Nice flowers, shame about the roots

As well as pollinating insects, some flowers are especially popular with butterflies. Buddleias attract them in August, while sedum spectabile draws them in the following month. In July, their favourite appears to be inula hookeri. Inulas belong to the asteracae family whose daisy flowers are always popular with insects. Inula hookeri has narrow, lemon yellow ray florets […]

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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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Serendipity

Sometimes a plant arrives in the garden in just the right place. While the vast majority of unplanned arrivals are weeds, just occasionally something unexpectedly pops up that warrants inclusion, something we hadn’t bargained for, but which is just right. There is a local park at the bottom of my road. Originally a small Victorian […]

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Little Black Number

How many plants have black flowers? Not many. On closer examination, many that are claimed to have black flowers actually have blooms that are dark red or deep purple. One such plant is iris chrysographes In late May, stems up to two and a half feet tall suddenly race up between the grey-green foliage of […]

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Firing Up For Summer

At a cursory glance, the hedgerows of eastern South America do not look too dissimilar from those back home. but then a flash of orange makes you aware you are seeing something different – Embothrium lanceolata, the Chilean Firebush Growing in the Andes, this has proved hardier than E. coccineum, a lowland species with broader leaves. But it […]

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Cherry and Lilac

Spring is all about bulbs. Snowdrops, crocus, narcissus, hyacinths, tulips – there are bulbs everywhere you look, responding to the warmth and moisture of spring. But many small woodland perennials are putting on an early display as well, making the most of the light available before the tree canopy takes over. Omphalodes cappadocica is a […]

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Some like it wet

Many bulbs have evolved in hot, dry climates. They wait for spring or autumn rains to begin growth, then flower and set seed before conditions become hostile again. A few, such as our native fritillaria melegaris, enjoy moister growing conditions. Another member of the same family, fritillaria reuteri, revels in wet spots. Here it is, […]

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