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Six on Saturday 21st of April 2018

img 2637 Six on Saturday 21st of April 2018

Ahh at last a little bit of sun and as we expected it went from being cold, damp and wet to being subtropical in a few days, temperatures hitting a high of 29c. This warm weather is certainly making the plants and the grass grow like anything. Indeed one lawn, well the only lawn I now mow, has gone straight from not needing to be cut, to a weekly cut now. At least in this sun and heat, the hoe can come out and any small weeds coming up can be easily removed. Anyway on to the six on Saturday, which once more come from the delights of my own garden

img 2636 Six on Saturday 21st of April 2018

The new fronds of the ferns are now slowly emerging and there can be none more attractive than the Japanese painted fern, Athyrium niponicum ‘Red Beauty’ who said foliage is dull and boring, certainly no one who has seen this plant!

img 2633 Six on Saturday 21st of April 2018

Yes you have been warned, there’s a few tulips in my six this week, this is another beauty called Infinity, I love the combination of ivory white and pink, funny enough it becomes more pink as the flower ages.

img 2635 Six on Saturday 21st of April 2018

Had to add the dark new foliage of Geranium espresso as it appears from the ground, just how dark and beautiful is this colour! You can see where the name came from can’t you.

img 2634 Six on Saturday 21st of April 2018

Another cracker that has only been around for 10yrs or so, a tulip called Green Star and what a cracker! I love the way the green shoots up in lines into the whiteness. Another form I shall be getting again next year!

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This specie tulip has to be one of the most slender and pointed out of all the tulips, this form is called clusiana ‘Shelia’ hoping this will come again regularly for me in the pots.

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Lastly we have the most cute little primula you will ever see, again a new addition to the garden from my order from Barnhaven primroses, primula farinosa or the birds eye primula. it is an Alpine and will be going into a new alpine tub I am hoping to be building soon!

Well that’s my six done from my garden this week, so many plants now are starting to wake up and start delighting us with their beauty. I hope you have a great weekend and check out the other six on Saturday over at the hosts site https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Until next week, have fun in the garden or indeed just admiring plants

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Plant of the week- Drimys winteri

drimys winteri2 1 Plant of the week  Drimys winteri

Drimys winteri is an amazing small tree or large shrub that delights us at this time of the year with its beautiful large fragrant flowers. It is a native of Chile and Argentina, namely the temperate coastal rainforests, Magellanic and Valdivian. In these areas, it’s normally found living just 1200m above sea level and prefers damp spots near streams in rich fertile soil. It grows up to 20m tall in its native areas but manages up to 10m here in the uk. It does survive pretty well here and can be found growing up as far northern Wales.

drimys winteri Plant of the week  Drimys winteri

The evergreen aromatic leathery leaves themselves have a are a mid-dark green colour and oblong to lance like in shape, reaching about 20cm when long. The jasmine scented flowers are borne from late winter to late spring here in the uk and are well worth growing for the scent alone. The bark is also one the highlights of this small tree and is a lovely rich brown colour.

Drimys winteri or winters bark was discovered between 1577-80 by possibly John Wynter. John Wynter was the captain of the Elizabeth, the only other ship that made it around Cape Horn with Sir Francis Drake sailing the famous Golden Hind. After a bad storm, the two vessels were separated and it is thought Elizabeth had illness aboard. John set a boat a shore to look for medical herbs and they brought back the bark of Drimys winteri. They discovered it contained vitamin C and it made a excellent remedy for the dreaded illness aboard ships at the time, scurvy. For many centuries it was used to fight scurvy, indeed Captain James Cook drank an infusion of it. The bark of Drimys winteri is also thought to aid indigestion, colic and dandruff. It is also ground up and used just like pepper in its native countries.

drimys winteri1 Plant of the week  Drimys winteri

The wood itself has a lovely reddish colour and is sort after in making furniture and making musical instruments. It is sadly no good for fires. It was also used by the tribes in South America as a symbol of peace, the same way olive branches were used in Greece

Drimys winteri prefers a well drained moist soil, ideally one that’s neutral to acidic, that said it will tolerate some chalk and grow ok in deeper alkaline soils. Surprisingly it will tolerate strong winds but it doesn’t like to be exposed to coastal winds containing salt. It is hardy down to -10c. Pruning wise it doesn’t need any pruning other than to shape it and removal any crossing branches. It is thought to be pretty resistant to honey fungus, so may be a good option if it is problematic in your garden.

drimys winteri2 Plant of the week  Drimys winteri

Drimys winteri is pretty easy to propagate, seed being the easiest way, sown fresh in the autumn in a greenhouse and once potted on, give some protection in something like a cold frame for the first year or so. Semi ripe cuttings with a heal work well and are best taken in July or August.

