Archive | Flowers and Plants

Annual, perennial and interesting flowers with advice on culture, information, tips and recommended varieties

Miss Named Plants

‘Centrdenia-purple-glory?’

How can you get the plant name so wrong?

The errors start with me miss spelling the plant name when I took the photograph at least according to Google who want to see an ‘a’ after the ‘r’ to spell Centradenia. Now I think about it, did I copy the plant label correctly or had the wrong label been attached to the plant stood on it’s own on the capillary mat at the nursery?

More likely the problem is compounded as the plant looks very similar to a Petunia and as they say ‘if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck it is a Petunia’.

Would the nursery have used such a truncated name even with an ‘a’? If Google were right then the full name should possibly be Tibouchina heteromalla “Purple Glory Bush” or similar species of the Myrtle family . Widely attractive to humming birds, of which we get virtually none in the UK.

Species

Centradenia cascade
Centradenia grandifolia – princess flower, sea of flowers
Centradenia inaequilateralis
Centradenia floribunda
Centradenia rosea

 A relative of the more commonly grown “Princess Flower”

0

Coming Late to Chrysanthemums

Gardening for over 50 years I have flirted with Chrysanthemums several times but never taken them seriously. Now I resolve to correct that by putting in the effort as I realise the significant rewards to be gained by a gardener who is maturing like good compost.

My change of opinion has come about due to a birthday present of Chrysanthemums cuttings that have excelled in both pots and greenhouse culture during 2017.

Reasons to Grow Chrysanthemums

  • There is a large range of types and sizes of Chrysanthemums from small ‘pot mums’ to large exhibition varieties. All have their own characteristics with which to experiment and you can specialise or grow a wide range.
  • I like strong coloured flowers and even the white Chrysanthemums can be very strong. Golds and reds are amongst my favourites but some types of flower look better in yellow or lilac.
  • Chrysanthemums in the house are seldom surpassed for vibrancy and longevity.
  • Spectacular blooms can be grown by careful husbandry worthy of exhibition and showing. The more effort you make the better the rewards. Despite this reasonable results are not hard to achieve if you are just a hobby grower.
  • Flowers are long lasting and can continue the display through until Christmas.
  • Propagated from cuttings or newly bought plants. I find seed a bit hard but may be I should persevere.
  • No flower responds better to good culture from the gardener than the Chrysanthemum. They are a rewarding plant to grow.
  • To sum up my reasons for converting to Chrysanthemum growing ‘Great cut flowers, good for garden, pot or greenhouse culture and great value’.

Quotes about Chrysanthemum

  • Justly claimed as ‘the Queen of Autumn flowers’.
  • Chrys means golden hence the flower was named Chrysanthemum by the botanist Carolus Linnaeus.
  • Popular in China and Japan  where they feature in the “Festival of Happiness” and as symbols of power.

There is a wealth of information about Chrysanthemums on the internet, in books and from local societies but the best way to learn is to grow them for yourself. I will be getting stuck in with renewed vigour.

0

Tree Peonies for the Far East

tree peony

History of Tree Peonies

The ancient Chinese have cultivated Tree Peonies for over 1500 years. Prized specimens are and were grown for medicinal purposes as they contain glucocides and alkolides. The  imperial palace gardens had many specimens that became quite valuable.

The tree peony was, for a time, the national flower of China and it is thought Chairman Mao sought to ban their growth as a decadent pastime. The root of P suffruicosa has been used in medicine for centuries.

Plants were transported to Japan in the 14th century. The Japanese  bred tree peonies creating over 1200 hybrids some of which are still grown today.

The cult status of Japanese Tree peonies encouraged 18th century plant hunters to import tree peonies in to Europe, particularly France and England. These plant hunters like Veitch, Joseph Rock and Kelway started their own breeding programmes from some of the five wild species and other hybrids.

The Americans crossed P.lutea and P. delavayi with japanese hybrids to produce some of the vibrant colours now available.

 

Tree peonies have long features in oriental watercolour paintings. by Zou Yigui (1686–1772). Some of the varieties, like ‘Yao’s Yellow’ and ‘Wei’s Purple’ are  depicted in a series of paintings  mentioned in the Record of the Tree Peonies of Luoyang  Ouyang xiu (1007-1072 CE).

 

 

0

The North of England Horticultural Society.

Gladioli

The North of England Horticultural Society (NEHS) is over 106 year old and has been the premier gardening and horticultural charity supporting the north of England through out that time. It is independent of the RHS! The NEHS is not to be confused with Northern Horticultural society 1963-1988 or The Northern Horticultural society 1988 – 2009 which were subsumed along with Harlow Carr gardens by the RHS. Their magazine ‘Northern Gardener’ was replace by RHS publication The Garden.

