Plant Guide

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Coastal

teucrium-fruticans

Teucrium fruticans

shrubby germander, bush germander

Evergreen shrub with grey-green foliage, pale lilac-blue flowers, and a somwhat angular branching pattern. Native to Spain, Portugal, Italy and north Africa. Stems and undersides of leaves are covered with tiny white hairs giving the plant a silvery-grey overall appearance. Leaves are ovate to lance-shaped, 2-3 cm long. The pale lilac-blue flowers are two-lipped, and 2.5 cm long.

Prefers a sunny position in well-drained soil. Tolerates poor soils, dry conditions, and moderate frosts. Suitable for coastal plantings. Prune to keep compact or to create a specific shape.

Mainly grown for its attractive silvery colour. If you are particularly interested in a good display of flowers then the cultivar 'Azureum' with a much stronger colour contrast between flowers and foliage is a better choice. This cultivar combines well with other blue-flowering shrubs. The flowers of Teucrium fruticans itself fit in better with purple colour schemes.

teucrium-fruticans-azureum

Teucrium fruticans 'Azureum'

Evergreen shrub with grey-green foliage and blue flowers. Stems and undersides of leaves are covered with dense white hairs, giving the plant a silvery grey overall appearance. Leaves are ovate to lance-shaped, 2-3 cm long. Azure blue, two-lipped flowers, 2.5 cm long, mainly during summer. Teucrium fruticans (shrubby germander, bush germander) itself is native to Spain, Portugal, Italy and North Africa, and has pale lilac flowers.

Prefers a sunny position in well-drained soil. Tolerates poor soils, dry conditions and medium frosts. Suitable for coastal plantings. 

Mainly grown for its attractive silvery colour, which forms a beautiful contrast with the deep blue flowers. Can be pruned to any shape. A regular prune is a good idea since otherwise growth is somewhat lax, and its young foliage looks better than the older leaves.

 

thymus-pulegioides-bertram-anderson

Thymus pulegioides 'Bertram Anderson'

creeping thyme

Spreading, low mound-forming thyme with aromatic, light green to golden green leaves. Small clusters of lilac flowers in summer, but not as free-flowering as some of the other thymes.

Sometimes sold as Thymus x citriodorus 'Bertram Anderson' or Thymus x citriodorus 'Anderson's Gold'.

Prefers a sunny position in well-draining soil. Well suited to areas with dry, sandy soils. Water regularly until established. Tolerates occasional foot traffic. Frost hardy (zones 4-9). Suitable for coastal gardens.

Gives a lovely, mild thyme flavour in cooking. The foliage is attractive all year round, and appears lime green from a distance. Combines beautifully with purple sage or other purple-leafed plants.

trachelium-caeruleum

Trachelium caeruleum

thoatwort, blue throatwort

Herbaceous perennial originating from the Mediterranean region with toothed, oval leaves, and small purple, slightly scented flowers in domed clusters (8-15 cm wide) during summer. The common name alludes to the fact that the plant was thought to have medicinal powers and used as a gargle for sore throats.

Prefers a sunny position in any well-draining, fertile soil. Although Trachelium caeruleum prefers an average supply of moisture, it can handle quite dry conditions. Cut back after flowering. Self-seeds readily and flowers in its first year from seed. Usually pest and disease free. Lasts for about 2 weeks as a cut flower. Flowers are ready for picking when 1/4 to 1/3 of the florets are open. Tolerates light-medium frosts (to about -7 deg Celsius, zones 9-11). Often grown as an annual in colder climates. Suitable for coastal gardens.

In the photo Trachelium caeruleum is growing in a pot together with Agapanthus, resulting in a beautiful colour combination when both are flowering at the same time. Trachelium is also suitable for the flower border, and looks great in combination with either yellow (e.g. dahlias and yarrow) or red flowering plants (e.g. Rosa 'Flowercarpet red'). Great for bees and butterflies!

trachelospermum-jasminoides

Trachelospermum jasminoides

star jasmine, confederate jasmine, trader's compass

Evergreen, self-twining climber, native to eastern and southeastern Asia. Oval to lanceolate, glossy dark green leaves, 4-10 cm long, 2-4 cm wide, arranged in pairs. Some of the leaves turn bronze or dark to bright red in winter.  Flowering during late spring and summer with clusters of very fragrant, white, pinwheel-shaped flowers to 2 cm across.