It can be found in many gardens like RHS Wisley, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and many gardens in Cornwall. Indeed it is quite widely grown. It is also sold in many good nurseries like Burncoose of Southdown.

20180226 202933 Plant of the week  Drimys winteri
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Six on Saturday 14th of April 2018

img 2564 1 Six on Saturday 14th of April 2018

Well well well it’s ended up a dryish week, a few days rain at the start but nice and dry from then onwards. This dry spell will certainly make the Plants and weeds grow a bit more. It’s been a mixed week for me here in Hampshire, my middle girl managed to break her leg badly on Tuesday, so a few extra days off than planned happened. During the quiet times, it was good to get into the garden potting stuff up, expanding beds and generally planing a few things out. The garage is slowly beginning its 3 yearly tidy up. It’s only a tiny garden here in chandlers ford but it is one I love a lot.

So anyway on to the six this week and yes they all do come from my little patch, so I hope you enjoy them!

img 2564 Six on Saturday 14th of April 2018

These have to be on the most stunning tulips I have ever grown, they look so beautiful as they start forming their buds and when they open just wow! Tulip ‘Exotic Emperor’ is their name

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A few of you may remember from a few weeks ago, this spotted laurel was on my list for removal and it’s now gone! Got some more roses and hardy geraniums to replace in its spot.

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Potted up a small fruit tree I am going to train into a odd shape, idea what yet but that comes in time. The dwarf Buddleja is another that’s on my list to repot and is now done!

img 2576 Six on Saturday 14th of April 2018

Sometimes a fellow blogger posts some beautiful plants on their six and it reminds you how much you love those plants and how much you miss having them in the garden, that happened a few weeks ago with Jim Stephens and the primulas he ordered from Barnhaven primroses and I started having a look! Always wanted a hose in hose primula, that’s when there’s a flower inside a flower like above, I have also got a soft spot for gold laced forms so couldn’t resist this one

img 2578 Six on Saturday 14th of April 2018

Another primula from my little order, this one is called Camaieu and was introduced by Barnhaven back in 2003. I just loved the double forms as well and I think pink is a very easy colour to add to the garden. I can’t wait to see these grow and flower so much more over the next few years

img 2579 Six on Saturday 14th of April 2018

I have a soft spot for bulbs, I find their use in borders and containers can increase interest and add something different for the short term into those areas. This fritillary called fox grape fritillary or its botanical name Fritillaria uva vulpis, is one of my favourites from this genus, although I have a feeling a few more maybe heading my way this autumn

Well that’s my six done from my garden this week, so many plants now are starting to wake up and start delighting us with their beauty. I hope you have a great weekend and check out the other six on Saturday over at the hosts site https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Until next week, have fun in the garden or indeed just admiring plants

global blogging Six on Saturday 14th of April 2018
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Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

img 0735 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

Well well well it had to happen, yes we had not one but two and I repeat it two, dry days oh my word!so nice not to get into the house each night as a sodden mess, wet clothes in the armfuls, filling up the house with um a pleasant soily damp smell that’s further enhanced by the following evening when the next load comes in, well I think it is pleasant, my partner will no doubt disagree!

In all seriousness, it has been wonderful to see the sun and the sun has brought out the flowers around the garden. It’s starting to have that spring feeling at last. Last year one of my roses was half open, this year, it’s only just broken into leaf this year and that says a lot doesn’t. But never mind, Mother Nature has a way of catching up with things and I dare say we will be getting a warm dry spell at sometime in the near future.

This weeks six on Saturday comes from my clients gardens. My garden is being rather stubborn and isn’t producing me with any plants of interest and I haven’t had time to do anything in there yet and that’s the keyword yet!

img 2485 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

I couldn’t resist this photo of Aesculus hippocastrum or horse chestnut of its leaves slowly unfurling, looks to me like it’s shading its eyes from the incoming big yellow ball that it’s not seen for a while or it’s waving to the sun saying hello. Ok ok bear with bear with its been a long cold winter…..

