TopVeg – growing veg,fruit&herbs

September 19, 2009

Berkheya purpurea

Filed under: flowers — Tags: — TopVeg @ 8:46 pm
Berkheya purpurea  is one of a group of daisies from South Africa. 
 
Berkheya purpurea:
  • thrives in a warm, sunny spot.
  • is a perennial which will form a rosette of spiny, silvered leaves; from this comes the flower stalk which grows to some 60cm & on which there are up to 6 flowers, between June & September. 
  • flowers are a very pretty pale-lavender purple, with deeper purple centres. 
  • the whole plant does indeed look like a Scotch thistle & it is quite as spiny, but it is very pretty & reasonably hardy in English gardens.
Berkheya purpurea

Berkheya purpurea

This article was written by Malcolm Allison, plant consultant.

Click the contact us button & complete the form if you would like to find out more about  Berkheya purpurea, or if you would like to have a chat with Malcolm about your garden.

August 21, 2009

Crocosmia ‘Paul’s Best Yellow’

Filed under: flowers — Tags: — TopVeg @ 3:35 pm

Crocosmia ‘Paul’s Best Yellow’ by Malcolm Allison.

Crocosmia ‘Paul’s Best Yellow’ is a recent hybrid raised by Cotswold Garden Flowers; it’s a lovely plant, produces masses of flowers in July & August on 60cm stems.

crocosmias

crocosmias

The flowers are a clear yellow & the plant flowers in the middle of the Crocosmia season i.e. after early ones like C. masoniorum, but before late ones like C. ‘Star of the East’.

Crocosmia ‘Paul’s Best Yellow’ looks like it’s a hybrid from C. masoniorum & it doesn’t appear to set any seed (the dried seed heads of some Crocosmias are an attractive feature in themselves, useful for dried flower arrangements; not this one, unfortunately).

Crocosmia ‘Paul’s Best Yellow’ plant is vigorous & happy in average garden soil in sun or part shade.

Click the link to read other articles written by Malcolm:

Malcolm has bred an exciting strain of purple broad bean which he has called Midwinter.  To read about the development of the Midwinter strain of broad bean, or to buy a starter pack, click the link.

Click the contact us button & complete the form if you would like to find out more about Crocosmia ‘Paul’s Best Yellow’, or have a chat with Malcolm about your garden or tress.

August 11, 2009

Zauschneria californica ‘Dublin’

Filed under: flowers — TopVeg @ 9:24 pm
Zauschneria californica ‘Dublin’  by Malcolm Allison
Zauschneria californica ‘Dublin’ , unsurprisingly, is a Californian plant & it thrives in a sunny situation  in well-drained soil here in UK ~ it is very drought-tolerant once established.  It is a shrublet that grows to some 45cm & it produces its bright red flowers over a long season, between July & October.
Zauschneria_californica_Dub

Zauschneria_californica_Dub

In its natural habitat the flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds.
There are a number of varieties:
  • Zauschneria cana has slightly greyer leaves & is lower growing
  • Z. californica ‘Olbrich’s New Silver’ is lovely, with very silvery leaves
  • There’s also a pretty pink form & a white (much less spectacular than the red).
Click the contact us button & complete the form if you would like to find out more about Zauschneria californica ‘Dublin’, or if you would like to have a chat with Malcolm, who is a plant consultant,  about your garden.

August 10, 2009

alstroemeria problem

Filed under: flowers — Tags: — TopVeg @ 1:18 pm

Malcolm has answered this alstroemeria problem:

After 4 good years in the garden, the alstroemerias have become disappointing.

Malcolm answered:

After 4 years the plants have probably become quite crowded & have exhausted the available nutrients in the soil; I would recommend that they give them a feed with either a general fertilizer (either Growmore, or blood, fish & bone) now & then next spring in March or April that they split the existing clump, dig some compost into the soil & then replant some of the splits.

Click the contact us button & complete the form if you have a problem with Alstroemerias, or if you would like to chat with Malcolm about your gardening problems.

August 2, 2009

Flowers in my Garden eBook by Malcolm Allison

Filed under: flowers — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 4:10 pm

Malcolm Allison  has published this e-Book with details of six of his favourite garden flowers:

  • Cayeux or Bearded Irises
  • Alstroemerias
  • Geranium palmatum
  • Lilium pardalinum
  • Agastache ‘Tangerine Dreams’
  • Lilium longiflorum

The book is only £0.99 and contains photos of some of the flowers in Malcolm ’s garden.

To buy the Flowers in my Garden eBook for yourself or as a gift for a friend or a family member please click the buy-now button:


Malcolm Allison is passionate about the complexity of  plant varieties and their suitability for different gardens.  He knows where to source the plants , including old varieties.

With a degree in botany and an MSc in forestry, Malcolm understands what plants will go where & which plants:

  • are locally appropriate
  • are in keeping with the character of the garden
  • will do well on particular soils, different aspects & climates

With a wealth of knowledge of garden plants, including old varieties of fruit trees, Malcolm is able to:

  • audit your garden
  • tell you what is interesting and rare
  • suggest what to do next

Click the contact us button & complete the form if you would like to find out more, or have a chat with Malcolm about your garden needs.
To buy the eBook written by Malcom Allison “Flowers in my Garden” costing only £0.99 click the buy now button


August 1, 2009

Lilium longiflorum

Filed under: flowers — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 9:23 pm
Lilium longiflorum by Malcolm Allison

Lilium longiflorum is the Easter Lily, a native of the islands of southern Japan, where it grows in pockets in coral rock. It grows to 1 metre and the pure white flowers are heavily scented.
Lilium longiflorum

Lilium longiflorum

Lilium longiflorum grows happily in the garden in a sunny or semi-shaded spot. It is one of a group of white trumpet lilies. L. formosasum and L. philippinense are similar, but the trumpets are flushed with brown on the outside. There are also hybrids between these species, such as ‘White Swan.’
This lily is easily grown from seed and will flower within a year, if fed and watered well. It is not long-lived and is prone to virus infections, so it is best replaced with fresh stock regularly.
Click the contact us button & complete the form if you would like to find out more about Lilium longiflorum, or have a chat with Malcolm, who is a plant consultant,  about your garden.
Click the contact us button & complete the form if you would like to find out more, or have a chat with Malcolm about your needs.

