Plant Guide

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Sunny

Tibouchina urvilleana

Tibouchina urvilleana

glory bush, princess flower

Bushy shrub or small tree with rounded crown, reaching 3-5m tall. Rich purple flowers 5 to 7 cm across, emerging from reddish, hairy buds during late summer and autumn. Slightly hairy, oblong to ovate leaves, 5 to 10 cm long, with conspicuous veins. Reddish and hairy young stems. Native to Brazil. Frost tender when young. Tolerates light to medium frosts when established. Needs protection from strong winds. Synonyms: Tibouchina semidecandra and Lasiandra semidecandra.

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-japonicum

Viburnum japonicum

Japanese viburnum

Rounded evergreen shrub, native to Japan and Taiwan. Glossy green, leathery, ovate leaves in opposite pairs, 9-14 cm long and 6-9 cm wide. Leaves have prominent veins and a slightly serrated edge. Foliage may turn partially red during winter in cold climates. Flat clusters of mildly fragrant, creamy white flowers, 7-12 cm across, during spring. Shiny red berries in autumn and persisting through winter. Viburnum japonicum is not self-fertile and needs another plant of the same species nearby to produce fruit.

Prefers a sheltered position in full sun or partial shade and any moist, well-draining soil. Not suitable for areas with poor, dry soils. Tolerates moderate frosts. Since Viburnum japonicum is a naturally bushy plant, pruning is usually not required other than to develop a good shape or maintain a well-furnished hedge.

Ideal for use as a screen or hedge. Great filler in shrub borders for flower and fruit display. 

 

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. 

weigela-newport-red

Weigela 'Newport Red'

Vigorous, deciduous shrub of hybrid origin, also known as Weigela 'Vanicek'. Parent species are native to eastern Asia. Deep crimson red, tubular flowers in spring. Mid-green, oval to elliptic leaves with toothed margins, arranged in opposite pairs.

Prefers a sheltered spot in full sun or partial shade and any, well-draining soil. Weigela flowers on previous year's growth, so prune straight after flowering down to a side-shoot. Relatively shallow-rooting. Likes ample moisture and nutrients. Frost-hardy (zones 5-10), but heavy spring frosts may cause some damage.

Weigela 'Newport Red' is easy to grow, and puts on a gorgeous show in spring. Give it sufficient space to show off the spreading, somewhat arching branches. Remember to prune Weigela in time, so that you don't remove the stems that will flower next spring.