There are some plants that just cry out to be planted in your garden, flying off the shelves of the Garden Centre as soon as they appear. But there are others, much more subtle in their appeal, that insinuate themselves into the consciousness, until you have to go out and find one – just make […]Read more "Blagging a place in the garden"
At the end of October, the clocks change and suddenly we are plunged into darkness. No more rushing home from work to get half an hour in the garden, we can only get out there at weekends, weather permitting. All through November and much of December, the days get shorter, the light weaker, and the […]Read more "The light at the end of the tunnel"
When American plant hunter Dan Hinkley was searching near Wolong in Sichuan Province, China, he came across what he thought was a new species of buddleia. Not unlike. B. lindleyana, it carried grey-green leaves on stems up to ten feet tall. Only later was it identified as rostrinucula dependens, a member of the mint family. […]Read more "Dependably Late"
Most of my plants come from Garden Centres or nurseries but there are one or two exceptions. Several years ago, I decided to buy a couple of hibiscus shrubs from my local Woolworth’s store – they had a special offer at the time. The two I chose were ‘Red Heart’ and ‘Bluebird’. ‘Red Heart’ duly […]Read more "This one’s not in Plant Finder"
Weigelas. Shrubs with red or pink flowers (or occasionally white). Growing to about five feet and flowering in June. Right? Well yes, but not this one. Yes, it’s a shrub. Yes, five feet or so is the usual height. but it flowers at the end of April and into May. And the flowers are yellow, pale […]Read more "Weigela middendorffiana"
“One for sorrow, two for joy …” begins a rhyme about magpies. But the solitary magpie in my garden has been giving me joy for over ten yeas now – stachyurus ‘Magpie.’ Stachyurus are shrubs of woodland, flowering in early spring before the leaves emerge. The pale yellow blooms look like a cross between a […]Read more "Magpie"
Some plants open their flowers in response to the weather; others depend on day length. And while many witch hazels seem to bloom in the first mild spell of winter, mine always waits until the second week of January, regardless of the weather. I planted Hamamelis mollis ‘Pallida’ nearly thirty years ago ( it has now migrated to H. […]Read more "Old Faithful"