July 22, 2009

Agastache ‘Tangerine Dreams’

Filed under: flowers — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 4:12 pm

Agastache ‘Tangerine Dreams’  by Malcolm Allison   plant consultant.

These are the Mexican Mint bushes; they are herbaceous perennials & have slightly greyish foliage that is distinctly scented of mint, maybe with a bit of aniseed.They grow about 60cm tall & flower for months on end from June until the frosts. 

Agastache-Tangerine-Dreams

Agastache-Tangerine-Dreams

There are a number of named cultivars, including ‘Firebird’ & ‘Glowing Embers’, but there’s very little to choose between them, colourwise; ‘Tangerine Dreams’ is possibly a little paler than the other two.

 
They’ll grow best in a sunny, well-drained spot. Now, here’s the down side: while they experience severe winter cold in their native habitat, they hate winter wet ~ in my garden, 3 winters out of 4, the out door plants collapse in April; so it’s a matter of overwintering cuttings.  The plants do produce seed & the seedling will flower in their first year, but you get a much bigger & earlier flowering plant if you start off with cuttings in the spring.
 
There are a number of purple- & blue-flowered Agastaches (A. foeniculum, A. rugosum); they tend to be hardier than the orange ones, but they’re a bit dowdy.
Click the contact us button & complete the form if you would like to find out more about Agastache ‘Tangerine Dreams’, or if you would like to have a chat with Malcolm about planning your garden.
 

July 9, 2009

Lilium pardalinum

Filed under: flowers — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 7:26 pm
Lilium pardalinum by Malcolm Allison ,   plant consultant.
LilyFlowers

LilyFlowers

This is a spectacular lily, which may grow up to 3m tall & have up to 50 flowers in the wild; but in my garden it’s about 1.3m & has rather fewer flowers.
lily

lily

It comes from Western North American where it grows near springs & streams on acid soils, but in cultivation it is less particular & will grown happily on limy & on drier soils, but it does enjoy moisture.
lily flowers

lily flowers

Like many lilies it grows best with its head in the sun & its feet in the shade ~ as would be the case if you grow it through dwarf shrubs.  Where it is happy, it will steadily build up into long-lived clumps.
Lily beetles can prove a scourge of this plant, reducing the leaves to lacy tatters; the adult beetles are red & conspicuous & easily squashed, as are their slime-covered larvae which also feed on lily plants.

Click the link to read other articles written by Malcolm:

Click the contact us button & complete the form if you would like to find out more about lillies & Lilium pardalinum, or if you would like to have a chat with Malcolm about your needs.

June 23, 2009

Geranium palmatum

Filed under: flowers — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 9:03 pm

Geranium palmatum by Malcolm Allison

This is a biennial or monocarpic perennial (it dies after flowering), but it is worth growing just for its ferny foliage. It flowers in May or June producing masses of magenta flowers & it is very graceful.

geranium

geranium

Geranium palmatum is one of a group of geraniums related to the common weed Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) which all come from Madeira & the Canary Islands & all produced similarly coloured flowers. Geranium palmatum is the best for garden use, as it is the hardiest ~ a cold winter will kill it, but it will often survive as self-sown seedlings germinating the following spring.

In its native habitat Geranium palmatum is a woodland plant & in the garden it grows well in sun or shade, as long as it is not too dry.

Of the other species, Geranium maderense is the most spectacular, forming a huge mound of blossom when it flowers, but it is very tender; Geranium canariense & G. rubescens are also rather tender & their flowers are also quite small.

Click the contact us button & complete the form if you would like to find out more about Geranium palmatum, or have a chat with Malcolm about your needs.

June 13, 2009

Alstroemerias – by Malcolm Allison

Filed under: flowers — Tags: — TopVeg @ 11:12 pm
Alstroemerias are originally South American & are familiar as cut flowers & in gardens, where a couple of species & hybrids are reasonably common:
  • Alstroemeria aurea has yellow or orange flowers,
  • while the Ligtu hybrids have flowers in soft oranges, salmons, creams & reds.
More recently a great number of new hybrids have been released, but not all make good garden plants ~ some are very dwarf (& not at all elegant or pretty, in my opinion), while others are not very hardy. But pictured here is Alstroemeria ‘Fire King’ & it’s super ~ growing to 90cm tall, it has masses of orange flowers now & again in September/ October
Alstroemeria

Alstroemeria

A aurea & the Ligtu hybrids only flower once in a season. Unlike Alstroemeria aurea, ‘Fire King’ is not invasive, but it is hardy & forms substantial clumps quickly in reasonable garden soil in a sunny spot.
I have also grown Alstroemeria ‘Sweet Laura’ ~ this has smaller yellow flowers & is less showy; don’t grow A. ‘Freedom’ ~ despite nurserymen’s claims, it is not hardy.
This article is written by Malcolm Allison, plant consultant.

Click the link to read another article written by Malcolm:

Click the contact us button & complete the form if you would like to find out more about Alstroemerias, or have a chat with Malcolm about your needs.

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