Sep 032014
 

The vigorous cross, Anemone x hybrida makes a dash of colour in the copse here at the garden. This shaded area with moist soil proving a perfect home to grow and develop.
A vigorous plant reaching 1.5m bearing simple terminal flowers with pink petals. It is however a variable hybrid with many colour forms. This group producing a succession of flowers with overlapped petals cupped together as a shallow dish. As the petals drop the ring of yellow stamens gains prominence.

In contrast, to exhibit the diversity of the hybrid, A. x ‘hybrida ‘Whirlwind’ has pure white petals and can be seen in the roadside planting opposite the rock garden.

Anemone x hybrida

Anemone x hybrida

Anemone x hybrida

Anemone x hybrida

Anemone x hybrida 'Whirlwind'

Anemone x hybrida ‘Whirlwind’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 242013
 

Blooms resembling a chalice are opening on the vigorous growth of Solandra grandiflora covering the railing of the elevated walkway in the temperate house.

Planted in the border at ground level this liana from tropical South America and the West Indes will rapidly cover any support. Naturally reaching 30 metres it romps up into forest trees using the strength of the trees branch framework as support.

The flowers are exceptional, in form, colour and scent but short lived. The buds etiolate, swell like puffed up nostrils and burst open. Five anther pads are covered in ash brown pollen which sheds onto the cream yellow, striated brown, inner corolla. To experience the headiest scent visit during the late evening or night when the chalice shaped corolla amplifies the scent. The pistil protrudes out with the edge of the fused corolla. This, the longest lasting part of the flower, remains as a wand held between the sepals.

Solandra grandiflora. Photo by Tony Garn

Solandra grandiflora

Solandra grandiflora. Photo by Tony Garn

Solandra grandiflora

Solandra grandiflora. Photo by Tony Garn

Solandra grandiflora

Sep 172013
 

Relegated to the back of our memories during the past dismal summers and severe winters, a Fig tree has cropped well this year. A handsome specimen, Ficus carica, is on a south west wall it has produced a crop in this warm dry season. Though the fruit may not be as plump as those bought in a Turkish market.

For latitude 55 degrees north, on a par with Moscow, it illustrates what a favourable microclimate can produce from a species native to the Middle East.

A much branched deciduous wall shrub with us, reaching 5 metres in height and more than this in spread. The foliage is deeply lobed and large, 250m x 250mm. The immature figs are held tight in the leaf axils of this year’s and the previous year’s growth. Individual flowers are held within what becomes the skin of the fruit and are all female. On ripening the stalk elongates and the fruit adopts a hanging position.

We now rely on a temperate winter allowing the immature flower buds to survive the cold and wet then swell to maturity in late summer 2014.

In warmer climates two or three crops are possible through the year. We must consider ourselves lucky to pick fresh figs as they do not travel well and grown commercially, the majority are dried then sent to market.

Ficus carica foliage. Photo by Tony Garn

Ficus carica foliage

Figs harvested from Nursery plant 14.9.2013. Photo by Tony Garn

Figs harvested from Nursery plant 14.9.2013

Fig mature and embryo fruits. Photo by Tony Garn

Fig mature and embryo fruits

Sep 102013
 

Lilium leichtlinii var. maximowiczii; tall growing and bright of flower. A welcome splash of colour in the woodland area at the start of autumn. At a height touching two metres this is a giant Asiatic Lilium. The scaly white bulbs revel in a well-drained soil. Preferring sun to shade these plants can be found in a raised section of the peat walls. The pendulous flowers are composed of reflexed orange petals, spattered with brown spots. The anthers hang proud of the flower on extendedLilium leichtlinii var. maximowiczii filaments. This is a reliable flowering species to consider where space is not a limiting factor.

Lilium leichtlinii var. maximowiczii. Photo by Tony Garn

Lilium leichtlinii var. maximowiczii

Lilium leichtlinii var. maximowiczii. Photo by Tony Garn

Lilium leichtlinii var. maximowiczii

Lilium leichtlinii var. maximowiczii. Photo by Tony Garn

Lilium leichtlinii var. maximowiczii

Lilium leichtlinii var. maximowiczii. Photo by Tony Garn

Lilium leichtlinii var. maximowiczii

 

Sep 022013
 

Plants raised from seed in March, grown on under cover until the cold spring ended and planted out during May to form this year’s successful potager.

