Plants of Interest

7th March 2017 Hellebores.
Yellow with Dark Nectaries.

1st January 2016

Cyclamen hederifolium, beautiful marbled leaves and white flowers in late Summer

Seed heads of Phlomis russeliana in the Spa Garden, the aftermath of sulphur yellow 'whorls' of flowers in Summer, stands well in winter and looks spectacular when frost encrusted, finches love it's seeds; especially Linnets.

A particularly fine yellow Hellebore that came to us many years ago from John Anton Smith in Cheltenham, bright orange seeds of Stinking Iris (Iris foetidissima) are to the left. This Iris self seeds and is truly evergreen and with it's drooping strappy leaves gives good dark green Winter interest.

A good sturdy pink Hellebore, all the Hellebores are a little early due to the mild conditions.
Snake Bark Maple, the young twigs are red. I think this particular tree may have been one of David Verey's additions to the garden.
Pulmonaria 'Redstart', one of the Lungworts, this variety has been in flower since well before Christmas and will keep on going for some time yet. Like many plants growing in the Laburnum Walk neighbourhood it has really benefited from the extra light afforded it after the Laburnums were replanted last February. A super unpretentious little plant, real good doer! 

20th June 2015, Roses

Growing in Bed 3 this un named Moss Rose was grown from a cutting taken in about 2005 from the 'secret garden' that occupied the site of the present day Spa.
My favourite Rose 'Charles de Mills', one of the Gallicas and once flowering, superb scent and good dark green foliage.
Another Gallica, again unknown variety possible 'Du Maitre d'Ecole'. Much admired at this time of year and partnered by that agreeable little weed Herb Robert, which is very much part of the show, so in this case it's not a weed. Blue Geranium 'Brookside' loiters behind.

Hybrid Musk Rose 'Buff Beauty' in Bed 1. Plummy young foliage turns a good bronze/green, dead heading encourages more flowers. 
Rose de Rescht, an Autumn Damask that grows well in a pot just outside Mrs. Verey's study window. Good scent and repeat flowers well.
Always wanted to grow this one, this is Rosa rubiginosa or Sweet Briar. This is the Eglantine that Shakespeare wrote about in 1594. Bruised foliage smells of green apples. It grows in the Pond Garden and Broad Border, planted about two years ago, it also has bright red hips that last well into winter.
'Susan William Ellis' a modern English Rose with a style of flower that resembles that of the rambler 'Alberic Barbier' only white and with a slight lemon fragrance (my thoughts only). Grey/green leaves complete the scene. Growing in Bed 4.
'Wlid Edric' another modern English Rose with obvious rugosa parentage. Relentless repeat flowerer and makes a good informal hedge.
A big thicket of this rose grows in Bed 2 near the terrace. 'Felicia' is a hybrid musk. Fully established now, we hope to plant a late Clematis amongst it this Autumn/Winter.

18th April 2014

The Tulips are now at their peak with more to come, here's a medley.

'White Triumphator' a lily flowered type.

'Apeldoorn' along the Laburnum Arch.
'Brown Sugar'

'Jan Reus'
'Princess Irene'
Snakesheads (Fritillaria meleagris) looking good too.
15th March 2014

I may be assuming a lot; but I think we have a collection of a particular group of plants that you don't see regularly in most gardens. It's not a National Collection; but worthy non the less. Hepaticas are native to the chalky woodlands of Romania/Transylvania and some parts of North America. Like Clematis they belong to Ranunculacea and you can see the resemblance in their flowers; however Hepaticas form low growing clumps and have flowers that are about an inch across. Flower colours range from white through to the darkest purples and cobalt blues; although there are pinks I don't think there are reds or yellows.

The shady nooks and quiet places of the garden here, with it's limey soil replicate the Carpathian 'wildwood' that these beauties would call home. We always had a very good clump of Hepatica nobilis 'Rubra' at the foot of one of the Limes on the Lime Walk and it's this clump that impressed John Anton-Smith. John used to come to the garden when Mrs. Verey  was in her pomp and he'd sell her Hellebores and other plants, this continued when her son Charles took over; but then I didn't see him for several years. One day I saw John back in the garden and he was admiring our one and only Hepatica, 'would you like all of my Hepatica seedlings to grow on in the garden? They look so happy here.' This was an offer I couldn't refuse, you see John is a plant breeder, most of our good Hellebores are his breeding so if his Hepaticas were half as good as his Hellebores I'd be an idiot to turn this opportunity down!

We are very fortunate to be able to grow Hepaticas, they are a niche plant, that is to say they won't grow anywhere, they need alkaline soil and quite shady conditions, on these terms they can out compete other perennials. They also like a mulch of leaf mould now and again. Grow them in the middle of a border and they'd get mugged. We grow them under the Limes in the Lime Walk as well as under a heavy shading Box bush as well as under our large Cornus mas in the wilderness, they thrive. This is something you don't see so often so please come along now and ask a gardener for directions to the Hepaticas.

John has also been breeding this silver spangling into the foliage of Hepaticas making them even more garden worthy if you have the right conditions. 

9th March 2014 

Crocuses have been the stars of the show for at least a month now, from the diminutive 'Firefly' to the the statuesque 'Joan of Arc', brilliant early spring performers.

C. chrysanthus 'Cream Beauty'

C.chrysanthus 'Spring Beauty'
C. tommasinianus

Crocus 'Joan of Arc'

21st February 2014

Crocus tommasinianus is now looking good in many of our beds and borders.

Sweetly scented Helleborus odoratus.

11th February 2014

Helleborus odoratus
Chartreuse green and delicately scented.

Helleborus foetidissima
Stinking Hellebore!

Helleborus hybridus
All colour forms including black with golden nectaries  and a very unusual yellow with dark nectaries and a red flushed eye!

Crocus tommasinianus
Various colour forms ranging from quite dark purple, mauve, lilac and ghost pink srouting up along the edges of beds.

Crocus sieberi 'Firefly'
A diminutive Crocus with an orange base to it's flowers, in a few pots.

Primroses - Primula vulgaris

Iris reticulata
Striking two tone blue 'Clairette' and the dark 'Purple Gem'

Hazel-Corylus avellana.
Powder yellow catkins.

Winter Aconites-Eranthis hyemalis
Carpets of pure bright yellow; especially along the drive.

Cyclamen coum
Whites and deep pinks.

Snowdrops - Galanthus
Various forms, approximately ten including the very garden worthy 'Atkinsii', 'Augustus' and the statuesque double 'Rodmarton'.

Mahonia japonica
Fantastic Lily of the Valley scent.

Pulmonaria 'Redstart'
The red flowers on this particular lungwort appeared in October and are yet to reach their peak.

1 comment:

  1. Thoroughly enjoying this blog after finishing reading Rosemary Verey's biography. Will continue to follow through the seasons as it gives me such inspiration..... thank you! Jennifer Rowe-Mitchell, Worcester MA