Tag Archives: Roscoea

From the Blousey to the Refined

I imagine, as many of you do, that now is the time to take stock of what has worked and what hasn’t. We as gardeners are a picky lot and anything not coming up to standards generally has to go. For me this year it has to be Lupins which I hadn’t grown for many many years. I grew them as a result of free seed on a magazine but although they were lovely healthy plants I found them too big and ungainly and they left an enormous gap when I cut them down after flowering. Not that a gap is ever a problem to fill. I think I would like something a little less blousey and more choice. Another large plant was Sweet Rocket ,Hesperis Matronalis, I won’t stop growing this as it flowers so prolifically and the perfume is delightful but I just need to find a better place for it as it grows so tall. There lies the problem…. Where !

The Hemerocallis were dreadful this year, not so much with the dreaded gall midge but more with the lack of flowers. If anyone has a solution that might help I would be grateful. The roses have and still are fantastic. I moved about a dozen or more last year, fed and mulched them and they have repayed me in bunches.

Plants that I have enjoyed this year are the Roscoea, I now have 6 different plants which started flowering here at the beginning of May and some are still in flower today. Also we were able to sell three different ones this year.

Roscoea purpurea

Roscoea Purpurea. A tall long flowering type.

Roscoea Auriculata

Roscoea Auriculata still in flower today.

Roscoea Beesiana 3

A variable type this is Roscoea Beesiana, can appear pure cream. This is my favourite at the moment as they look more like orchids than the others.

Roscoea Brown Turkey 2

Roscoea Brown Peacock, the under sides of the leaves and stems are brown.

Roscoea Gurhka Red Stem

Roscoea Gurkha Red Stem. A very unusual colour for Roscoea.

Some of my other favourites at this time of year are the Eucomis and Codonopsis

Codonopsis Tangshen

Codonopsis Tangshen bears small 2 to 3 cm long flowers, year after year this plant has bulked up well, although because the flowers are not showy, I still keep it in a large pot so I can view it closely.

Cod' Tangshen

And this is the best bit…the seed pods are stunning. I just wish I could preserve them and make some jewellery from them….

Eucomis Bicolor 1

These two pictures are of Eucomis Bicolor…they couldn’t be more different in habit. The top one I grew from seed back in 2003, it is always tall, up to a metre, with lovely plain green long leaves.

Eucomis Bicolor 2

This one is more chunky with spotted undersides of the leaves, which are also shorter and more rounded. But supposedly the same specie.

Eucomis Freckles 3

Ecomis Freckles has only been in the garden for three years but has already formed a healthy colony, looking great as an understory to Anemone Pamina and the diminutive flowers of Anomatheca laxa. All my Eucomis stay outside in the ground, coming up year after year.

Dicentra Scandens

And as a finale I always look forward to the beautiful clusters of the climber Dicentra Scandens. Being up in the air you get to appreciate the detail more. Then if you are lucky you may get the fat seed pods….

Dicentra Seeds

Sadly I didn’t this year but this is what I got last year, lots of drupes, they ripened and I gave loads of seed away.

So whether it’s big and blousey or small and dainty we will never be quite happy with our lot until we have achieved perfection ….  and we all know when that will be !!!







Filed under Taking Stock

And ‘Sew to Bed’

The garden is now 90% put to bed for the winter, just the last remaining few bulbs to plant this weekend weather permitting.

A review of the year starts me going off on tangents thinking about next season. Things that have done well and quite a lot that have now been pottered up for sale or binned. Pottered up for sale doesn’t mean that I am selling someone a rubbish plant, just something that doesn’t fit into the scheme of things. I often grow things that I have bought or have been given only to find that the colour is wrong and cannot be placed anywhere else or it might outgrow it’s allotted space. These would always be labelled as such.

So , what has done well this year ? Well my spring highlight was my blue poppy flowering for the first time and as we speak the plant is still looking green and fresh.


All the Roscoea have done really well and a couple have only just stopped flowering.



Another first for me this year Gladiolus papilio ‘Ruby’, bought two seasons ago and has given me four spikes of flower.


