Have a break. Once you have completed your Latin For Horticulture homework, maybe move on to Japanese? That’s what’s happening at Garden House. Check the labels.
The Pelargonium-flowered storksbill, native to the Pyrenees and belonging to the Geraniaceae family.
Perennial, although a bit on the tender side. Looks like a geranium and is a lovely thing; its white flowers have maroon markings. Lax habit. Likes sun, but not wet, and prefers a neutral / alkaline soil. Good for pollinators. Self-seeds gently or can be propagated by basal cuttings from April – September. Add it to your list.
Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’ AGM
Bishop’s Hat or Barrenwort. Belongs to the Berberidaceae (Barberry) family. Native to Europe and Asia.
A vigorous, rhizomatous perennial which has bright yellow flowers held upright in an open spray. They are more easily seen if the leaves are removed in late winter. The leaves are the plant’s best feature – beautifully shaped and opening light green with red tints. Really tough, good ground cover and will tolerate dry shade. Propagate by division after flowering or in the autumn.
Athyrium pictum ‘Silver Falls’
The Painted Lady Fern, native to eastern Asia, belonging to the Cliff Fern family (Woodsiaceae). A deciduous fern with creeping rhizomes. Grey-green fronds have purple-red midribs, and are heavily overlaid with silver and a central, purplish flush that develops. More silvery than Athyrium pictum (the Japanese Painted Fern) and keeps its colour for longer. Likes a shady sheltered site. Propagate by division in spring
Aka, the Crimson, Red or Western Columbine is a form of Granny’s Bonnet. Part of the Ranunculaceae family and native to North America. The name ‘formosa’ means beautiful and this lovely plant is certainly that. Best raised from seed, its red and yellow flowers give a pop of colour in the border, and have a light, airy quality. A short-lived perennial. Likes sun or part shade.
Thalictrum delavayi album
Another great plant from the Ranunculaceae family, Chinese Meadow Rue is a favourite in this garden.
Not in flower yet, but its foliage is attractive, with deeply divided pale green leaves. Beautiful, airy white flowers create a frothy haze in the summer border. Can reach up to 2 metres in height, so needs support. Likes a rich, fertile soil in part or full shade and not too dry. Seed heads look good and it also makes a striking cut flower. Herbaceous, so dies down in the winter. Can divide in the spring or autumn if required.
Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’
Related to the edible buckwheat, Persicaria is from the Polygonaceae family. A dramatic and vigorous plant (estate agent’s jargon for “it’s a thug”) which grows to the owner’s height in her garden, but is kept in check. Exotic purple-crimson foliage is the main attraction as the white flowers are nondescript. Cut back in late autumn when the plant dies back. Grow anywhere, but good in light shade; propagate by cuttings or division.
Saxifraga x urbium AGM
Known from the 17th century as London Pride, this is part of the Saxifragaceae family. Bishop Walsham How (1823–1897) wrote a poem to the flower rebuking it for having the sin of pride. When told the flower had the name because Londoners were proud of it he wrote another poem apologising to it! A song by Noël Coward, celebrated London Pride and the plant became very popular in World War II. Much loved in this garden, it forms a mat which provides great ground cover, with a mass of small pale pink rosette flowers. A beautiful cut flower. Grows anywhere, even deep shade. Easy to propagate by offsets.
When you plant them out, fill a module tray full pf compost and strike off the excess. Ensure that you plant each seedling deeply. Coil the long root and stem all into the planting hole in a single cell. This is better than having an unstable long-stemmed seedling. Charles Dowding, the No-Dig guru, has some good You-Tube videos on this subject.
Lockdown continues. As do Zoom meetings. Friday Group remain supportive, encouraging and inspirational. Photos provide proof.
Tulbaghia ‘Purple Eye’
Known as ‘Society Garlic’, this Tulbaghia is a clump forming perennial with slender leaves and pale lavender flowers which have a deep purple centre. Suitable for borders or containers – it is valuable as it flowers for a long time, Full sun and fertile, well-drained soils suit it beautifully.
Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’
Scarlet flowers held on long stems bloom prolifically from mid-spring. Regular dead-heading prolongs their lengthy flowering period – and, in fact, they may flower again later in the season. Plant in full sun. Good in most soils, including sandy ones.
