these flowers. On warm still days the scent fills the gardens and pavements about them. One good reason to put off the inevitable and enjoy Wimbledon.

Trollius chinensis 'Gold Queen'

Trollius chinensis ‘Gold Queen’

 

Ligustrum delavayanum 20031515B LPE03 131 (19a

Ligustrum delavayanum

Trollius chinensis 'Gold Queen'

Trollius chinensis ‘Gold Queen’

Ligustrum delavayanum

Ligustrum delavayanum

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.

Jul 292014
 
Corylus ferox

Corylus ferox

Corylus ferox

Corylus ferox

Corylus ferox

Corylus ferox

Corylus ferox is a native to the Himalayas and NW China, found in association with Acer, Viburnum, Hippophae, Salix, spp. Seed was collected from a 6m x 5m deciduous tree in Sichuan Province where the parent plant was growing in a gravelly loam at 2410m on a NW facing mountainside. The multi stemmed plant growing in the copse is fruiting for the first time since grown from seed in 2005. A mass of spikes not dissimilar in looks to that of a Horse Chestnut carcass. However, these spikes are attached to both the nut and cup as protection and not as a complete shell casing. The colouring is intense red going creamy white as it matures.