I found some seeds

Nearly ten years ago, I found a packet of five seeds in a box. I’ve no idea where they came from, but they were labelled lathyrus latifolius, the everlasting pea. According to Wikipedia, it is also known as the perennial peavine, perennial pea, and broad-leaved everlasting-pea. With nothing to lose, I soaked the seeds for 24 hours before […]

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How do climbers hang on?

As the weather has turned bitterly cold, nothing new is coming into flower just now, so I have decided to start looking at the way plants grow and their possible uses in the garden. From time to time, I get asked for recommendations for a climber that don’t need support. This may sound like a contradiction […]

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On and on and on and on

I planted clematis ‘Kaiu’ five years ago. It has small white bells with a pink tinge on the newly opened flowers. Several websites agreed it would grow to around two metres, perfect for training into the purple-leaved shrub physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo.’ After a couple of years to get established, it took quite a shine to its […]

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Kiwis and cats

Actinidia kolomikta is a deciduous woody scrambler/twiner growing 25 to 30 feet. What sets it apart and makes it an attractive garden plant is the foliage, ovate-oblong and six inches long, marked with pink and white variegation once the plant is two to three years old. Discovered in the mid nineteenth century, actinidia kolomikta was soon being […]

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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. C. […]

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Some like it not so hot

“Feet in the shade, head in the sun” is the usual mantra for clematis, but there a few exceptions. Some have flowers that fade or bleach in full sun; a position in light shade suits them better. C. ‘Nelly Moser’ is one such while another is ‘Guernsey Cream.’ This latter variety grows six to eight […]

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