Small but perfectly formed

There are some plants that as soon as you see a picture of them you say, “I must have that.” I have a list of these, my ‘wants’ list, that never seems to get any shorter. Does anyone else have the same problem? Of course these are nurserymen who prey on people like me, putting […]

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The First Of Many

If people were asked what is the first bulb to flower in the spring, many would probably say a snowdrop. Some narcissus varieties such as ‘Cedric Morris’ and ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ are quick off the mark too, but the first bulb in my garden to open a flower is colchicum hungaricum ‘Album’. No more than […]

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A Gem for Christmas

Just when you think the garden has closed down for the winter, up pops a plant that shouts, “Look at me – I’m going to give you a Christmas present.” Clematis cirrhosa var purpurascens ‘Landsowne Gem’ may be a mouthful of a name, but it’s worth remembering next time you go shopping for a climber.┬áC. […]

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Mexican A to Z

I first came across amicia zygomeris when visiting a garden in Burghfield, Berkshire. ‘Interesting plant,’ I thought, ‘but it can’t possibly be hardy.’ There was a small plant for sale, but I left it on the sales table. Fast forward twelve months. The plant had gnawed away at me until I looked it up on […]

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Do not adjust your set

We think of bulbs flowering in the spring, but there are many that have evolved to bloom at other times of the year to cope with the local climate. In the Peloponnese in southern Greece, crocuses, colchicums, cyclamen, sterbergias and even a snowdrop flower in the autumn months to take advantage of the rain after […]

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