img 2481 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

Ahh another Ribes sanguineum ‘White Icicle’ now I do love ribes and the white form of the red flowering currant is another I look forward to in the spring months and here it is in the sun looking beautiful

img 2482 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

Euphorbia myrsinites was the first of this huge family I learnt as a young boy and still is a favourite of mine, I love the foliage effect as well as the acidic yellow flowers

img 2475 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

Ahh magnolias, once someone told me it was better to be late than to never arrive! Magnolias are living up to this saying this year. The cold spring has certainly put them back and it’s wonderful to see them flowering around the gardens once more, really makes me think spring is here! Oh before I forget it’s a magnolia stellata not sure on form, it’s under investigation, now where’s my magnolia book!

img 2483 2 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

The stinking hellebores look so majestic at this time of the year, helleborus foetidus is it’s botanical name, loves a bit of shade but again I love the green flowers, dipped in a little bit of purple around the edges

img 2490 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

Full apologies for the crap photo, the little bugger wouldn’t say still! I have a feeling this comma didn’t want to appear on six on Saturday, bad form I say, bad form. Seriously it was wonderful to see the sun brining out the butterflies. I saw so many brimstones (they didn’t want to be photographed either!) fluttering around the gardens and also one peacock and this one battered comma!

I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from my clients garden, If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

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Plant of the week- Stachyurus praecox

stachyurus praecox 4 Plant of the week  Stachyurus praecox

stachyurus praecox 3 Plant of the week  Stachyurus praecoxAt this time of year, there’s lots happening in the plant world and it’s so difficult to choose one plant of the week, then one plant just jumps out at you and screams add me add me so you do! Stachyurus praecox is indeed one of those plants. The shear beauty of the flowers will take your breathe away and rightly so!

stachyurus praecox Plant of the week  Stachyurus praecoxStachyurus praecox is indeed a native of Japan and into the Himalayas and was discovered in Japan by the great German explorer and physician Philippine Von Siebold. He discovered and introduced many of our Japanese plants that we grow in our gardens. Stachyurus praecox in its native Japan, can be found growing around the forest edges in the warmer temperate areas of Japan and is indeed know as a pioneer shrub, meaning it is one of the first plants to grow in a newly cleared areas.

stachyurus praecox 6 Plant of the week  Stachyurus praecoxThe name comes from Greek words Stachys meaning an ear of corn and oura meaning a tail, praecox means early for the early flowering. And it does flower early, in a normal year, it flowers from February to April, but this year it has only just started flowering in the past few weeks. The tiny flowers are borne on large racemes measuring up to 5″ long on some plants and in Japan, they are pollinated by bees. The shrub itself can grow up to 3m in height over 5 years or so. The mid green coloured leaves, turn in the autumn to a blaze of oranges and yellows and it is well worth growing for the autumn colour as well.

stachyurus praecox 4 Plant of the week  Stachyurus praecoxStachyurus praecox makes a great garden plant. It prefers a semi shaded or sunny spot in the garden with the soil being on the neutral to acidic side. Stachyurus praecox prefers a well drained soil but will be happy in a sandy loam and again despite what the books and internet says, it will grow away quite happy in a clay soil. As it comes from the warmer areas of Japan, it will tolerate temperatures as low as -15c but ideally to do its best for you, it does need a sheltered spot in the garden or indeed makes an unusual wall shrub.

Stachyurus praecox is also generally pest and disease free and requires a little pruning. To get the best flowers from the shrub, some feel it’s best to remove the older wood, say anything over 4yrs old. This keeps the Plants young and healthy and the flowering wood at its best. Of course you can also leave it alone, just removing the crossing stems and dead wood. It’s also pretty easy to propagate. Stachyurus praecox comes easily from seed, laying the plant and also by semi-ripe cuttings taken in late summer

Stachyurus praecox can be found in most of the bigger botanical gardens like Kew, Wisley and Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and can be brought from good Nurseries like Burncoose of Southdown and the welsh plant chocolate shop Crûg Farm

20180226 202933 Plant of the week  Stachyurus praecox
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Six on Saturday, 31st of March 2018

img 2427 Six on Saturday, 31st of March 2018

Well I haven’t featured any water plants yet and I think if this rain carries on much longer, I shall be ripping up all my plants and replacing them with Canadian pond weed and water lilies. It’s just be a horrendous week hasn’t, been rained off twice and still not got my paper work done, keep getting distracted trying to stop the kids kill each other and waiting on them. But that’s life in the fast lane or what couples as the fast lane at my time in life.

This weather has really effected the garden, the soil hasn’t really warmed up yet and nothing is growing as mad as it was last year. I was reading though my old blogs from a year ago, finding ones like rose watch, with rose buds a good size all ready, this year they haven’t even got any new leaves on yet this year! But that’s the fun thing about gardening isn’t, every day, week, month and year is different and so unpredictable.

