Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Saturday 24 March 2007

Plant shopping

Filed under: Progress — Helen @ 6:09 pm

Today my patient boyfriend Dave took me to Whitewater Nursery in Hound Green, Mattingley or Heckfield (I have never been quite sure which, but I always manage to find it). I took my shopping list written by Yvonne and managed to buy five plants that were on it. They were:

  • Trachlospermum jasminiodes – a semi-evergreen climber with very fragrant flowers.
  • Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ – a shrub with striking orange stems in winter.
  • Ajuga reptans Multicolour (rainbow)
  • Ajuga reptans Chocolate Chip
  • Pulmonaria Rubra Redstart

So that was good. I also bought two oriental poppies, one a deep pink colour and one a pale pink to go with my lovely orange-red one. My list said I should buy Cornus alba Sibirica, but I couldn’t find that one, so I bought Cornus alba Kessleringii instead. It has dark purple stems, which should provide a good contrast to Midwinter Fire.

Yvonne recommended getting pulmonaria for ground cover. I already have a lovely deep blue pulmonaria, and since it seems to be so happy in my dark garden (at least, it was until I dug it up and split it into seven pieces. I can’t vouch for its state of mind at the moment) I decided to buy a red one to go with it. It is in quite a big pot so I will split that up soon. She also recommended Ajuga, but didn’t specify a variety. The Ajuga reptans multicolour was still half-asleep, but the ‘Chocolate Chip’ variety was fully awake, so I thought that was worth buying as it is nice to have some perennials getting going earlier in the season.

I was supposed to buy a geranium sanguineum and a geranium cinereum, but couldn’t find them, so I bought a geranium Phaeum Samobor, which has purple flowers.

I failed to locate a Waldsteinia, which is semi-evergreen with yellow flowers. The first person I asked at Whitewater had never heard of it, but she radioed her colleague who confirmed that it did exist, but they hadn’t got it. I don’t think it is an easy plant to get, but that just makes me even more determined to get one. Of course, if I just wanted ground cover and yellow flowers, I could leave off poisoning the celandines.

I had a look for Thuja Plicata, which I plan to use to replace my Leylandii on the grounds that it has glossier foliage and will regenerate if it is cut right back, unlike Leylandii, which stays bare. They had some and it looked very nice, but they only had large expensive pots, so I will have a look on the Internet to see if I can get little trees cheaply. When I bought my Leylandii, it arrived through my letterbox in two packs of ten. It didn’t take long to get 12 feet high. I plan to grow the Thuja in pots and replace the Leylandii a few at a time, so I am not left with a bare fence. At the moment I think I can dig up the Leylandii myself if I get the people who trim it to cut it back a bit shorter than usual.

It was bitterly cold. I was glad to be able to leave the plants outside with the rest of the menagerie and come in for a cup of tea.

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2 responses to “Plant shopping”

  1. Chris from work says:

    I had no idea a blog could be so much fun! Have you tried the on-line RHS Plant Finder to sneak out those secret plants that you desperately want but are hidden in the depth of rural nurseries? I found several unknown gems near my village: they open only for the season and some only on certain days. Being pre-warned is vital before you drive off on a wild goose chase.

  2. Helen says:

    Hi Chris, thanks for your comment. I did indeed try the RHS Plant Finder to locate waldsteinia. It didn’t find many sources within reasonable distance of my house, but there was one that was only a few miles away. I emailed them to ask if they had any, and they replied that they had sold out.

    However, I did get a positive reply by looking in the Yellow Pages and telephoning a local garden centre (see my entry of 1 April 2007). Sometimes the old ways are the best!

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