Verbascum ‘The Bride’, grown from seed this year and producing large self supporting spires of the most beautiful flowers, even now in mid November they are still flowering well.


And a stalwart of my autumn garden, Chrysanthemum ‘Jessie Cooper’ the only chrysant’ I grow but boy is it a beauty. Decease free, long lasting in a vase, still flowering now.


Saxifraga fortunei, really worth the wait to see all this mass of frothy white stars.


Whereas the roses were pretty poor this year, the Auricula have done very well along with iris and day lilies. The spring bulbs looked great but with the usual problem of Spanish bluebells which increase faster than I can cope with, weedkiller will be my last resort. The Autumn colour has been phenomenal this year with all of the Sorbus colouring up and producing berries, lots of the climbing roses bearing hips. My Ginkgo and twisted willow are now the only trees that are still to fully colour up. So as the last leaves drop the big sweep up starts, the seed catalogues are already filled in, seeds chosen and plants ordered from Nurseries. My workroom beckons, all this inspiration from trips out and things I’ve seen fire up the juices, so watch this space……


Filed under From Sewing Room To Potting Shed


I don’t know about you but my garden seems to have flushes of one colour. We have had a blue/ purple theme, then the roses came out and it was decidedly pink not my favourite colour at the best of times. This is now my most enjoyable period in the garden, this is when most of my ‘specials’ start to do their thing. Eucomis are budding up, the dierama are sending forth their beautiful, if fleeting, wands and the Roscoea have opened their first flowers. I love the exuberance of the garden at this time of year but sometimes you get overpowered by all around you. So it’s good to have a special corner where all these smaller more delicate looking and less showy plants can be seen more clearly. This has always been known as my White Garden, but over the years soft yellows and purples and blue have crept in, along with hips and berries in shades of red and orange in the autumn/winter. I have a plaque above one of the gates to this area and it says ‘secret garden’, the girls call it this but I still think of it as my white garden …. old habits etc ….


Along the boundaries are the Hydrangea paniculata, Roses Navada, Iceburg, Ginger Syllabub and Veilchenblau. These are filled out with various lost label clematis. This makes this tiny space quite secluded and private. I can sit in here with a cuppa and feel quite relaxed. It’s especially nice when the sun is setting and the birds are singing their bedtime songs. Here are a few plants that are flowering at this time.


Dierama ‘Guinevere’ a beautiful pure white flower reaching just a metre tall. This is one of several different Dierama I have, most grown from seed.


I might need a bit of help with the ident’ for this. A campanula I presume but again no label but I like it’s lush leaves and really large pendulous flowers.


After R’ Veilchenblau has finished the honey suckle and a seedling clematis take over.


Clematis Integrefolia Alba looks stunning growing through low perennials.


Romnya coulteri. Not growing in this area at the moment but at the end of the year this will be moved to a new spot.

This plant was only bought from Elizabeth Macgregor two years ago and has already reached two metres plus. So I have cleared a large space for it the White Garden.


Anemonopsis macrophylla a very beautiful choice plant loves the cool shade of the W/G. Only growing to 60 cms.


Lots of Primula florindae have seeded around the damp area and the perfume is wonderful. Some have now seeded a soft orange but I will leave them here as they compliment the yellow.


This florindae is fasciated, the stem is almost two cms across and has many many more buds than normal. I can’t wait for it to open a bit more.


Roscoea beesiana, the first of many in my collection of Roscoea. Looking just like orchids, they are quite tough plants bulking up year on year.

I’ve cleared quite a large part of this garden of overgrown shrubs to make way for more special plants. This will soon be achieved when we go to North Wales this year as we will be visiting my favourite nursery Crug Farm Plants. I’ve mentioned them before and several of you out there already pay them a visit too. I have to make long lists off their web site as I never know what will be available by the time I get there. That’s my excuse what’s yours….

Enjoy your garden come rain or shine, we are off to a family gathering, should be fun…..


Filed under From Sewing Room To Potting Shed