Japanese Jewel

According to Wikipedia, “eranthis (winter aconite) is a genus of eight species of flowering plants in the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, native to southern Europe and east across Asia to Japan.” E. hyemalis is the one from France and Italy and the one that is most commonly grown, while E. cilicica is similar (and is sometimes listed […]

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The Race to be First

Early flowers are always welcome, the precursors to spring that try to banish winter with their early promise. I have three different daffodils that vye to be the first into bloom, a race against the horticultural clock. Narcissus ‘Cedric Morris’ was the winner for several years. I have knoon this to be in flower for […]

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A nudist for Christmas

It may be common as muck, but winter jasmine, jasminum nudiflorum, is very welcome at this time of year. Not only does it flower in mid winter, but the bright yellow of its blooms brighten what can be a very gloomy time of year. A native of China, this is strictly speaking a lax shrub growing […]

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Algerian iris

November is not a great time of year. The weather closes in, the days are getting shorter, and we are bombarded with Christmas adverts (the first one I saw this year was in June!!). So anything that ventures into flower just now is extremely welcome. Iris unguicularis (formely known as I. stylosa) hails from Algeria […]

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Fountain Grass

Grasses are ‘in’. With the current fashion for naturalistic planting, grasses play an increasing role, coming into their own as the days shorten. From large miscanthus cultivars to the diminuitive stipa tenuissima, there is something suitable for every plot. Many have very fine seedheads, but finding one with bulkier ones on a smaller plant is […]

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Autumn blues

Blue flowers are not common at the best of times, but by autumn you could be forgiven for thinking this colour has disappeared from nature’s pallete. Even those nursery descriptions of “violet-blue” asters often turn out to be a wishy-washy mauve. But there are still a few plants carrying this most un-antumnal of colours. By […]

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Pile them high

Does your garden run out of steam by the time August comes around? Or does it hang on until the schools start in early September? While foliage colour can be spectacular at this time of year, there is no reason why flower power should wane. Asters are the stalwarts of the autumn garden, but don’t […]

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