Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Some bits I missed.

Next year I hope to be a bit more specific in what I write about, but for now I want to show one or two plants that I have missed out previously but are still amongst my favourites. Winter has now set in, after quite a wet spell we are now down to freezing or near freezing temperatures with the odd burst of sunshine but mainly dry.

Angelica 'Ebony'

Angelica hybrid
Originally I grew Angelica archangelica which is a wonderful if somewhat invasive (seed) architectural plant. Over the years several cultivars have been added including Angelica 'Ebony' which still attracts attention in show gardens at such as Chelsea and to my mind is the best, only growing to about 3' but producing really dark foliage, stems and flowers. The self-seeded hybrid above has the vigour of the species but has dark stems, green leaves and whiter flowers and as such is quite desirable. Generally a biennial, although too many seedlings are produced they can easily be uprooted or moved during the first year.  
Chaerophyllum hirsutum roseum
Another umbel bearing plant and fellow member of the Apiaceae which I really rate is Chaerophyllum hirsutum roseum, its light green feathery foliage is one of the first to emerge in the herbaceous border, this followed by the powdery pink flower-heads made it a favourite plant of Graham Stuart Thomas.
Spring flowering clematis
Clematis macropetalla and Clematis 'Beauty of Worcester' are two spring flowering clematis which look good together.
Aquilegia chrysantha
Aquilegia chrysantha - one of the American species used to develop long-spurred hybrids. Easy to grow from seed but generally short-lived with me.

Iris chrysographes 'Black Gold'
Iris chrysographes 'Black Gold' is a very reliable plant which comes true from seed and looks really well with the silver leafed Brunnera as a foil.

Agastache 'Apricot Sprite'
Agastaches generally do not do well on this shaded site, and apart from the odd self-seed do best as annuals. The exception was this beautifully coloured Agastache 'Apricot Sprite', it did well in its first year but overwintered to give a much stronger plant.

Time to go and finish potting up the last of the tulip bulbs soon, last year I left it till Christmas with absolutely no ill effects whatsoever.


  1. Loved your clematises, I have 3 clematises that flower in the summer and one new, Clematis armandii 'Apple Blossom' which is yet to flower so not sure how early it will start but might be March or so. It’s called winter flowering but to me that’s more like spring flowering! The colours of yours tow are absolutely beautiful.

    I love dark flowers and foliage and your Iris ‘Black Gold’ is lovely, would do well paired with my other irises. Thanks for the tour!

  2. Thanks for your comment Helene, just some plants that I particularly like. I have grown Clematis armandii but it didn't suit me here as the weather is too severe, being an evergreen, once the foliage is damaged you have to live with it or cut the plant back very severely to generate new growth. I am sure that it will thrive in your London garden and it is certainly a plant which is well worth growing. I first came across this whilst planting out a garden for a lady who came from New Zealand where she told me it was very popular, the fact it originates from the warmer parts of China always puts a question mark about its hardiness in the UK except in a micro-climate such as yours where it can become very vigorous.