Synonym: Rynchospermum jasminoides.

Plant in any well-drained soil. Flowers best in full sun, but copes well with partial or even deep shade.Tolerates relatively dry conditions once established. Suitable for exposed, coastal areas. Generally free from serious pests and diseases.Tolerates moderate frosts to about -120C. 

Versatile plant with intensely perfumed flowers that smother the plant from late spring. Climbs happily against support structures, and can be espaliered. Will not cling to masonry walls. Suitable as a ground cover, but may need regular pruning to maintain a tidy look. Also when growing Trachelospermum jasminoides as a climber, a yearly prune is recommended to keep the plant bushy. Also suitable as an indoor plant.

tropaeolum-majus

Tropaeolum majus

nasturtium, garden nasturtium, Indian cress

Annual trailing plant, native to South America. Rounded to kidney-shaped, light to mid green leaves with wavy margins and long petioles attached to the middle of the leaf blades. Flowering throughout summer with bright yellow, red, orange, or bi-colored, 4-6 cm wide flowers, produced in the leaf axils. Flower corolla with three large and two smaller petals, and a 2-4 cm long spur at the base. The edible flowers, leaves and seeds have a peppery taste. Although Tropaeolum majus is not difficult to keep under control in garden situations, in the wild it has become invasive in several parts of the world.

Prefers a position in partial shade or full sun with some afternoon shade. Flowering is best in soils with a low to moderate fertility. Very easy to grow from seed, planted after the last frost in spring. Spreads by self-seeding. Stems tend to trail along the ground, but when they reach other plants or a structure of some sort, they will happily climb upwards. Leaves are frost-sensitive.

Nasturtium is a lovely, happy, and versatile plant to have in your garden, and very useful in the kitchen. Use the flowers to brighten up a salad, add them to a sandwich, or fill them with cream cheese, guacamole, or feta. You can do the same with the leaves; roll them up and tie the stem around the rolls. Nasturtium does well in containers or hanging baskets, and loves to climb with a bit of help. Great to plant in combination with winter-early spring flowering bulbs, hiding unsightly bulb leaves from spring onwards with lush green foliage and brilliant flower colours in summer.

viburnum-tinus-eve-price

Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price'

Bushy evergreen shrub with dark red branches and leathery oval, dark green leaves to 10 cm long and 4 cm wide. Flattened clusters to about 8 cm wide of dark pink and white buds open to small, 0.7 cm across, lightly fragrant, white and pink flowers, mainly during winter and spring. Flowers are followed by dark metallic blue berries.

Prefers a position in full sun or partial shade, but copes with full shade. Happy in most well-draining soils. If required, carry out pruning in spring after flowering so that new buds have time to develop before the next flowering season. If growing conditions are not ideal, Viburnum 'Eve Price' can become susceptible to pests and diseases, such as aphids, scale, and fungal spots. Thrips can do serious damage by feeding on the leaves, causing them to develop a dull, silvery sheen (and eventually drop off).

wachendorfia-thyrsiflora

Wachendorfia thyrsiflora

red root, blood root

Evergreen rhizomatous perennial, endemic to South Africa, flowering during spring with golden yellow flower spikes up to 2 m tall. Sword-shaped, pleated, mid-green leaves 0.2-1 m long and up to 7 cm wide. Bright red roots.

Prefers a sunny position and plenty of moisture. Ideally suited to swamps and wetlands, but adapts well to average garden conditions. During dry summers the leaves may die down unless watered regularly. Generally pest and disease free. Suitable for coastal gardens. Light frosts only (USDA zone 10), but in a sheltered spot the plant can survive an occasional moderate frost.

Wachendorfia thyrsiflora is the perfect choice for a watergarden or the edge of a pond, but also looks magnificent as a backdrop for herbaceous or mixed borders.