If you want to actually develop an area of wildflower meadow rather than just leave a bit of lawn to grow a bit longer than usual, then you will also need to try and reduce the vigour of the grass because it is such a successful plant that it outcompetes the wild flowers.
The Striped Lychnis moth is very rare and only found in a few areas in the South of England so I am very lucky having it on my allotment. The only plant the caterpillars eat is Verbascum nigrum which I have in abundance as it self-seeds everywhere.
After the excitement of Chelsea week in our wildflower experiment of letting our grass grow last month, this time we are moving into June to see what comes up in our lawns. This is what is happening in mine – how are your lawns looking?
The HPS mystery seed mix provided another very special plant for my allotment which is Delphinium requienii. I have tried growing Delphiniums before but with mixed success, most were eaten by slugs before they could flower. Delphinium requienii is different ...
This month I thought it might be interesting to look at how some of the conservation plants have performed so far this year. There are many conservation plants still to come in the latter half of the year and I will do another review in the autumn.
The sight of Crinodendron hookerianum (Chilean Lantern Tree) family - (Elaeocarpaceae) is really something to behold from the month of May through to August. If these beautiful pendant/lantern bright red flowers don't stop you in your tracks when walking around any garden, nothing will !
After a mild and sunny March and April we had several frosty nights in mid May with the temperature going down to -4C which caused some damage. Due to the mild winter and warm spring many plants were a lot more advanced than usual with fresh growth and flower buds developing. I lost most of my Eremurus flowers ...
Dianthus 'Gold Dust' is said to have been raised from a batch of Allwoodii Alpinus Group seed around 1970 and named by S. Jackson in 1981 who found the plant in a garden in the East Yorkshire town of Beverley. The garden owner had bought it from a stallholder at a local fete who had grown it from seed.
What happened to the famous April showers? Many plants are much more advanced this year with most trees in full leaf already and some plants flowering several weeks earlier than usual. I just hope that we don’t get a late frost this year ...
Disappointingly, we have had to cancel the Annual Lecture Day and AGM planned for 5th September.
Members will automatically receive full refunds for their ticket(s).
As the office is closed, refunds for postal bookings will take a little while, so please bear with us in these difficult times.
If you are working from home, homeschooling children, or having to take care of all aspects of your own life without your usual support network, you might not have even more time to mow your lawns (or if you are like our elderly neighbour you might run out of petrol for your mower and be reliant on others to get you more). Why not let the grass grow?
The Hardy Plant Society continues to follow official government and NHS advice on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation, and with the country still under lockdown our Office at the Basepoint Centre in Evesham remains closed.
Geranium x oxonianum hybrids (a cross between G. endressii and Ger. versicolor) are common with over 60 listed in the RHS Plant Finder in 2019, so with plenty to choose from why add G. x ox. 'Diane's Treasure' to the Conservation Scheme? It was suggested as suitable for conservation last year and has not been listed in the Plant Finder since 2016.
On the spring equinox – 20 March – as the schools were shut indefinitely; my sister, step-mother and mother had all entered 12 week shielding in locations far far from me; our daughter was in lockdown in her care home and our son and family was also social isolating as our youngest granddaughter had been sent home from nursery that week with a high temperature I went out in the beautiful sunshine into our garden in a very worried, stressed state.
A new HPS booklet on Border Phlox will be published later this year, and it seems appropriate that we have several more phlox that are new to the Conservation List. Phlox paniculata 'Maude Stella Dagley' was featured in January, but here are four more of these lovely border perennials being grown and assessed for the Conservation Scheme this year.
February was wet and windy here with one storm after another. I was a bit concerned that the new greenhouse might be damaged in the high winds but luckily it seems to be very solid and has weathered all storms so far. The first perennial seeds have germinated in the greenhouse but growth is very slow at the moment with night time temperatures close to 0C.
Whilst as you saw last month I spent January reviewing our vegetable and fruit production, obviously this is a wet weather/darkness type of job. As with all gardeners, as soon as I can after the Christmas/New Year festivities I am itching to get back into the garden to start the big winter clear up.
Epimedium 'Milky Way' forms a mature clump approximately 30cm x 30cm; the new spring foliage is attractively speckled with deep purple and leaves mature to green with a silver overlay on the main veins; these are semi-evergreen, often persisting through the winter. Clusters of small white flowers with yellow stamens are held on long stems in April and May.
When we moved here we inherited an orchard of mature plum, pear and apple trees. It was our intention to also grow a lot of vegetables to help us eke out our income and stop us blowing our savings and for many years we only ate fruit we grew ourselves, and continue to grow and store vegetables for our whole year.
It has not been very cold since the middle of December but we did have a few very frosty days recently which transformed the allotment into a winter wonderland. I really like frosty sunny mornings but most days have been quite dull and wet so every sunny day has to be appreciated.
Phlox paniculata is native to Eastern USA and Canada and plants with mauve flowers were brought to Britain around 1730, but it was not until the early 1900's that plant breeders set about improving plants for the cut flower trade although it became popular in late Victorian and Edwardian gardens and a favourite of Gertrude Jekyll.
Continuing on from last months’ blog article regarding this particular bed in our garden I will start with my favourite plant in this border - Rosa glauca, planted centrally to the bed. I just love this plant – its glaucous grey leaves, its delicate single pink flowers so fleeting and so enchanting against the leaf colour, and then its cinnamon coloured hips that gradually change to deep red as the autumn progresses.
My loquat tree is thriving in the relatively mild temperatures and looks very handsome with its large leathery leaves. Grasses are still looking good and especially Panicum virgatum, with its coppery-brown leaves and airy cloud-like seed heads ...
I recall seeing the wild fuchsia growing along the hedgerows on the west coast of Ireland in the year 2000, a sight to behold. The flowering image you see is the hardy fuchsia growing in the terrace borders of the Ryebeck Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
Opposite the Acer walk I talked about recently in the gravel garden is the grandly titled Shrubbery. This is a rectangular bed that has the steps down through the gravel garden on one side, and the boundary fence on the other