In the attached image can be seen: Rudbeckia hirta ‘Prairie Sun’, Centaurea cyanus ‘Blue Boy’, Kale ‘Redbor’, Hordeum jubatum, Cosmos ‘Purity’ Other species and cultivars are growing through the circular bed and attracting all manner of pollinating insects.

Colour, form and thus combination make for a good planting display. Movement is the third aspect, often missing, from a planting scheme. With the two grasses, (Hordeum and Pennisetum villosum ‘Cream Falls’), both light of stem, the slightest breeze adds movement to this sucessful planting scheme.

Potager, 26th August 2013. Photo by Tony Garn

Potager, 26th August 2013

Pennisetum villosum 'Cream Falls' . Photo by Tony Garn

Pennisetum villosum ‘Cream Falls’

Sep 252012
 

Designed, planned and planted by the three Horticulture Apprentices the potager is a collection of vegetables and flowers; in effect a flowering vegetable garden with origins in France.

The winter months were spent pouring over seed catalogues; as spring arrived seeds were sown and the seedlings pricked out. Once hardened off planting out took place.

Growth was held back this year due to the coolness of the season and low sunlight levels. The brassicas were almost stripped of their leaves by Pigeons.

Height is provided by Sweet Pea cultivars ‘Matucana’ and ‘Almost Black’. Carrot ‘Black Night’ and the smooth leaves of Beetroot ‘Bulls Blood’ adding foliage shape texture and colour. Look out for the Pea ‘Purple Podded’, dark black pods contains seed of a contrasting paleness, yet with the sweet taste of the best garden pea.

Potager. Photo by Tony Garn

POtager

Pea 'Purple Podded'. Photo by Tony Garn

Pea ‘Purple Podded’

Pea 'Purple Podded'. Photo by Tony Garn

Pea ‘Purple Podded’

Sep 182012
 

Passiflora vitifolia a native to Central America. A sturdy and vigorous plant that soon covers a sizeable section of the Orchid and Cycad glasshouse it is growing in. The specific epithet gives a clue to the foliage shape; resembling that of a Vitis. Tightly wound tendrils in the leaf axils gain support for the long scandent growth from adjacent plants.

The genus Passiflora has flowers of intricate shape. These are like three dimensional puzzles; when fully formed it is scarcely believable that all of the flower parts are capable of fitting within the bud. Within the base of the flower beneath the profusion of white filaments, which form the corona, is a reservoir of sweet nectar.

Passiflora vitifolia. Photo by Tony Garn

Passiflora vitifolia

Passiflora vitifolia. Photo by Tony Garn

Passiflora vitifolia

Sep 112012
 

Despite the wet overcast summer the spikes of bloom on Watsonia pillansii are magnificent.

Distinct in the south facing border of the Front Range this native to Eastern South Africa is a show stopper. The orange red flowers open gradually from the base of the spike to the tip resulting in a long spell of colour.

The sword like foliage shoots out from a corm, these can be divided to increase the size of the clump. Needing a well drained soil and a sunny position to give of its best. When established and in flower the spikes reach one metre or more in height.

Watsonia pillansii. Photo by Tony Garn

Watsonia pillansii

`Watsonia pillansii. Photo by Tony Garn

Watsonia pillansii

Watsonia pillansii. Photo by Tony Garn

Watsonia pillansii

Sep 032012
 

There is a huge specimen of Ligustrum compactum on the hillside, striving upwards to maximise exposure to the light. It is presently covered in terminal panicles of white flowers giving off the rich scent associated with this genus. Pass an overgrown Privit (Ligustrum sp.) hedge and this scent will pervade around during the flowering season.

Collected by Roland Edgar Cooper in 1914 while travelling in the wooded valleys near Thimpu, Bhutan. Here it grows as understory in woodland at c.2500m. In Edinburgh it has formed a sturdy trunk with a wide open canopy. Nothing compact about the specimen and definitely not one to use as a hedging plant.

Ligustrum compactum. Photo by Tony Garn

Ligustrum compactum

Ligustrum compactum. Photo by Tony Garn

Ligustrum compactum

Ligustrum compactum. Photo by Tony Garn

Ligustrum compactum