Plant of the Week: Smyrnium perfoliatum

This is a beautiful spring flowering biennial which can be difficult to establish but when it does so you are never without it, yet it is in no way an over-powering thug. The whole plant is a glorious acid green/yellow which lights up any area especially a shady area although it just as happy in the sun ( in this photograph taken in my garden its facing  south) Smyrnium is also very useful for flower arranging.

Smyrnium perfoliatum 2

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Spring has sprung…..

stall picYes, it’s been officially Spring for a while now, but for us here at HHP it starts on Sunday 24th April with our first NGS Open Gardens gig of 2016. This is not to be confused with our Open Garden days for the NGS, more of that later. No, this is when we go off to Blockley, Gloucestershire for the first of their two village gardens openings.

The hub of the terrifically well-organised day is the village hall, where tickets can be bought, afternoon tea/coffee and some delicious home-made cakes consumed AND……. where the visitors can view our plants for sale and, if they see something they like, to buy their choice. We try to bring a selection of the plants we sell, not just the ones in flower, but ones that have their flowering season later in the summer. To help with that, we bring photographs of the later-flowers to show people what is to come.

One year, Liz and I went to the Malvern Autumn Show and went straight to the Plant Tent (as we always do!) where Liz saw a huge pot of a crocosmia she had been looking for since she’d seen it in a garden magazine. As the pots were quite heavy, she decided to come back and buy it once we’d looked at all the stands in the tent. Yep, I bet you all know the ending of this morality tale. We went back 15 minutes later and they had all (ALL) been sold!! Ever since that day, both of us have never hesitated to buy a plant we want, when we see it.

Why tell you that story? Well, in the few years we have been going to Blockley, we’ve seen it replicated many times. ‘I’ve come back to buy the ……(fill in the plant name) I saw. Oh! Have you sold it? ‘ Because we sell quite a range of plants, we can only bring one or possibly two of each. So if someone takes a fancy to, say, Trifolium ochrelucon or Hemerocallis ‘Wild Horses’, then they should remember – he who hesitates is lost!

 

Plant of the Week: Hakonechloa macra aureola

A slow growing warm season grass which gradually forms a low mound of deep rich yellow leaves thinly striped with green. Hakonechloa doesn’t grow very tall, 18″ to 24″ but its soft flowing form looks lovely in a pot and is absolutely fabulous in the shade where it Hakonechloa macra Aureola2010 003glows .The foliage turns a deep reddish brown then brown in autumn/winter.

Plant of the Week: Anemone virginiana

Anemone virginiana hails from the central and eastern USA where its known as the Thimble weed. The photograph shows why!

It has small creamy white flowers with a central mound of yellowish stamens on stems 18″ to 24″ tall which rise up from a low mound of mid green foliage. It flowers late April or  early May depending on the weather, growing in sun or part shade and will tolerate full shade. This is not a large showy plant but quietly pretty and very useful for providing interest early in the year.

Anemone virginiana2.JPG

Plants of the Week: Primula vulgaris & Viola labrodorica

These should have featured weeks ago as both have been flowering for weeks. Both excellent plants for the spring garden and both seed around quite happily so you’ve always got a few spare plants to pass around. The Primula is our common primrose, once a feature of many hedgerows and coppices now sadly not seen so much, the violet is a native of Canada and North America now making itself at home here .Just appearing in the top right hand corner, a little bit of Euphorbia “Fens Ruby”.Viola labrodorice with primula veris