Talking about unpredictability here’s my six on Saturday all from my own garden!

img 2443 Six on Saturday, 31st of March 2018

A lovely Hyacinth, can’t remember the name and I know it’s in a box in the garage but it’s raining and that would mean going outside and getting wet, still is a great colour and looks great in my containers in my front garden

img 2420 Six on Saturday, 31st of March 2018

A slight negative now, I was so looking forward to seeing my tulip polychroma in full flower, looking stunning in the sun, it’s one of my favourite specie tulip, um then we had the snow and it well killed off the flowers and they have failed to open, gutted but there’s always next year!

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One of the few plants I have left from when we moved in, actually it was one of the few plants in the garden at the time, looks great this time of year, but is under a window and it covers the window in a few weeks during the summer. I want to take it out but the sparrows love it for some reason and I cant bring myself to remove it

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My tulips are appearing! Just love the buds full stop, so full of promise and a hint of the pleasure they will bring. Have planted a few forms in the garden this year, can’t wait to see them appearing this year

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Geranium wlassovianum ‘Lakwijk Star’ just love the new leaves on this plant! The shades of red on the leaf is amazing and the usefulness of the plant is again brilliant, it has something going for it all summer.

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Wel I think she has nearly made it, my Geranium traversii elgans, looking a little more battle scared after the last cold spell, but never less still looks alive. Phew! Can’t wait for it to get flowering again!

I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from my garden, If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

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Plant of the week- Chionodoxia luciliae

img 4487 Plant of the week  Chionodoxia luciliae

img 4475 Plant of the week  Chionodoxia luciliae

Spring to me would be spring without the large drifts of bulbs that delight us in the larger parks and gardens. Most of the time, the bigger daffodils steal the show, with their yellow colour brightening up a dull spring day or crocus that open in huge drifts once the sun hits then. Quite often over looked and forgotten, bulbs like Chionodoxia can carpet areas and give us such a clear blue in the spring bulb display. This is the reason it’s my plant of the week this week.

img 4484 Plant of the week  Chionodoxia luciliae

Chionodoxia luciliae is one of the bulbs that naturalises areas with ease. Native of western Turkey mainly around the mountain called Boz Dag. It can be found at around 2000ms above sea level, flowering in May and June as the snow slowly melts leading to one of its common names, Glory of the Snow. It is thought by some, as a Scilla and they differ from Scilla from the stamens that are flattened at the base. Some botanists don’t think that’s enough and call it Scilla luciliae. It’s Latin name comes from Greek words chion meaning snow and doxa meaning glory, luciliae was after the wife of the great Swiss Botanist Pierre Edmond Boissier, the lovely Lucile Boissier.

img 4482 Plant of the week  Chionodoxia luciliae

The classification of Chionodoxias are a little confused with many of the species being grown around the world Horticulturally wrongly named, luciliae is more recognisable than most, flowers are bigger in size than C.forbesii, they normally have 2-3 flowers per stem. The flowers are of the truest blue of all the Chionodoxia and have almost a white star in the centre.

Chionodoxia luciliae in the uk, flowers early from February into March, this cold spell has certainly made them flower later this year. It gets to maximum height 15cm tall in full flower, often smaller around 10cm. It flowers for about 3 weeks before finishing and slowly dying down and disappearing for the summer. They grow quite happily in any free draining soil in a sunny or semi shady spot in the garden. Chionodoxia luciliae are planted as a bulb in the autumn about 5cm deep and once established, they can spread by seed quite easily.

They have very few pests and diseases and aren’t eaten by anything

Widely available but bulb companies like Gee tee and Avon bulbs are good sources

img 4487 Plant of the week  Chionodoxia luciliae

20180226 202933 Plant of the week  Chionodoxia luciliae
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Six on saturday – 17th of March 2018

img 2318 Six on saturday   17th of March 2018

For some reason when thinking about six on Saturday this week, Elton Johns song Saturday night just appeared in my head, no idea why, it’s strange how the brain works at time. Anyway after the snow and the rain, it’s been nice to have a dryish week, well if you discount the rain Thursday morning and other showers overnight, oh and there was the April like showers that drenched me Friday morning while pruning a rambling rose. Talking about Friday, I had one of those bird of prey days when I managed to see five in day, started off with a peregrine falcon over Salisbury, before seeing a red kite and Kesteral while driving to my next job, then watched buzzards pairing up, doing their mating displays of twisting and turning in the air and fighting off other males and finished off with a sparrow hawk chasing a blackbird over the garden, all wonderful sights unless you are are the blackbird! Everything is slowly growing away now and I am frantically trying to finish off my pruning before it all comes into leaf and starts growing away although I think the mini beast from the east is due this weekend, bringing more snow and cold temperatures, so that will slow it all down!