Euphorbia x arendsii
A cross between E. walichii and E. griffithii ‘Dixter’, this splendid specimen flourishes and glows in the sunshine, which helps to develop its wonderful colour. Clump-forming and fully hardy, grows to around 120 cms tall.
Masterwort is best grown in semi-shade. Compact umbels of pincushion-shaped flowers are surrounded by bracts – in this instance, the flowers are a delicate shade of pink, whilst the bracts are white with green tips. A good cut flower which dries well. Grows to around 90 cms.
A spectacular architectural plant, with purple-bracted umbels of creamy white flowers which are followed by perfumed seeds. Fabulous foliage. Will grow in sun or partial shade. Monocarpic, which means it generally takes 3 years to flower, rather like Echiums. Sets seed and dies after flowering. Makes a real statement in the border – but why not try it in a pot? Go mad in Lockdown and give it a go.
Tasks for the week:
Lockdown continues. Baby Boomers have become Baby Zoomers. Times are strange, but in the Garden House garden? – well, it just keeps on growing and doing its thing.
Not Tulip ‘Hakuna Matata’, although your troubles will certainly disappear once you acquire and contemplate it flowering in your garden.
This spidery, delicate beauty is a perennial species tulip. A bit spendy, but so worth it. Why not invest some money in these bulbs and experience for yourself the frenzy of the seventeenth century’s tulip mania?
Garden House rates this hardy perennial as a ‘good doer’. It very usefully appears just as the tulips go over. About 40 cms in height, sprays of pure white flowers are held aloft supported by wiry stems. Long-lasting, good as cut flowers and a magnet for pollinators, planted en masse they are super duper.
Rosa banksiae ‘Lutescens’
A near thornless, rambling rose and one of the very earliest to flower. Growing to about 10 m, it produces small, single, scented yellow flowers. At Garden House, it’s situated on the terrace, where it provides a spectacular display in April / May. Prune after flowering to shape and to keep in check. R. banksiae ‘Lutea’ is a double-flowered version of this.
Erysimum cheiri ‘Old School’
A beautiful short-lived perennial wallflower, which flowers for months on end. Soft yellows, mauves and purples combine to great effect and make a wonderful planting in full sun on their own or, better still, interplanted with tulips. Plant densely and in quantity to generate maximum admiration.
Sweet cicely is a terrific option for dry shade. An aromatic, herbaceous perennial, it has umbels of white, frothy flowers and fern-like leaves. Can be used as a sweetener when cooking rhubarb or the leaves can be added to salads – they have a mild aniseed flavour.
Lunaria annua ‘Chedglow’
This glorious Honesty cultivar was featured in the blog for 3/4/20, and look at it now!
Tasks for the week:
Apply liquid feed to growing annuals and also to tender perennials like salvias and pelargoniums, such as Pelargonium tomentosum
We’re still socially isolating. But Friday Group gets round that little difficulty by having a Zoom meeting. Back in the day, a Zoom was a delicious ice lolly, but let’s not go there, it will only date this blogger. Now, what’s going on in that garden? Ooh!
Aah! Well impressed
Plant ident.: Banging on about biennials.
Erysimum cheiri ‘Blood Red’
A wonderful, deep rich red wallflower. Scented. Fabulous with tulips
Lunaria annua ‘Chedglow’ and L. annua
Honesty is a great filler for this time of year. The variety ‘Chedglow’ has superb dark foliage, which sets it apart. Comes true from seed. The striking purple flowers of Lunaria annua also shine out now – making it very far from ordinary.
Lunaria annua alba
The white form of honesty. It shimmers at dusk. Fragrant. All these forms produce beautiful paper-like, translucent seedheads in the autumn, which can be used in dried or cut flower displays.
How could we ever forget? The Forget-Me-Not is a welcome sight in gardens from mid- spring. Pale blue flowers with a bright yellow eye, and so commonplace that they are easy to overlook. Seeds about with ease. Looks great en masse with tulips and wallflowers; loved by bees, butterflies, caterpillars and moths. Basically, Nature’s gift.
Jobs for the Week:
To help prevent pests and diseases such as greenfly. Other invigorators may be available
Strange times, as Friday Group takes note of Jobs for the Week from a distance and does a virtual Plant Ident., via the good offices of Garden House. That’s what a coronavirus outbreak does for you. Thank goodness for I. T., social media and our inspirational leader who remains undaunted, calm and is carrying on by herself. And what a carry on…
We miss you, Garden House