Jun 032014
 
Maianthemum racemosum

Maianthemum racemosum

Maianthemum racemosum

Maianthemum racemosum

Take a moment to visually absorb the shades of green on the immature flower buds of Maianthemum racemosum. Growing on the edge of the woodland garden it is another member of the Ruscaceae family, native to North America.
Just about reaching 1 metre in height this herbaceous clump produces upright stems covered in alternate leaves with a terminal panicle of fragrant flowers.

Jun 252013
 
Silene italica. Photo by Tony Garn

Silene italica

On the hot hillsides of Crete Elspeth saw the potential of Silene italica. A feature of the Mediterranean macchi or its poorer relative the garigue scrub vegetation it was growing in association with  Helianthemum and Pistachia species. These short lived perennials were growing at c. 772 metres on goat grazed hillsides as isolated plants. Due to the baking sun, thin soil and impoverished nature of the terrain the plants were a maximum height of 600mm; here in the rock garden the benefits of rainfall and a deeper soil give growth to one metre height. The massed white flowers appear as a cloud, each has a quiffed trio of anthers adding to the spectacle.

Jun 182013
 

Now is the time to be cutting hedges for the first time this season. Where a formal appearance is required then trim using sharp hand shears. The fastigiated Yew, Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’ can be seen in the attached image. This is in need of a gentle look over to preserve form and shape. Occasionally rogue shoots appear at odd angles for this upright form of the common Yew. Get right to the juncture from where these arose and with secateurs remove.

Before commencing work check along the length of the hedge for nesting birds. Should active nests be present delay cutting to prevent disturbance until the end of the breeding season which may be as late as the end of August.

Taxus baccata 'Fastigiata' . Photo by Tony Garn

Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’

Taxus baccata 'Fastigiata' . Photo by Tony Garn

Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’ . Photo by Tony Garn

Jun 112013
 

Gaultheria hookeri, a mass of prostrate evergreen twiggy growth that covers mountainsides and as undergrowth to Rhododendron species in the Himalayas and Western China.

It is now flowering well at the Botanics, flattened inflorescences comprised of double rows of pearly white scented bell shaped flowers. These develop from leaf axils and a terminal inflorescence settling down within the foliage canopy. Thick leathery leaves with rough surfaces are ideal to withstand their natural windswept environment. The minute surface hairs preventing desiccation.

Gaultheria hookeri. Photo by Tony Garn

Gaultheria hookeri

Gaultheria hookeri. Photo by Tony Garn

Gaultheria hookeri

Gaultheria hookeri. Photo by Tony Garn

Gaultheria hookeri

Jun 032013
 

The late flowering Primula kisoana hails from Japan. A crossing of cultures; the title refers to Burns most recorded song probably well aired in Japan.

P. kisoana is easily grown but an uncommon plant of cultivation, preferring a cool moist soil with partial sun through dappled shade. Deeply indented large soft hairy leaves, the hairs more predominant leaf on the reverse side of the leaf and the stalk, than the top side.

A strong flower spike arising to 300mm from the foliage clump bears a multitude of flat faced flowers with rose coloured petals.

Primula kisoana. Photo by Tony Garn

Primula kisoana

Primula kisoana. Photo by Tony Garn

Primula kisoana

Primula kisoana, underside of leaf. Photo by tony Garn

Primula kisoana, underside of leaf

Jun 262012
 

Paramongaia weberbaueri is a tender bulb native to Peru. The genus is in the family Amaryllidaceae as are Daffodils. Growing to one metre plus; the long linear foliage holds up well in a glasshouse environment.

Suited to container culture provided adequate drainage is given, results in magnificent yellow trumpet like flowers on sturdy stems. These are marked on the inner corolla with outlandish green veins. The scent is heavy and floral; one of my colleagues is convinced it smells of washing up liquid.

Paramongaia weberbaueri. Photo by Tony Garn

Paramongaia weberbaueri

Paramongaia weberbaueri. Photo by Tony Garn

Paramongaia weberbaueri

Paramongaia weberbaueri. Photo by Tony Garn

Paramongaia weberbaueri

Jun 192012
 
Hosta lancifolia 'Aurea'. Photo by Tony Garn

Hosta lancifolia ‘Aurea’

Large green Hosta’s are often regarded as the cabbages of the ornamental garden; this specimen is more elegant Hosta lancifolia ‘Aurea’ is a delicate coloured cultivar.

The leaves unfurling from tight bud are a pale lemon yellow. When young translucent almost, but as the season progresses the green pigment evolves.

It will tolerate full sun if the root zone is moist. Where the soil dries out and a high temperature prevails the foliage shrivels and burns. The alternative is to plant in a shaded corner with damp soil but then the risk of slug damage increases.

Jun 122012
 

The Olympic torch passes through Edinburgh this week. Our own Olympic double has been showing promise thriving in the south border for many a year. Forming a thicket of growth, vigorous, whippy stems can race up to 2 metres in the season.

Rubus spectabilis ‘Olympic Double’ is a vigorous suckering deciduous shrub. The species, a native to the west coast of north America. It is now naturalised in Britain. This double flowered cultivar bears magenta red flowers packed with petals. Suited to full sun where it flowers in profusion.

Rubus spectabilis 'Olympic Double'. Photo by Tony Garn

Rubus spectabilis ‘Olympic Double’

Rubus spectabilis 'Olympic Double'. Photo by Tony Garn

Rubus spectabilis ‘Olympic Double’

Rubus spectabilis 'Olympic Double'. Photo by Tony Garn

Rubus spectabilis ‘Olympic Double’

Jun 282011
 

This year the black foliage cultivar of the “Elderberry”; Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ has blossomed; magnificently and with exuberance. It has the scent of the white flowered hedgerow “Elderberry” but the leaves are finely divided and of a deep black colour. A vigorous deciduous woody member of the family Adoxaceae. Should you decide to grow this hollow stemmed shrub then be sure to allow plenty of space. It will become a very large plant in the border restricting light to more delicate plantings that surround it.

The panicles of flowers are a deep violet shade. Cut and dipped in batter and fried at a high temperature these make an unusual addition to the traditional Scottish cooked breakfast, complimenting the fried egg, black pudding, tattie scone and Lorne sausage.

Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace'. photo by Tony Garn

Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’

Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace'. Photo by Tony Garn

Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’

Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace'. Photo by Tony Garn

Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’

Jun 212011
 
Delosperma lavisiae. Photo by Tony Garn

Delosperma lavisiae

The pink daisy like flowers of Delosperma lavisiae appreciates good levels of natural light. Sunlight is essential to persuade the buds to open revealing the ring of narrow linear petals. The plant hugs the ground, rarely growing more than 20mm in height. The root system delves down through, ideally, a raised growing area where rapid drainage is guaranteed. On a sunny day a group of these succulents bring a garden to life with their radiant colour. The sun and heat of the Drakensberg escarpment in SE Africa is the natural habitat of this drought tolerant spreading succulent.

The Garden remains open today until 10.30pm to allow visitors to take advantage of the longest day. Hopefully it will be a fine one. If you visit, the Delosperma can be seen on the Alpine wall and in the stone trough beside the Palm House.