Himalayan indigo

By the time August arrives, there are not so many shrubs in flower as earlier in the season. Long gone are the heady days of spring with magnolias, berberis and weigelas, the shrub roses have finished their luscious display, and the hydrangeas are beginning to look a little weary. So anything light and airy and […]

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Clematis x aromatica

Visiting other gardens is a good way to get ideas, see plants used together in new ways, or even discover plants you haven’t seen before. Clematis x aromatica falls into the last of these categories Flowering from June to September, this is a plant that earns its place, not for the size of its flowers, […]

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Music to my eyes

If I asked you what Franz Schubert is most remembered for, you would probably say his Leider (songs) or his Unfinished Symphony. Certainly his ninth symphony is my all time favourite classical piece of music. But in the garden, he has also given his name to a border phlox, and it’s a real cracker Phlox […]

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Sun in the garden

One slight disadvantage of growing unusual plants can be the lack of information on them. Even with access to the internet, a search for something choice and obscure may only turn up a photograph taken by someone on a botanising holiday, with no cultural information. Only a closer look at the growing environment, and research […]

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What’s in a name?

While there are half a dozen plants named after my home town in Devon, only one appears in the RHS Plant Finder bearing the name of the place I moved to in 1974 – iris sibirica ‘Bracknell’. It was for sale in the UK last year, but not in 2019. Fortunately, a fellow gardener had it […]

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Stunning styrax

According to Wikipedia, styrax is a genus of about 130 species of large  shrubs or small trees. The common name of snowbell gives an indication of the flowers which, as you probably guessed, are bell-shaped, pure white, and hang on long stalks along the branches. Styrax japonicus, growing thirty feet tall and nearly as wide, is the […]

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Totally Geum

There is a time in May when the tulips have finished and the early summer flowers have yet to start, the ‘May gap’. For a moist soil, I have found that geums are good for bridging this period. Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ was introduced in 2010, a result of breeding work conducted by a nurseryman in […]

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The thin-leaved peony

Outside the front boundary of my garden was a strip of grass. By a quirk of history, part of it belongs to me and part to the local council. Being a plantaholic, my part is no longer grass but now contains plants that revel in the well-drained soil and full sun it offers. Of these, […]

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Some like it pink

According to Wikipedia, “Trillium is a genus of perennial flowering plants native to temperate regions of North America and Asia.” They are distinctive plants as everything comes in threes – three leaves, thee calyces, and three petals. Flowers come in a variety of colours – red, purple, pink, white, yellow, or green. Being woodlanders, they enjoy […]

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The sweet smell of success

Plants need to get their flowers pollinated to reproduce. Some do it with bright displays while others use scent to attract pollinators. To our noses, there are good scents and bad scents, but to a flower, it’s the right scent to attact the right insect to add reproduction. Many of the aroids need flies and […]

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