Anyway enough of my little chit chat and on to the six on Saturday, which due to not a lot changing or happening in my little garden is a mix of mine and a clients, I hoe you enjoy them

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Pulmonaria offinicalis, how on Earth can someone not like this plant, it gives us its lovely spotted leaves and beautiful spotted leaves harbouring in the spring. The little flowers are a mix of different shades of blue, with pink mixed in, how lovely does this shade lovely plant look!

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Of course it’s not just the flowers that make it into the six on Saturday, but foliage and this Aquilegia, I find the emerging new leaves full of beauty, from the colours, the fresh new look, the patterns that they give as they slowly open and finally the way water sits on them

img 2318 Six on saturday   17th of March 2018

I love small daffodils like tete a tete here, I find them so useful in the smaller garden, there they just look more in scale than the bigger ones and there foliage when dying back can be a little unsightly while these little ones can be hidden by other plants coming though.

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Ahh Daphne ordora varigata, lovely foliage, edged in yellow and then the flowers and the scent, it just fills the whole garden with its scent and they just flower for so long, normally at least 4 months during the winter time, such a great value plant

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Rhubarb oh how I love this vegetable and before I start world war 3 on the internet, it is indeed a vegetable and not a fruit. I love the crinkled leaves as they slowly appear with the red stems emerging, bringing the thought of rhubarb crumble, rhubarb and strawberry tart or just rhubarb stew to add to ice cream, cereal or natural yogurt

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Pulmonaria rubra is the red pulmonaria and again how beautiful does this look! They may lack the spottiness on the leave but their mid colour green looks good anyway and offsets the flowers nicely

I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from Mine and my clients gardens If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

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Underplanting roses- part 2, a few idea

img 3948 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

In last weeks post, (just here in case you missed it I spent a bit of time going though the ideas behind underplanting roses and it’s advantages, this week I shall be be looking at a range of under planting that will suit a wide range of roses and of course their different colour flowers. This list isn’t meant to be a bible but just a mere stepping stone into the future path of plant discovery. Now this blog could cover a few hundred plants but I shall keep it short at around 12 Plants just to give you a few ideas to get things started

Geranium pratense ‘Mrs Kendall Clark’

img 4974 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

Now I could go on about the history of this Hardy Geranium and how it’s not the real form but let’s leave that to another blog, Geranium pratense ‘Mrs Kendall Clark’ tends to flower just the once mainly but it can repeat a couple of times during the summer months. It’s light blue stripped flowers do tend to suit single coloured roses, either in pastel colours or it can just about get away with the darker reds too

Eryngium giganteum

img 6694 1 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

is much better known as Miss Willmott’s ghost. This biannual appeared the year after Miss Ellen Willmott visited a garden as she had a habit of spreading the seed in a garden during her visits. This is one of the most useful silver plants to have in the garden, it just works with any colour and almost any Rose! It is very good at self seeding itself all around the garden but it is easily removed if it’s in the wrong place. As it is a biannual, it will just form a rosette of leaves in the first year and then flower and die in the next.

Digitalis purpurea f.albiflora

img 5112 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

Another biannual is the beautiful Digitalis purpurea f.albiflora or the pure white foxglove. This plant gives you so much height within the border and is important mixed in with the shrub roses and their range of pinks and reds. These towers of white help to give the border some height and purity to the border. One word of warning, if you want just the pure white forms be certain to remove any with any hint of purple!

Sisyrinchium striatum

012 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

This is a odd looking plant with iris like leaves and dainty light yellow flowers followed by black seedheads. It’s colour and strap like leaves makes it a good plant to mix in with roses of a wide range of colours,from white to dark red. As well as working with a wide colour range, it works well with a wide range of heights, again with roses ranging in height from 45cm to 2m. It does selfseed a little but is easily replanted into the correct place

Campanula latiloba

img 6699 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

This delightful campanula comes in a few different colours, Hidcote Amethyst is a amethyst colour, the main form is blue and the white form called alba is also a very good plant to use and it will cover a wide range of roses. It will also flower for May weeks from May into August depending on the year and weather

Anchusa azurea

bed09ab2005 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

The Italian bugloss as it is more commonly called is a bright blue perennial that will repeat flower during the year. This blue colour works again with so many colour forms of roses. It has hairy leaves that may cause a rash on some people ie me! It grows to 50cm in height and can be cut down after flowering to encourage more to come through.

