a super selection of plants from Knoxs garden centre in Campsie was on show at the Todds of Campsie family fun day. These provided a terrific opportunity to showcase fabulous plants for giving colour and interest in the garden at this time of year, talking through seasonal grow-your-own jobs, and gibing out hundreds of red currant plants so that folks can Grow Their Own Jam.....
The latest press release from Love Food Hate Waste for the Department of the Environment website..
Waste food could be EWWR focus, says WRAP advisor
Gentiana Little Diamond Diana
Just breaking flower in the gardens now are the Gentians, and this upright variety Gentiana Diamond Diana is just coming into flower in the NWRC for us. Its bright blue flower stands off well against its glossy green foliage. Although its upright it still only about 1ft tall. We have it growing in a raised bed with other Acid-loving plants such as Dwarf rhododendrons, Lillies, Dwarf Azaleas and Heathers.
Sometimes described as fickle, however this Gentian is easier to grow than others and are ideal for giving late summer colour in the garden in any well drained soil in partial shade...and once you have it established you can divide it in Spring....and add it to every slighty shady corner in the garden....big rivers of bright blue flowers...I can see it now...just don't eat it unless you want blue urine like George III !
Hydrangea Glam Rock
Now this is something a bit different....Hydrangea Glam Rock is a variety of Hydrangea completely different to the traditional blue mopheads or the pink lacecaps....a multi coloured kaleidoscope of glam rock fabulousness....like a Slade concert in your garden!!
Like all Hydrangeas the exact colour depends on the exact chemical compounds in your soil (Typically low pH for Blue and higher pH for pink)
Newly introduced in 2012 this Hydrangea will thrive in partial shade to full sun and will grow about 4' by 4'....so ideal for bed or big containers...
Dahlia American Pie
I've fallen in love with Dahlias...everywhere I go I admire, I photograph and I wonder....where can I fit more in!!
Recently I wrote about the wonderful Dahlia Bishop of Llandaff, and posted pictures of some other Dahlias we have growing from seed in NWRC which are in flower now, and will only get bigger and better each year.
I was delighted to see this new and exclusive variety American Pie being offered, it has the same deep foliage colour of the Bishop of LLandaff and a similar compact habit, reaching about 2'. Like the Bishop it'll work well in pots.....or the flower bed...whatever you fancy really!
Like other Dahlias I'd be lifting the tubers and storing the plants in a frost free location for replanting the following spring..
If you have a wet spot in the garden then perhaps Astilbe are the answer, these super perennials thrive in wet soil and flower every summer. Low growing, reaching heights of between 1-3' depending on variety. Their foliage is thick enough to supress weed growth, and Astilbe don't just exist in damp soil.....they thrive on it! indeed if its too dry the colour is almost washed out of them!!
Aswell as the garden they can be used in pots around the garden, as long as you remember to keep well watered in dry spells.
Once Astilbe are established they can be happily lifted and split to form new plants to extend planting schemes or add to new areas in the garden.
For good coverage plant a few as a clump, 3 to the m2.
some pics of the various dahlias we have growing....dahlias offer such a super assortment of colours and flower types...I just love them
Cordyline Electric Pink
Check out the colours of these Electric Pink Cordylines...just amazing and you can see them in situ on Duke Street at the Craigavon Bridge where they're used as centrepieces and underplanted with summer bedding. The bright leaves is the part that sets them off...and this is retained all year.
Most people will be more than familiar with the larger Green Cordyline like this one growing in Belfast Zoo
The joy of these more colourful cordylines is that they don't get anywhere near as big, indeed you'd be lucky if you got 6' after donkeys years in our climate, so they make for fantastic bed centrepiece and for big pots. They only think they particular dislike is cold wet soil, so make sure you've good drainage in the pots or borders where they're planted....if its too wet they'll just rot in the winter. Cordylines like this Red Cordyline make a super year-round display for the garden...
Also check out Cordlyine Karo Kiri, and Cordyline Torbay Sparkler,
What the Cordylined all offer you is a taste of the exotic...something different..and yes they may be a bit tender, and may wish some free drainign soil but they look so cool its well worth having a few in the garden, and with blade colour like this Cordyline Renegade they bring a garden to life all year round
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