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  • Campanula

    (Bellflowers)
    Campanulaceae

    • trachelium f. alba   CAG02967

      (Nettle leaved bellflower, Bats in the belfry)
      Height70cm
      Width30cm
      Flowering SeasonSp - Su
      WaterM
      LightLight Shade
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      A perennial clumping species, non running, from Europe and Northern Africa and one of the most reliable in warmer climates. Tall, one sided spires of nodding, pure white, bell shaped flowers tower above a clump of soft, roughly textured, narrowly heart shaped, dark green leaves that are deciduous in winter.

      Greater visual impact than purple forms, for adding contrast and vibrancy to too soft romantic gardens or as a punctuation against a dark wall or hedge in more formal settings.

      Easy in a sheltered but not too shady spot, morning sun would be ideal, with reasonably drained, preferably alkaline, soil where some drying out after flowering will be appreciated.

  • Origanum
    • dictamnus   CAG01473

      (Dittany of Crete)
      Height30cm
      Width60cm
      Flowering SeasonSummer
      WaterL
      LightSun
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      Highly pettable, rounded, stem hugging, grey leaves are covered in soft cobwebby fur, more like a friendly garden pet than a plant. All summer long, stiff stems of gracefully pendant, tawny pink bracts disclose small, tubular, soft pink flowers above the low mounds of foliage.

      If I was going to be stranded on a desert island this would be the oregano I would take, it would also probably be the most likely to succeed.

      Summer drought, exposure and well drained alkaline soil preferred but will grow happily, if somewhat more slowly, in clay soils that aren't too wet.

      Slow growing and hence almost maintenance free with removal of spent stems all that is necessary.

      Can be used in the kitchen but the flavour is very similar to other much faster growing and less attractive oreganos. It otherwise has been used historically for healing, enhancing astral projection and as an aphrodisiac.

      The Dittany of both Aristotle and Harry Potter.

  • Pancratium
    • maritimum   CAG01666

      (Sea daffodil)
      Height60cm
      Width30cm
      Flowering SeasonAutumn
      WaterL
      LightFull Sun
      Pancratium maritimum
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      A dramatic bulb, the umbels of pure white, perfumed, daffodil-like flowers appear as if by magic after the first autumn rain, on naked, very glaucous 60cm stems. Such delicate and exuberant beauty seemingly incongruous in the exposed and baking environ it prefers.

      The strappy, glaucous winter leaves die down with the onset of summer drought, if they remain evergreen you are providing too much water and any chance of flowering is likely to be non-existent. In a warm autumn repeat blooms are not uncommon.

      Found on coastal dunes in hotter parts of the Mediterranean it is ideally suited to growing in hot barren sand, though mine do fine in clay, and should be indifferent to salt spray. Self seeds if your lucky, though it will be at least several years before the seedlings are large enough to flower. Newly planted bulbs will usually need a year or two to settle in as well before they will resume flowering.

      Mass plant for best effect, either densely or as scattered individuals.

  • Physostegia
    • virginiana White   CAG00545

      (Obedient plant)
      Height1.2m
      Width60cm
      Flowering SeasonSu - Au
      WaterM
      LightFull Sun
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      A classic border perennial grown for its clumps of strongly vertical, square stems with alternating pairs of stiffly held, almost horizontal fresh green, lance shaped leaves and topped with spikes of plump, tubular, outward facing, pure white flowers through the height of summer and into autumn.

      Excellent paired with fluid warm season grasses or in the vase.

      Worthless unless plenty of summer moisture can be provided but otherwise highly adaptable, easily grown and sometimes self sowing. Native to most of the eastern half of the North American continent. As with most albinos foliage lacks any pigments so more prone to scorch in areas with low humidity and the incumbent higher light intensity.
      Winter dormant, cut to ground level once stems have browned, leave for interesting seed heads if you have drier winters, or cut to half height once flowering is finished to hide them while still allowing adequate energy production and storage for the following years growth.

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