menu icon

Old News

Coniogramme japonica 'Flavo-maculata' - an exciting new fern

Coniogramme japonica 'Flavomaculatum' - variegated Bamboo fern

A little while back we sourced some plugs of this rather decorative new fern - Coniogramme japonica 'Flavo-maculata' - a variegated form of the Japanese 'Bamboo Fern'. I suspect the reference to bamboo comes from the similarity of the leaves to Sasa palmata - a low growing Japanese bamboo well know for its vigour!

These plants have a fair way to go before they can compete with Sasa in either size or growth rate however with their showy leaf markings I think they are well worth giving a try.  While the literature suggests they should be 'London' hardy - I have found that slugs like chewing on them so a little bit of over-winter care and protection would seem to be a good idea.



The autumn leaf fall - quite late but now fully underway.

fallen autumn leaves in a London garden

The leaves this year have been quite slow to fall as the weather has remained mild until the later half of November.

However now the fall is fully underway and I suspect the prospect of some genuinely cold nights will speed things along.  Over the last couple of days we have been working in a garden in central London where a major task at this time of year is dealing with the leaf fall from the London Planes (Platanus × acerifolia) which are such a feature of the London landscape. 

The leaves have to be bagged up and will be composted as they are a valuable source of organic matter.  Too many London gardens have soil which is thin and deprived of nutrient because no organic matter is ever returned to the soil.


Another cross genera bulb cross - Amarcrinum howardii

Amarcrinum howardii in flower

While on the subject of crosses between different genera of South African bulbs, we have an Amarylis / Crinum cross in bloom which has produced the most elegant soft pink scented trumpets.

X Amarcrinum memoria-corsii 'Howardii' to give it is full title is a cross between Amarylis belladona and Crinum moorei and I think it is actually an improvement on both parents.  Amarylis belladonna can be very tricky to encourage into flower and Crinums tend to produce overly large and floppy leaves which inevitably seem to have be chewed to pieces by snails by the time the plant actually gets round to flowering.  This cross seems much tidier in habit and so far reasonably enthusiastic about blooming!  Given a sunny spot, good drainage and a little bit of shelter it should easily earn its spot in the garden.


Interesting Nerine cross - Amarine tubergenii 'Zwanenburg'

Amarine tubergenii 'Zwanenburg' in flower

Just down the bench from the nerines we have an interesting Nerine / Amarylis cross - Amarine tubergenii, in this case a variety called 'Zwanenburg'.

It produces a rather spectacular spike of flower - taller than the nerines and will larger individual flowers which it has no doubt inherited from the Amarylis side of the family.  Well worth a try!


Floral fireworks - Nerine bowdenii

Nerine bowdenii in flower

I saw these in one of our glass houses - and was rather taken by the display - they really are little floral firecrackers.

Nerine bowdenii - in this case two varieties - the lighter pink is 'Pink Triumph' and the dark one behind is 'Isabel' are classic late summer / early autumn bulbs that love a sun bake and sharp drainage.  They aren't usually this late however these were potted up earlier this year and this may have delayed them.



Flowers nearly done but grasses continue to perform!

Miscanthus sinensis 'Malepartus'

The flowering season continues to gradually wind down - and given we still haven't seen any frost yet - some plants will continue on happily into December.

However the tall grasses - such as this Miscanthus sinensis 'Malepartus' continue to act as an important feature in the garden - in the case of Miscanthus providing both height, colour from their inflorescences and movement as they sway in the breeze.  If the winter weather isn't too wild their dead stems will provide a great deal of pleasure as part of the winter garden. The sight of a hard frost on a great stand of grasses in the winter sunlight is truly magical.


site by ee-web design