HPS ANNUAL LECTURE DAY AND AGM, Saturday 30th March, details on our Events page
I am very fond of early ﬂowering shrubs, not simply for their form and colour, but for all they have to oﬀer to wildlife. Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Falconnet Charlet’ and Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Nivalis’ have been ﬂowering and attracting pollinators for weeks - in the case of ‘Falconnet Charlet’ since 2018!
Like most gardeners I almost never sit in my garden relaxing - we rest on various benches during our labours for a cup of tea or coffee for a short time, seeing all that needs doing. Consequently I wanted something to look at all through the year as well as scent and colour.
The earliest crocuses to come out are normally yellow Crocus crysanthus and pale purple C. tommasinianus, followed by later-flowering dark purple Crocus vernus. Crocuses are very useful food plants for early pollinators such as bumblebee queens, solitary bees and hoverflies ...
Here in Britain we had Pat Vlasto, Beth Chatto, Beryl Davies (from former Probus Demonstration Garden in Cornwall) and later Christine Yeo to thank for the wonderful pioneering work the'd done with salvias. We now have two lovely salvias to at least honour Pat in Salvia x jamensis 'Pat Vlasto' and Salvia 'Christine Yeo', which is, what I always believed, a tough cross of S. microphylla and S. chamaedryoides.
Bergenia emeiensis is a relatively recent introduction from Sichuan where it grows in shady places. The narrow, obovate leaves are relatively small (to about 12 cm). In the form we grow it has charming, light pink flowers in the spring ...