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Archive for the ‘Spring plants’ Category

Helmi Daffs uprightLast year, all but a few of these ‘Rijnvelds Early Sensation’ daffodils came up blind. It was only their second year, but they’d been cruelly cut down (well, mowed actually) straight after flowering the previous year and they hadn’t had the time to build up strength for future blooms.

On seeing this dismal display last February, they were liberally sprinkled with Growmore, and requests given not to mow the lawn again until all of their foliage had completely died back.

Delighted to see how well they’re flowering again (if a tad early, even for these early bloomers).

Just need to keep that mower at bay……

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Pittosporum illiciodes v. angustifolium

I’m a big fan of the Pittosporum genus and was delighted to find such a gorgeous airy specimen two years ago at the RHS spring show on the Crug Farm stand.

Pittosporum illiciodes var angustifolium

I bought this evergreen shrub to screen my compost bin, and although it’s a little slower than I had imagined, it’s still coming along nicely. This spidery Pittosporum will grow in sun or part shade, with its leaves elongating in more shadier spots, and it also has, yet to be seen, small yellow flowers. To be honest, it’s getting a bit more shade than I originally planned for, as I’ve let a Clematis montana scramble up into a nearby small apple tree and it’s blocking out a fair amount of light. So as soon as the horizontal sleety/snowy rain is over, I might venture out to carefully start untangling the climber from the tree.

Pittosporum tennuifolium flowers

Not far away is a Pittosporum tennuifolium, merrily romping away (well over 6 ft and still growing) in a dryish shady spot under another apple tree. Last April I was stopped in my tracks by the scent from its tiny black flowers, and I’m eager to see, when my P. illiciodes does flower, if the tiny yellow blooms will also pack a punch.

Snowdrops on Avon Bulbs Stand

So if you’re on the lookout for some unusual shrubs or want to stock up on spring-flowering bulbs and perennials, The RHS London plant and design show is fast approaching again (19th and 20th February), where Crug Farm, Avon Bulbs (above) and many other nurseries will be exhibiting and selling many a tempting plant. After such a damp and miserable winter, I’ll definitely be making the trip for a joyful taste of things to come.

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It’s such a treat to have the opportunity to buy from specialist nurseries, all under one roof at the Garden Museum in the centre of London. As the heavens opened, even traders outside in the gardens still seemed to be doing a brisk trade.

Seen on Friday night on Gardeners World, this Euphorbia amygdaloides Purpurea, on the Swallowfields Nursery stand, just stopped me in my tracks. Gorgeous large airy lime green bracts atop delicious dark foliage was more than I could resist. A bit taller than its close cousin Euphorbia robbiae, and without its creeping habit, this plant will perfectly replace a larger Euphorbia wulfenii, which has outgrown its space and is crowding other plants in a client’s garden. Plus it can take some shade too. Perfect! Swallowfields nursery had bought plenty of choice perennials up from Ashford in Kent to tempt and I while I mulled over where I could squeeze in a couple of Euphorbia polychroma, they were quickly snapped up by another plant hungry gardener!

On the hunt for a purple Heuchera for another client, Rotherview Nursery from Hastings had plenty of choice specimens to choose from, plus some gorgeous looking Tiarellas and much more.

‘Rustic Garden Things’ from Rye in Sussex offered many enticing vintage tools. By chance I’d already bought a border fork when on my travels out of London in Rye, which I love and use every day. Couldn’t stop myself buying another of these perfectly formed objects as I find their size and weight (and good looks) ideal for everyday use.

Resisting the cosy cafe, with piles of pastries for a Sunday morning, I ventured back out into the rain to stock up on herbs. ‘Herbal Haven’ from Saffron Walden in Essex had a wonderful selection to choose from and as well as stocking up on regulars such as Parsley and Basil, I also bought an African Blue Basil and a Black Peppermint.

The African Blue Basil, aka Ocimum kilimandscharicum × basilicum ‘Dark Opal‘, is a perennial Basil and although not hardy, I shall endeavour to nurture through the winter so I can savour its gorgeous purple leaves, year after year. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed buying plants at this wonderfully eclectic plant fair. Hats off to the Garden Museum and all the exhibitors who braved the downfalls. Much appreciated by this London gardener. 

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