Recent press based on some scientific data regarding unknown levels of unknown categories of neonicotinoid has created media pressure causing some retailers to formulate a pledge to go neonicotinoid free. We can understand this approach from the retailer to ignore the science above and make the statement simply because it is easier than trying to educate the media and public of the differences in the broad category of neo-nicotinoids, let alone the safe use methods of restricted use neo-nicotinoids. Also, to understand and inform why neo-nicotinoids are being used in the combat of key pests, I can empathise will be a task that seems too difficult in the face of media hype in comparison to the potential damage to brand.
Buckingham Garden Centre and Nurseries publicity manager Chris Day reported to the Horticultural Week magazine last week that he thought “there was a movement to shrubs and more structural plants this year because of more house-building and confidence among shoppers to make bigger purchases”.
Heucheras are great all round plants as they are evergreen, come in an array of unusual leaf patterns and colours, and they look particularly stunning in the spring as the colder weather increases their vivid colours. We pride ourselves in providing a choice selection of Heuchera, and in our search for the best varieties, we have discovered some interesting facts about this versatile plant.
They literally ‘fan out’ like miniature fans, on trailing foliage that acts as beautiful basket filler.
Scaevola acts as a good foil for other summer flowering varieties and foliage.
The Scaevola has built up an interesting array of legends surrounding its origins.
In Hawaii, their common name is Naupaka, named after a beautiful Hawaiian princess, fell in love with a commoner who she was not allowed to marry.
In her distress, she tore a flower in half, as she was separated from him, he was banished to the beach, and her to the mountains.
Sultry Foliage – the dark horse of the garden.
Dark foliage has increased in popularity as a design element over the past 10 years.
It all started with varieties like very dark leaved Heucheras, and popularity has continued to increase. Most recently the most publicised dark leaved varieties to re-enter the market were the new Kennedy Irish Primroses that have been re-cultivated from old Irish Primrose varieties.
Dark foliage works so well in the garden as a design element, especially up close in direct sun, where the light intensifies the dark leaves, or planted in mass in the border to create a whole area of interest.
A low maintenance hardy shrub that will make a big impact in the border.
Bell shaped flowers, arching stems that bounce and sway in the breeze, deep purples and pretty pinks, if you have a large area in a border to fill with a low maintenance hardy perennial shrub, Dierama is our first choice.
These bobbing flower heads dangle over pathways and low growing plants, and are perfect for a sunny spot in the border.
Let’s get down to some Caricology…
Carex is such an interesting Genus, that the actual study of it has its own name, ‘Caricology’ – the study of Sedges. Varieties of Sedge grass can be found originating from all across the world, from wetlands, ditches and marshes, to alpine and arctic situations.
The versatility of grasses allows them to be placed in nearly any situation, from being in a container, basket, or raised bed, to being in the border or rockery. They are hardy and should survive winter well, especially if protected from the harshest of frosts. Mostly Sedges prefer the sun, but they can tolerate light shade too and work well in an evergreen border.
The Power Flowers – Garvinea Gerberas.
Have you been introduced to the the Power Flower?
These winter hardy perennial Gerberas have spent almost 15 years in breeding and development. Named Garvinea, at a distance you might be mistaken for thinking they are Gerberas, though they don’t share their genes with regular garden Gerberas.
They were trialled and tested all over the world in 30 countries for over two years to assess their garden performance before being brought to market. This always gives a proper assessment and allows the breeder to identify the plant’s strengths before we get it into production.
These Gerberas can be planted directly into garden beds or patio pots for flowers from spring, through summer and well into autumn until the first frosts. They have a very long flowering time and are extremely floriferous. One plant can give up to 100 flowers per year, which is a phenomenal amount. (more…)