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Posts Tagged ‘Rubus ulmifolius Bellidiflorus’

rubus-ulmifolius-bellidiflorusI first espied this intriguing plant back in 2011 at Hampton Court and incorporated it into my front garden a couple of years later.

Now I’m a fan of a Rubus (Japanese wineberries, raspberries and blackberries), but planting this in my urban front garden has been a bit of a mistake. Yes, there have (eventually) been some pink pompoms (which originally attracted me to this plant), but it’s been a quick grower and, similarly to my Japanese wineberry, it starts rooting each time a tip of a cane hits the ground. In fact, it seems to be even more successful than my wineberry, flipping over, seemingly at will, and spreading itself all over the place. And it comes with some rather nasty thorns. What’s more, although decorative (up to a point), it doesn’t produce oodles of edible berries, so what was I thinking?

As space is tight in my front garden, I’ve called it time on Rubus ulmifolius Belliddiflorus and have spent a good few hours digging it up, untangling it from other plants (noticeably a wild rose and my Oregon Thornless blackberry) that it has artfully woven itself into, and yanking rooted canes out of a slightly crumbling wall.

Its purply/pink stems and pompoms are, indubitably, attractive features, but it’s definitely a case of right plant, wrong place and I shall have to wait until I get an extra acre or two before I start growing this beast again.

The other morning I watched a grounds maintenance crew as they attempted to cut back some Rubus cockburnianus (lovely white stems in winter, but also viciously thorny), cursing as they got scratched and caught up in their clippings. These plants are amazing, but like Rubus ulmifolius Bellidiflorus, best  left to their own devices in a scrubbier bit of land where they can happily do their own thing.

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Rubus ulmifolius bellidiflorus

I may have mentioned in earlier posts that I’ve developed a bit of a thing for the Rubus genus. I already grow raspberries (R. idaeus), Blackberries (R. fruiticosus) and Japanese wine berries (R. pheonicolasius) and in 2011 I spotted this rather gorgeous ornamental Rubus ulmifolius bellidiflorus in the Plant Heritage marquee at Hampton Court. The pink pom poms sitting atop such a wild habit truly spoke to me, but alas, the plants were just for looking at, with none to buy. However, not entirely forgotten, its image has been lurking somewhere deep in the back of my mind.

 Rubus oderatus
Roll on two years and Barry Clarke is back again with choice specimens from his national collection (of 170 species and 30 hybrids), this time with cuttings aplenty. Not only did he have pom poms, but also small plants of  Rubus x fraseri, very similar in habit (and flower) to this gorgeous R.oderatus above. It does produce small quantities of edible fruits, so I’ll look forward to tasting these whenever they appear.  Although determined to leave the show empty-handed this year (there’s no room left in the garden), I departed from the Plant Heritage marquee with my two plants in hand and my heart full of joy! Thanks Barry!
Matthew Childs' Ecover Garden
I loved Matthew Childs’ ‘A light at the end of the tunnel’ garden last year which was about recovery and hope after he was injured in the July 7th bombings. His planting this year on the Ecover sponsored garden was positively exuberant and deservedly won a gold medal and best in show. Flowing planting, winding paths and three interlocking ponds expertly illustrated the ‘Water is life’ message and with their supersized products, Ecover was none too shy in pointing out their role in sustainable use of plastics for their products!
Four corners garden
Water and wildlife friendly planting seem to feature in many gardens this year and I really liked how Peter Reader used rills to divide his garden into distinct areas in his Four Corners garden.
Four corners garden 2
Peter has just finished retraining from doctor to garden designer, and won the Provender Nurseries 2012 Student Design and Build Award to create his first show garden at Hampton Court. Impressive!
The hot stuff garden
And lastly (for this post), I loved the “less hard landscaping and more plants” ethos in The Hot Stuff Garden, designed by Victoria Truman, Liz Rentzsch and Marcus Foster.
The hot stuff garden 2
Taking inspiration from the planting in the Exotic Garden at Great Dixter, this simple but lush garden was, for me, equally best in show.
Hampton Court Flower Show continues today and tomorrow (13 and 14th July 2013).
More gardens and fab comments can be seen and read at Weeding the Web, Vegplotting , Alternative Eden and Through the Garden Gate.

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Ever since I wrote about year round scent a few weeks ago, I’ve had it in mind to look our for some Iris unguicularis at this week’s show. ‘Mary Barnard’ is a tallish variety, up to 12inches in height and spread, and comes with a gentle scent too. I’ve planted these at the bottom of a south-facing wall as they like sun and poor, well-drained soil, and right by the back door so as they clump up over the years, I’ll have this cheerful sight and delicate perfume at the beginning of each year.

I saw these Irises along with the sumptuous and uplifting display of  Snowdrops on the Avon bulbs stand.

Helpful as ever and always supplying quality bulbs which return year after year, I also caught sight of the exquisite Crocus tommasianus and have written a note to self to order these in the autumn for a lush pink carpet in our community front garden come next spring.

Ashwood Nurseries always delight and I particularly liked the gorgeous simplicity of this Hellebore ‘Anna’s Red’,

shown en masse on their stand this year. Hellebores, Crocus tommasianus and snowdrops are also great for pollinators who will be on the hunt for food early on in the year so doubly worth planting.

Further back in the hall was Sea Spring Seeds, supplying a tempting selection of veg seeds which have been put through their paces in their own market garden. I picked up some interesting Japanese leaves, such as Red Knight Mizuna, Golden Streak Mustard leaf and Tatsoi Yukina Savoy and also got chatting about their comprehensive selection of Chili seeds. Chili seeds can be sown indoors now and into March and grown on indoors in a greenhouse or sunny windowsill. I also wanted to know if Sea Spring seeds supplied any varieties that could be grown on outdoors. Joy Michaud recommended ‘Super Chile’ as it’s such a fast grower and hopefully it will ripen out-of-doors if given the sunniest of spots. Worth trying as part of our community veg growing project this year for some neighbours who like it hot.

Further travels around the show revealed the creative use of recycled objects and pots on the D’Arcy and Everest alpine stand,

and I did purchase a few Sempervivum to try out some recycling of domestic objects at home too.

And finally, couldn’t resist buying a Rubus lineatus on the Crug Farm Nursery stand for its crinkly yet soft palmate leaves. Rubus is such a great family of plants including the Japanese wineberry, Rubus phoenicolasius, Blackberries, Rubus fruticosus and I did spot a rather intriguing plant,

Rubus ulmifolius bellidiflorus, wild, but with amazing pink pompom flowers, at the Hampton Court Flower Show last summer. Can feel an obsession coming on.

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