Plant of the Week: Solidagos

We have several types of Solidago at the nursery, all useful in the autumn flower beds and all very attractive to insects.

Solidago rugosa “Fireworks” is 3 to 4 foot tall with dark stems and leaves topped by slender branches of mid-yellow flowers making a lovely airy display. This plant is native to North America where it grows in damp woods and meadows.  The nursery is on heavy clay and it flowers here from August to October

providing late nectar feasts for bees and hoverflies. “Fireworks” makes a long-lasting cut flower.

Solidago sempervirens ,this is taller at 5 to 6 foot tall .It is  rarely offered for sale  in the UK and is native to the Eastern seaboard of the USA. It has strong stems which do not need staking, with golden-yellow fluffy flowers. Flowering at the same time as “Fireworks” it is equally attractive to insects, and is a useful seaside plant being very tolerant to salt exposure.

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Dahlias again!

In pursuit of the dahlias we saw at Giverny I’ve come across a lovely nursery on the web, Rose Cottage Plants. They have a large selection of mouth watering dahlias  and some rather lovely tulips. I’ve pared down my list of dahlias to order in the New Year  to 8. I have room for no more than 2 , (well I could probably stretch it to 3!)  so I’ve got  some very serious thinking to do to reduce the numbers, still my numbers are nothing compared with my sister’s list which stands (currently) at 20!

Quart into a pint pot! I think its probably genetic.

Holiday

Well no “Plant of the Week” blogs for the last two weeks as we have been on holiday. The first time for many years ,we chose a short cruise taking in several horticultural destinations that we’d been wanting to visit for ages, Giverny, Tresco & the Eden Project. If asked, prior to our departure, which destination we were anticipating would be our favourite,  I think we would have both plumped for the Eden Project.

We were amazed!! Giverny won hands down.

The lily pond and Japanese gardens were beautiful; but what really took our breath away was the wonderful planting around Monet’s house.There were beds and beds (10 or 11 I can’t remember) of mixed planting, roses, shrubs, grasses, perennials and  annuals all colour themed and quite narrow in comparison with some of the usual mixed borders we see here in the UK but utterly stunningly beautiful.

The plants that really inspired me were the huge range of Dahlias that I’d not seen before. I’m no dahlia expert, I grow perhaps half a dozen different ones from year to year mostly to use as cut flowers. I realise that specialist growers and the National Dahlia Collection have a huge range but have to admit that until I saw them growing at Giverny I hadn’t appreciated the impact they can have in a mixed border or just how stunning they look. I am truly now a dahlia convert and have the National Collection catalogue to hand to choose some for next year. I am , of course , hampered by the fact I have a miniscule garden…………… however that’s never yet stopped me buying plants!

My only criticism of the garden at Giverny is that very few plants were labeled and so I shall have a very hard job identifying the dahlias I’d like to acquire, still there’s nothing like a challenge!