Dianthus old garden hybrids

img 4141 1 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

These small plants add more to the roses than just their beautiful range of pink flowers that fill the air with a clove like scent. They also bring a great shade of grey needle like foliage to the party. Their small size makes them ideal for planting around the edges of the roses and through smaller roses. They also do a great job at the front of the borders by helping to hide the bottoms of the shrub roses, which can be a little unsightly but don’t tell them please

Geranium psilostemon

img 5058 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

Geranium psilostemon needs a little more careful partnering although used correctly it can really uplift the surrounding roses. It’s difficulty comes from the colour and the height, it surprisingly works well with a range of pinks and white flowers just the sheer brightness can at times over power the surrounding plants. The other thing to watch out for is the height, it can grow to 1.2m which can over power a lot of roses, so again it needs bearing in mind when using

Penstemon ‘Pensham Wedding Day’

img 5124 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

Penstemons are great plants to have in the garden anyway but they make great additions to the Rose beds. As they repeat flower throughout the summer, they make great companions to repeat flowering roses and this white form suites pink and red flowering roses.

Penstemon ‘Hidcote Purple’

penostemon hidcote purple Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

While the purple form of Penstemon Hidcote Purple works so well with white and pale coloured roses, again it’s repeat flowering helps to bring colour to the borders even after the roses have finished flowering

Tanacetum parthenium ‘Flore Pleno’

img 3948 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

The double flowered version of feverfew is one of the most underrated plants we grow in the garden, this double version just flowers all summer long with attractive lime greenish foliage again really helps to set off the darker greens of the roses and other plants. The flowers are like tiny buttons and are quite delightful. It does self seed a little but that’s what friends and plant sales are for. It does have one advantage of attracting aphids to them and away from the roses. Works with a wide range of rose colours, indeed not many colour flowers it doesn’t work with

Cotinus coggygria

img 1106 Underplanting roses  part 2, a few idea

We all need a little bit of purple foliage in the garden don’t we and Cotinus is the best at this. It is indeed a large shrub that is ideally suited for the bigger garden but it can be kept coppiced back each year to form these larger purple leaves and I have found a light prune in July keeps them down a little in size and helps to bulk up the size of the plant. Works well with a wide range of rose flowers.

This is just a small drop in the ocean of what you could do, the only thing that should stop is time and cost. Don’t be afraid of trying things that may sound silly like using Dahlias and other half Hardy Plants, they can and do work, it’s just getting the right combination. So please give it a go and enjoy growing roses in a way that enhances all the plants in your garden.

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Plant of the week- Sophora ‘Sun King’

sophera sunking 4 Plant of the week  Sophora ‘Sun King’

sophera sunking 2 Plant of the week  Sophora ‘Sun King’This weeks plant of the week is one that just seems to flower for months and months although I feel it’s March and into April when they really are their best. It is certainly one of my favourite plants since i moment I saw it growing in Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, down near the pond, indeed it was the original plant that was introduced by Hillier Nurseries.

This original plant of Sophora ‘Sun King’ came from some seed Nothofagus seed sent to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens from Chile. When the Nothofagus germinated it was found to have an interloper amongst them, this grew into a very beautiful shrub indeed, flowering some years later. It was thought to be a form of S.microphylla although it is now thought to of been a hybrid. It was introduced by Hilliers in the late 1990’s after it had done so well at the gardens surviving many cold winters and it is indeed still growing away strong to this day, my photos are of that particular plant!

sophera sunking Plant of the week  Sophora ‘Sun King’There is a lot of rubbish spoken about Sophora ‘Sun King’ about its height and soil dislikes. It does only get to a maximum size of about 3m in height and width as a few standing shrub, trained as a wall shrub it is able to get a little taller, up to 4m in height but no where near the 8m I have seen written down. Soil wise, Sophora ‘Sun King’ will take most soils from shallow chalk to clay, (yes even read it dislikes clay, the original plant is on solid london clay!) as long as it isn’t waterlogged. Again it will take most aspects although if the garden is particularly cold, a slightly more sheltered spot is better. It flowers much better if it is in a sheltered spot. Sophora ‘Sun King’ starts producing its yellow pea like flowers after its around 8yrs old and these start appearing in January and will continue flowering well into May some years. In Chile, the flowers of Sophora sp are mainly propagated by hummingbirds but here in the uk, it’s the bees that help the process. These flowers are offset by the stunning dark green foliage with up to 40 leaflets are used to form each leaf. It is evergreen but in a very hard winter, it will drop its leaves. The Name Sophora comes from Arabic meaning a small tree with pea like flowers. Sun King is partly in homage to its Chilean roots as well as the colour of the flowers.

