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Baby pomegranites!

Punica granita nanum in flower and fruit.

Another plant putting on a considerable show in the gardens at Cap Roig was this dwarf Pomegranate - Punica granatum 'nana'.

While one knows Pomegranites from the greengrocer, it is easy to forget that they are also fine, decorative trees and shrubs.  If it gets a bit warmer in the UK it would nice to give one a try.  There are already coastal gardens where the dwarf pomegranate will grow and flower happily however we are still a long way from growing and successfully cropping pomegranates.



Staghorn ferns growing in the hot Spanish sun.

Platycerium bifurcatum

One of my staff members was on holiday in Spain recently and took the opportunity to visit a botanic garden on the Costa Brava - the Gardens of Cap Roig.

He was slightly amazed to see this fine specimen of a Staghorn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum) growing in a pot hung beneth a cork oak seemingly happy in the intense dry heat.

There again if you remember its native range - from Indonesia down to South East Australia - then it has to put up with plenty of heat.  Ferns are not all requiring of high humidity and shade!



Hydrangea 'Annabelle' - no wonder it is popular!

Hydrangea 'Annabelle' in flower

This show stopping display of Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' is currently in one of the gardens we manage.

Over recent years there has been a considerable revival in enthusiasm for hydrangeas and especially the cultivars of H. arborescens, H. grandiflora and H. paniculata.  When one sees them in full bloom one can well understand why!



Another simple pleasure - Saxifraga fortunei

Leave of Saxifraga fortunei

On the theme of simple pleasures - it doesn't even need to be flowers.  This patch of foliage of Saxifraga fortunei has all the joys of fine leaf marking and colour with the added benefit of delicate white flower in the spring and wonderful rich autumn leaf colour - truly a plant that delivers!



A thing of simple beauty - the Field Rose.

Rosa arvensis in flower

Talking about things of simple, even understated beauty - I saw this Field Rose (Rosa arvensis) growing in a briar thicket. 

While there is much to admire in the great variety of hybridised roses - one shouldn't forget the simply elegance of a field or a dog rose.



Centaurea macrocephala - the Giant Knapweed

Centaurea macrocephala in bud

Sometimes you find a plant where the flower bud is almost as impressive as the flower itself. Centaurea macrocephala is I believe one of those plants.

The Giant Knapweed is a really impressive back of border perennial which can reach five feet in height and has rich golden thistle heads.  However if you look carefully at the flower buds before they open they are truly beautifully patterned - well worth admiring before the flowers do their thing.



The annual joy that is Centranthus ruber

Centranthus ruber in flower

There are some plants that despite being far from rare and exotic simply give great pleasure every year.  Centranthus ruber - or Red Valerian is one of those real favourites.

This fine clump of mixed shades of Valerian always catches my eye.  They are on really stoney poor soil and are loving it.  Plants always look so much better when they are enjoying life!



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