Every spring and autumn the NEHS organise the Harrogate Flower Shows, widely regarded as the biggest and most prestigious independent shows in the gardening year. In autumn there are ‘shows within a show’ featuring displays by  20 different specialist groups. The autumn veg are fantastic, spring flowers are fine and the shows feature many retail opportunities to help with the charities funding.

 

Odd Facts about The North of England Horticultural Society

  • The Prince of Wales is the Patron and Jonathan Moseley is the current President 
  • Profits from the Harrogate Flower Shows Ltd are handed back to the NEHS, to enable the charity to continue its important work in promoting horticulture.
  • The NEHS   grant programme is aimed at community societies, friends groups and organisations committed to improving their local landscape. They also support those seeking to build a career in gardening and encouraging schools and colleges to become involved with horticulture through hands-on activity and development.
  • Over the years the Yorkshire thrift has seen an accumulation of  over £1m in investments with £1.3m reserves at the end on 2016.
  • The 2018 show is open 26th to 29th April from 9.30am to 5.30pm Thursday, Friday & Saturday; 4.30pm Sunday.
0

Rhododendron Birds

Widgeon

Rhododendron Widgeon was been beaten to a great post by Jo Hanslip on insane journal

‘The Glendoick Bird Hybrids

The Bird series of dwarf rhododendrons were developed at Glendoick Gardens, in Scotland, and are classified as Dwarf Lepidote Hybrids.

The great plant hunters Ludlow and Sherriff returned to Britain in the 1950s. George Sherriff and his wife started a garden only 50km away from Glendoick and they became great friends of the Coxes. On an early visit to their home, Ascreavie, Peter Cox spotted a dwarf yellow-flowered rhododendron species with enormous bowl-shaped flowers for the size of the plant which turned out to be … Rhododendron ludlowii.

The Sherriffs allowed Peter to take some pollen home, which he applied to R. chryseum …  In due course, the hybrid R. ‘Chikor’ was selected and named from this cross and … given an Award of Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society.

A chikor is a game bird and this started the theme of naming all dwarf lepidote hybrids after birds, another prime interest of Peter’s. From then on, several dwarf crosses were made every year with Kenneth Cox starting to make his own crosses in the early 1980s. There are now 30 Glendoick birds which are popular with gardeners and rhododendron collectors in many parts of the world.

BRAMBLING 90cm. New Glendoick hybrid with brightest pink flowers in multiple clusters in April. Fine dark foliage.
CHIFF CHAFF 60cm. Masses of creamy yellow flowers in early May. A neat bush with handsome dark foliage. One of the original bird hybrids, raised in the 1960s.
CHIKOR 30cm. Bright yellow flowers in May. The first Glendoick Bird hybrid. Compact twiggy growth. Needs cool roots & good drainage.
CRANE 75cm. Creamy-white flowers in April. Hardy, very free-flowering and easy to please. One of the best white dwarf hybrids. Continue Reading →

0

Edible Hedges You Can Grow & Pick

Sloes and damsons are in good supply this September in your local hedgerows. I have relied on my own blackberries this year but from the train window yesterday there were masses of plump black fruit for picking.

Forage amongst the book shelves to get a cornucopia of edible wild plant ideas.

Book Cover
You can plant your own edible hedge now until late March which will give you a supply of edible fruit and berries for years to come. Bare rooted plants are very reasonably priced.

Easy Step by Step Hedge

Clear the ground to remove weeds and old roots by digging or using Glyphosphate based weedkiller. Leave for a few weeks.
Pick a frost free day and when ready to plant put bundles of bare rooted plants into a bucket of water to give them a drink.
Mark out the line of the hedgerow bearing in mind you will want two staggered rows of plants. You can put down mulch matting and plant through it if you wish.
You will need 4-5 plants per square yard.
Continue Reading →

1

Contorted Stems for Ikebana Flower Arranging

Winter Interest

Growing Corkscrew Hazel for Flower Arrangements

  • Corylus avellana Contorta is also known as Harry Lauders Walking Sticks or Corkscrew Hazel
  • It is a slow growing deciduous shrub that can grow to 20′ wide and 25′ high when mature.
  • Corkscrew Hazel looks best in winter and from February-March there are pendant male catkins on the bare branches.
  • Propagation is best done by layering branches.
  • When in leaf the mid green leaves give an ugly deformed appearance.

Corylus avellana 'Contorta'

Special Tips for Flower Arranging with Corkscrew Hazel

  • Use the twisted stems and bare twigs in winter arranging.
  • Twigs in bridal bouquets can add movement and interest.
  • Corkscrew Hazel are popular as a base for Ikebana
  • Catkins will gradually lengthen and become more yellow when kept in water for several weeks.
  • Twigs can be dried and used year after year. They can also be painted for Christmas.

Spring

A full array of books on Flower Arranging and related subjects is available from Amazon. You will find more advice and artistic inspiration amongst this selection.

