Plants of the Season
On 26th September ODGC welcomed Paul Green of Green’s Leaves Nursery, Gloucestershire. Paul arrived with a magnificent array of plants with which to illustrate his talk and to sell.
Paul began by discussing grasses many of which come into their own in the autumn. These add structure, form and movement to the garden and when frosted transform the garden into a winter wonderland. They are largely trouble free apart from thugs like Gardener’s Garters which spread rapaciously, though he argued that even this with its green and striped foliage can look very attractive in a sunny spot confined by paving slabs.
Miscanthus thrives in sun or light shade. Varieties such as Skyrocket and Ferner Osten brighten the autumn garden and can be cut down in February or March. Molinia varieties with delicate flower heads add understated elegance to the border and subside gracefully in winter.
Moving on to foliage plants Paul advised against over protection in winter. Some protection is necessary, for example the crowns of Gunnera but beware wrapping up evergreen Phormium for too long as it will rot.
Fatsias are excellent for shade, particularly the variegated varieties such as ‘Camouflage’. Variegated plants generally do better in shade where they avoid scorching.
The underlying theme of Paul’s talk was the importance of being selective and choosing named varieties. Hypericum can be a troublesome shrub, spreading quickly and seeding around. However Hypericum ‘Berry Red’ is a charming dwarf variety with flowers appearing at the same time as the vivid red berries. Similarly many can take or leave the plain pink Japanese anemone with its spreading habit but few can resist ‘Dreaming Swan’ with its more restrained habit and white petals delicately shaded with mauve or the shorter Fantasy series, growing 14 – 18 inches, filling out but not spreading invasively.
It is well known that gardeners can resist everything except temptation and at the conclusion of Paul’s interesting and entertaining talk members and visitors lost no time in converging on his attractive collection of plants.
PS. Please note the form for the Marshalls seed orders is now on the web. Please do not use any other form if you are ordering through the Club.