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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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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Wild Senna

My garden has been open under The National Garden Scheme for several years, raising money for charities. We have opened early in the season a couple of times, but never had a late opening. This year we decided to rectify that and picked a date in mid August – we could have picked a better […]

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Delightful but deadly

I love aconitums. They provide columns of blue flowers, are nowhere near as demanding as delphiniums, and are untouched by slugs. Some people are put off growing them because they are poisonous, but so are daffodil bulbs which they will quite happily plant in drifts. I’ve been growing aconitums for several years now and am […]

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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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