Special Tips for Flower Arranging with Contorted Willow

  • I have included Contorted Willow with Corkscrew Hazel as the issues, effects, tips and methods are quite similar.
  • Twigs and stems can be dried and used several times or be sprinkled with glitter for Christmas.
  • The cut twigs will last several weeks and eventually the willow leaves will open on the stem.
  • Contorted Willow is available under several names including Salix matsudana Tortuosa (Salix babylonica tortuosa), Salix x erythroflexuosa or common names Dragons Claw and Tortured Willow.
  • Salix the Willow family are more vigourous than the Corylus Hazels

Contorted Willow
Credits
Ikebana by M. Martin Vicente CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ by Stadtkatze CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Spring by David Davies CC BY-SA 2.0
Contorted Willow by touring_fishman CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

To grow a generic mix of flowers for arrangements and bouquets check out Thompson & Morgan

Book Cover
Ikebana: The Art of Arranging Flowers by Shozo Sato and Kasen Yoshimura

Corkscrew Hazel and Contorted Willow are plants that both produce twigs that add movement and style when flower arranging. Mix with just one type of flower as less is generally more with Hazels and Willows.
Turn your arrangements into botanical works of art – here are some examples and clubs you could join.
Ikebana
Corylus avellana Contorta the Corkscrew Hazel aka Harry Lauder’s Walking Sick first discovered in 1863. Slow growing eventually reaching 20′ high and wide unless pruned for flower arrangements. Autumn cob nuts produced. Hazel catkins in spring. Cut twigs last well in water

 

  • willow leaves will lengthen. Catkins will open and yellow pollen will show
  • twigs can be dried by hanging upside down then used year after year.
  • twigs can be painted
  • use for christmas decorations, bridal bouquets
  • mix with flowers cut at different heights
  • Contorted Willow   Salix matsudana tortuosa aka S. babylonia var pekinensis, Dragons Claw, Tortured or Corkscrew Willow fast growing hardy deciduous tree
  • Salix x eryroflexuosa branches of rich chestnut colour and a ocher -yellow trunk – also hardy
0

Bindweed Wild Flower Varieties

The bindweed family comprises of several varieties seen as wild flowers in the UK together with some other species including convolvulus and polygonum. They can be a nuisance in the garden with brittle roots that make them hard to eliminate.

BEST LEFT IN THE WILD!

Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)

Wild Bindweeds

Calystegia soldanella – Sea bindweed pink flowers with white stripe may-Aug

Calystegia sepium  – Hedge bindweed  or  Bellbine, Rutland Beauty, Hedge False Bindweed, Wild Morning Glory with white funnel shaped flowers June-Sept

Calystegia silvatica – Large bindweed with white or pink striped flowers

Black bindweed is part of the dock family Polygonum convolvulus few flowers in pale green

 Convolvulus arvensis – Field bindweed

0

Calendula Calendar

Menston Calendula

Orange or Yellow are the signature colours of Pot Marigolds more correctly named Calendula officinalis.

Pot Marigolds are typically grown as an annual or biennials but can be cultivated as a short-lived perennial.

Calendula are also called  English, Field Marigolds, Scotch marigold or Ruddles but are unrelated to African or French marigolds.

Menston Calendula

Varieties to Consider

  • Golden Princess;
  • Orange Princess;
  • Calypso Orange;
  • Radio;
  • Triangle Flashback with double flowers in shades of apricot-pink with a maroon 
  • Deja Vu
  • Pacific Beauty a mixture
  • Sherbet Fizz

Menston Calendula

Grow From Seed

  • Sow in autumn to over winter or start indoors before the last frosts.
  • Avoid warm propagation temperatures, as they will produce weak plants.
  • Keep the seeds covered with soil, as light inhibits germination.
  • After germination good light will help create bushy plants

They may look like daisies because they come from the same family asteracea

0

Hosta Little Tips

otley show hostas 035

I am no great fan of large leaved hostas probably due to lack of space in my garden where I prefer to grow other plants. However the dwarf varieties are easy to get on with.

An alternative name for Hostas is Funkia. That appeals to me and helps describe how the plants can create congenital abnormalities and abnormal formations. (Teratology).

Small Hosta Tips

  • There are a host of varieties to start to growing and collecting may become an obsession. There are 49 named varieties of ‘mouse-ear’ varieties alone.
  • Water well in spring even before the first leaves show. Roots need water particularly as the light increases.
  • The better the roots the better the plants will display.
  • In spring restart the plants with slug bait, slow release fertiliser and a mulch.
  • A weak solution of Tomorite makes a good foliar feed.
  • Epsom salts will provide needed magnesium when the leaves have hardened in early summer.
  • Water  lightly  in autumn to fatten up the roots for winter.
  • Allow plants to make good clumps. Leave for 3 years or so before dividing. I tend to be too impatient dividing to get more plants.
  • Encourage flowers and collect seed to increase your stock.
  • The more light a hosta gets the more water it needs.

otley show hostas 050

0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes