This last week has been unseasonably hot feeling more like Summer than Spring. Whilst the weather is dry here in Gloucester, the plants are enjoying the benefits of the mulch we added to our garden beds over the winter. Hopefully we will receive some decent rain soon to top up our tanks.
We have added a range of perennials to our website. Below are some of the new plants available now.
Helenium 'Dunkle Pracht'
This Helenium has performed extremely well in our stock beds through heat, drought and flooding conditions. Heleniums grow well in our clay based composted growing beds with no irrigation. The mass of stunning flowers ablaze in burgundy red and mahogany are a highlight for us each Summer. Synonymous with 'Dark Beauty' it grows to 80cm high x 60cm wide and tolerates most soil types except asphyxiating clays. Does best in full sun with good Winter drainage. The addition of organic matter to the soil will encourage growth and larger flower heads.
Described as a native of Australia but is also native to areas of Asia. Very ornamental foxtail like grass-heads in shades of green, cream and purple. Tolerant of all soil types. Requires only minimal maintenance - one cut back in early Spring. Makes a statement whether planted singly or en masse, and is an excellent backdrop for contrasting plants. 1m x 1m.
Salvia leucantha 'Pink Velour'
A soft pink flowering form of the ever popular Salvia leucantha. Happy to be grown in most soil types given they are well drained. Enjoys a full sun position and can handle relatively dry conditions. Hard frosts may be detrimental. Flowers in Summer and Autumn. Great for coastal gardens, inner city dwelling and country areas. We find the subtle pink flowers particularly pleasing when planted with strong purple flowers and silver foliage. 1m x 1m.
Nepeta Nova® 'Blue'
An early flowering new form of Catmint from Terra Nova Nurseries. Captivating bright lavender purple flowers rise above distinctive sweet scented foliage. Happy in sandy, stoney, gravelly or poor soils and enjoys drier conditions. However, soils that are prone to water logging will quickly suffocate Nepeta. Prune back after flowering for a repeat performance. 10cm high x 60cm wide. Excellent ground cover or container plant - works well in a hanging basket.
Gaillardia aristata 'Arizona Apricot'
A fine selection of Gaillardia providing a slightly more subdued colour palette of yellows and apricots. The flowers are apricot with yellow tips and a darker orange centre. Multiple rows of petals give the flowers a beautifully full appearance. Requires very little care once established. Drought tolerant. Part of the Arizona series, the name refers to the prolific display of blooms across the North American prairies.60 x 60cm.
Native to the Balkans and Turkey, Dianthus cruentus thrives in poor, well drained soil in full sun. Grass like foliage supports the deep blood-red flowers which are held high on thin wiry stems. We have this 'blood carnation' in our gravel garden but it would be equally striking planted amongst ornamental grasses on wild meadow-like gardens. 60cm high x 20cm wide.
Tulbaghia violacea 'Ashanti Pearl'
Like all Society Garlic, 'Ashanti Pearl' is tough, drought tolerant once established and pest and disease free. South African in origin. Very pale pink flowers emerge in Spring and stand well above the foliage. 'Ashanti Pearl' is an incredibly useful plant that handles all soil types, full sun to semi shade, frost and dry conditions. Achieves a full height and width of 40cm. Compliments Pelargonium sidoides, Sedums and Santolina well.
Ratibida columnifera 'Red Midget'
This plant is fun. Deep red mahogany flowers with a prominent central cone and petals that droop down make for a spectacular sight. It is long blooming, low maintenance and covered in blooms to 40cm in height. The foliage is mid green and finely cut. 'Red Midget' enjoys full sun and tolerates a wide range of soils. Grows really well in amongst smaller ornamental grasses.
Santolina rosmarinifolia 'Primrose Gem'
Vivid green, thread-like foliage that lends itself to regular light pruning to form small mounds. Excellent sun loving Mediterranean plant for well drained soils. Makes a nice contrast to Santolina chamaecyparissus if grown together. Lemon yellow button-like flowers appear in late Spring. 40cm high x 60cm wide.
Sedum 'Autumn Blush'
When we first bought 'Autumn Blush' we weren't certain of its qualities in comparison to the better known 'Autumn Joy'. However, over years of trials the smaller and tighter growth of 'Autumn Blush' have brought it to our attention. Beautiful in all stages of flowering, from the apple-green buds to the copper seed heads in Autumn. This Sedum is definitely worth growing.
Libertia ixioides 'Goldfinger'
Native to New Zealand. Sometimes called NZ Iris. Brilliantly coloured with a prominent golden yellow central stripe. Maximum height between 40 and 60cm depending on conditions. Handles cold to -12ºC. Masses of pure white star shaped flowers are produced in mid Spring and rise to just above the foliage. This is followed by bright yellow seed capsules in the Autumn which contain brilliant orange seeds. We haven't seen seeds in our climate, perhaps needing cooler weather. Great container plant, specimen plant and wonderful in mass plantings. Requires good drainage and moisture. Out of interest, the name Libertia honours Marie-Anne Libert who was a Belgian botanist in the 19th century.