sophera sunking 4 Plant of the week  Sophora ‘Sun King’Sophora ‘Sun King’ has very few pests and diseases that attack it apart from the usual slugs and snails when young. Like all plants, it would benefit from a feed of Vitax Q4 in the spring as well as a compost mulch to help increase the health of the surrounding soil. Sophora ‘Sun King’ is propagated by grafting on to a rootstock of Sophora microphylla in the late winter early spring. It is very difficult to propagate from cuttings although I have heard of people succeeding using Air layering methods.

Sophora ‘Sun King’ is now widely available from most nurseries and is seen in most big gardens like RHS Wisley but it’s Sir Harold Hillier Gardens where the original plant is still growing strong

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Six on Saturday – 10th of March,2018

img 2275 Six on Saturday   10th of March,2018

Well that didn’t last long did it, of course it’s the snow I am talking about, we had it quite deep here for us in Hampshire but sadly most of it was gone by Sunday, it did make the garden look beautiful and of course the plants have their colours enhanced with the pure white snow, making all the colours seemingly jumping out at you.

The rest of the week was pretty cool and dry with us right until Friday when it seems the heavens opened and everything got a good watering. I am still not 100% sure the winter has finished with us yet, there always seems to be a little bit of a sting in the tale of the winter

My six this week comes from my own garden, there’s a few things going on and being planned as well, I hope you enjoy this weeks six

img 4387 Six on Saturday   10th of March,2018

This is my last picture of my Edgeworthii I promise, well ok for this year and I will be honest it’s nearly finished but I love this picture of the flowers with it’s little snow hat on, it really bought out the colour in the picture, it looks stunning doesn’t.

img 2275 Six on Saturday   10th of March,2018

The very beautiful crocus tricolor, it’s a new in the garden this year but already I love the 3 different colours on the flowers, it really makes them stand out

img 0685 Six on Saturday   10th of March,2018

My new roses, not all for me but a few are! Always find it exciting getting new plants in, these are kneeled in or my version which involves a large pot and loads of bark mulch used to cover the roses. This is a brilliant way to keep the roots damp in the short time in a small garden where you haven’t got the space to kneel them into the garden

img 0684 Six on Saturday   10th of March,2018

And this is where they will be going, taking the Spotted laurel and planting under the window and replacing it with roses and a few more underplanting to get the best from the site, it just needed a little more colour in the area

img 0683 Six on Saturday   10th of March,2018

I don’t have that many daffodils in my garden, mainly as it in my mind suits the more formal approach that tulips give you, I caved in last autumn and thought I would try this smaller forms of daffodils like fortune, here just coming into flower, can’t wait to see them in full flower, hoping it is going to work

img 2277 Six on Saturday   10th of March,2018

And I love these little specie tulips, this is the first one opening for me and it’s called biforiformis, it’s tiny flowers look nothing like the huge forms of tulip that will be flowering very soon but these hold a little bit more charm for me

hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from My garden. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

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Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind its

2015k Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind its

2015k Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind its

There’s so many titles I could use instead of underplanting roses, mutual enhancing planting could be one or companion planting could be another but that said it could also be just mixed border planting with roses as the main shrubs. This style isn’t new, it was started but the great Irish gardener William Robinson, who loved the English Cottage garden style, picked up by the great Gertrude Jekyll but it was the Graham Stuart Thomas that really brought this style to modern British gardens, Graham was influenced by Gertrude and William and used the walled gardens at Mottisfont to produce his finest works helped as all great artists are, by a talented young (at the time) head gardener called David Stone. These gardens do show what can be achieved by careful planing over time. Now I will get one thing straight, this blog is about how to achieve the effect, the benefits of it and how to manage the feeding of the soil. I could spend ages listing plants that go well with certain roses but that may not be your tastes and not work well in your garden.

011 Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind its

So why firstly go to the trouble of mixing it all up, why not just have rose beds? Very good question just need to try and answer it. Personally I am not a fan of monoculture or growing one thing in a large bed on its own, I feel it doesn’t look right for me personally but there’s other more detailed reasons other than my personal options. Mixing up the planting helps to bring in different foliage and flower shapes that help to break up the roundness of the rose flowers and shapes. These can add spikes, bells, indeed any form and shape to the pattern of the Rose and help to enhance both. Even larger flowered plants like peonies can be used with great effect with the roses. The key to whatever flower you are using is to differ from the rose in some way whether it’s size, shape or colour. Going back to the peonies for a minute, a large single Peonia works well with a semi double or a double roses as the simple ness of the peonia makes up for the complexity of the Rose and vice verse. Same with colour, matching the colours is the most important side, img 6694 Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind itsusing sliver foliage thoughout the bed helps to enhance most Rose flower colours but using darker coloured foliage doesn’t enhance as wide a colour spectrum. It takes time to learn what colours work well together with the roses and other underplanting and the best way is to workout what works with you in your settings, personal taste and soil type. Same again with the heights, a lot of the roses tend to grow to certain heights, Bush roses are around 2-3ft in height and shrub roses are around 3-5ft in height so it’s being careful not to have plants that are too powerful growers to take over the roses and of course vice versa.

img 1104 Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind itsI have seen it done with Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’ used as a mass underplanting of Rosa Rugosa ‘Hansa’. The ideal was beautiful, a massive of slivery blue under the darkish red of the rose but it failed as the Nepeta form was just too strong and powerful for the roses. A much smaller form like N.fassinni would of worked well. And also with Geranium macrophyllum used as an underplanting on Bush roses, once established, there was about 10cm difference in height between the two and it looked wrong, changed it to Geranium x cantbridgense hybrids and it worked well, with this form much more smaller growing. It is a tricky job to match them up but the results can be well worth it and once you start to get your eye in, you can start evaluating most of other plants on how they will work well with roses. They can then be planted up and trailed, it works well that’s good, if not well, starting again can be the fun part. It’s also working out what will work well with your soil and local conditions as well.

bed d 05b Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind itsOf course it’s not just getting both the underplanting and roses flowering at the same time, underplanting can be used to extend to seasons of interest from much before the roses open and to well after they have finished, using plants like spring bulbs like tulips, alliums, asters (in the various new names of course) clematis and of course topiary! Adding plants like dahlias and late flowering salvias can be done as a more modern twist in the borders. Plants like Helleborus argufoloius, flower early in the year but the foliage adds something to the borders during the summer months too. Again it’s just a case of playing with plants and see if it works. I have found the helleborus x hybridus forms difficult to add to roses, until I tried them with Rosa rugosa hybrids and found they worked well with the different foliage of the rugosa.

img 5123 Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind itsunderplanting roses can also do so much more than just enhancing the roses, it can also help the health of the roses. How? Well in various different ways, take Blackspot for an example, the spores from the fungus are transported from the infected rose by water droplets. These hit the rose, pickup the fugal spores, splash down onto the ground and then up onto the next rose, infecting that one as well. Underplanting slows down the droplet speed once it’s hit the rose and cushions the fall of the water onto the ground, reducing the splash effect and other plants then also stop this splash from hitting the next rose. Powdery mildew is spread by wind, catching hold of the spores and spreading it to the next rose, underplanting between the roses, adds another small barrier to help reduce this spread.

img 0975 Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind itsThen there’s the insect pests like aphids, just as in organic growing, a sacrificial plant can be grown to attract them to it and then this plant will attract in aphid eating machines like ladybird larvae to feast on them. Growing a wide range of flowers will also attract in a wide range of beneficial insects like hover-flies that again will feed on the any pests around, the seedpods left late until the season attract in birds to feed on them, these birds normally come in large mixed flocks and they will also look for insects hidden on the roses.

2006c Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind itshow to feed the roses is one of the big questions I am normally asked in concern with underplanting roses. The answer is a little more complex, I don’t believe in feeding just for one plant, I believe we should be feeding the soil and producing a heathy soil, one that can support a wide range of plants easily. Once the soil is healthy, the plants growing will be stronger and more able to fight diseases and pests. So I tend to add a fairly organic fertiliser to the soil in early spring, covering the whole area not just around the plants and then mulch with a garden compost or composted green waste. This I find is enough to keep both the roses and underplanting happy.

img 1091 Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind itsIn all mixing up the planting with roses is indeed hard work but it is a way of growing them that is both pleasing to the eye and one that does have good health benefits for the roses too.

In the next part, I shall have a closer look at some of the underplanting that can be the most overall use for underplanting through roses, it won’t be a complete list but just some of the ideas of combinations to try

global blogging feature Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind its