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  • Achillea

    (Yarrows)
    Asteraceae

  • Nerine
    • ‘Optimist’   CAG03065
      Height30cm
      Width30cm
      Flowering SeasonAutumn
      WaterL
      LightSun
      Nerine ‘Optimist’
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      Clusters of fierce scarlet flowers with prominently protruding stamens atop sturdy stems. Garden fireworks that celebrate the arrival of the wet season.

      Strappy bluish green leaves emerge shortly after flowering from the top of papery tuniced long necked bulbs which should be planted with necks exposed.

      For any well drained soil. A drier rest during summer dormancy is essential to initiate flowering and for long term survival.

  • Papaver
    • rhoeas   CAG02500

      (Flanders poppy)
      Height50cm
      Width50cm
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      WaterL
      LightFull Sun
      Papaver rhoeas
      for $3.00earn 15 points
      SEEDS

      The annual Flanders poppy needs little introduction. Great satiny swathes of blood red poppies appear wherever sown and reappear forever more after any disturbance to the soil.

      With a predilection for well drained, alkaline soil, in full sun and exposure, it will none the less grow anywhere except the shadiest, most sodden of sites.

      Scratch seeds into bare soil during autumn or winter.

      Each pack contains a garden colonising 50+ seeds.

  • Salvia

    (Sage)
    Lamiaceae

    A genus whose popularity has risen exponentially in recent times. Offering a diverse range of form and colour there is a Salvia for nearly every garden situation with more and more being discovered and described all the time. The count now stands somewhere in excess of 1000, including subspecies, according to The Plant List. They are found on every continent except Antarctica.

    From a gardeners perspective they can not all be treated the same, they come from many different climates after all, but as a rule of thumb can be grouped into winter rainfall and summer rainfall species and with few exceptions they all prefer well drained soil.

    Soft leaved species from Central and South America are usually autumn and winter flowering. Coming from summer rainfall areas they typically need protection from dry heat and the accompanying high light intensity and they vary in their tolerance of winter damp. As with most plants the larger the leaves the more water they require, this also dictates how fast they grow with many growing several metres in a single season.

    Species from south western North America, South Africa, the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands are all winter growers and are tolerant or demanding of dry heat and summer drought. Slower growing but usually longer lived these all tend to have small, densely haired, silver or grey leaves or a combination of these traits which help them conserve moisture. Most of these require no additional water in Perth and are well adapted to our climate. They tend tend to flower from spring into summer.


    Prune back to where vigorous new basal growth is seen, never to dead wood, they appear to store little food in their stems and without leaves stand a chance of starving to death or at least struggle to regenerate. The exception is those few that are tuberous or clump forming, these can be cut to ground level once the stems start dying back in late autumn.
    • ‘Navajo Bright Red’   CAG01585
      Height50cm
      Width80cm
      Flowering SeasonSp - Au
      WaterM - L
      LightSun
      Salvia ‘Navajo Bright Red’
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      One of the few cultivars derived from Central American species that performs well in our warm mediterranean climate, capable of coming through a summer unscathed even without irrigation as well as handling our wet winters in any reasonably well drained soil. Numerous 1cm bright cerise-red flowers from dark calyxes are carried on short stems above a low mounding shrub well clothed in small, soft, rounded, fresh green leaves.

      Its form, foliage and complimentary colour lend it to the footing of bare stemmed roses or filling between bolder foliaged plants like Euphorbia and Echium.

      A few drinks over summer and an occasional light trim will keep it looking fresh for years. Flowers predominantly in the warmer months but there are still enough flowers during winter for the birds to fight over.

      A S. microphylla selection or possible hybrid.

    • splendens ‘Vanhouttei’   CAG02743
      Height1.2m
      Width1m
      Flowering SeasonAll
      WaterH - M
      LightFilt.Shade
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      Adored by all with its deep red tubular flowers emerging from rich burgundy bracts in short spikes on an erect, quick growing shrub clothed in 10cm pale green deltoid leaves. It is easily grown in a sheltered site (humidity is key) with well drained soil and regular summer water but it is frost and drought sensitive as expected from a plant whose origins lie in the tropical Americas.

      S. splendens is encountered globally in a wide range of colours as a stunted annual bedding plant but a few cultivars are more robust and persist for several years here, with S. ‘Black Knight’ and S. ‘Vanhouttei’ chief among them.

  • Aquilegia
    • shockleyi   CAG02080

      (Desert coumbine)
      Height40cm
      Width30cm
      Flowering SeasonSp - Su
      WaterM
      LightLight Shade
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      Found in moist canyons in Nevada and the Mojave Desert, this Columbine, while needing moisture and shade, tolerates our hot summers better than most, flowering for a long period from early spring to mid summer with small, long spurred, pale red and yellow flowers nodding above neat mounds of soft green, ferny foliage.
      Unusual among Aquilegia in having grey-pink new growth.

      Should self seed well given half a chance.

  • Arctotis
  • Coreopsis
    • tinctoria   CAG00686

      (Plains Coreopsis, Garden Coreopsis, Golden tickseed)
      Height90cm
      Width40cm
      Flowering SeasonSp - Su
      WaterM
      LightFull Sun
      Coreopsis tinctoria
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE
      SEEDS

      Every new visitor to the nursery during spring or early summer invariably asks the name of this brilliant annual from the North American prairies. Under my conditions it is remarkably fecund and I have a tendency to let it have it's way, mostly. Drifts of diminutive specimens can be found in the paving cracks and you have to wade through their larger siblings that have found more hospitable homes. An opportunistic seedling can usually be found in flower at any time of the year and most customers must go home with at least one or two hitch-hikers stowed away amongst their purchases.

      Even in their thousands there are nearly as many variations in colour and form of flower, from clear yellow, some with cinnamon brushing, to mahogany red and every combination in between, that is yellow with a red centre of varying size. Some plants have flowers with extra smaller petals in the centre so as to appear almost anemone centred, while others have rolled flute-like petals somewhat resembling seashells, which is a name often given this flower form.

      Whatever form the flowers take the foliage is always finely dissected, dark green, occasionally red tinted, glossy and almost fern-like, in a rosette which firsts mounds, then elongates with a sturdy stem, atop which is carried the much branched head of daisy-like flowers.

      Scratch seeds into any bare soil, sand or clay during autumn. They will persist from year to year so long as adequate moisture is available to complete flowering and seed set, a little additional water late in the season is usually required if relying on rainfall.


      Each packet should contain at least 50 seeds. And then some.

  • Dianthus

    (Pink, Sweet william, Carnation)
    Caryophyllaceae

    The commonly encountered garden varieties are European plants of garden antiquity grown for their attractive, often perfumed, flowers which pick well. They are on the whole easily grown but demand excellent drainage and plenty of sun and are ideally suited to poor, dryer, well drained, alkaline soils. They are often encountered overgrown and root bound, tucked away in the shade, to which they are intolerant, and once purchased are good naturedly smothered with too much "good" garden practice.


    Pinks are known to all by name, which they lent to the colour, if not in person. Classic perennials of English cottage gardens. They have extensive root systems and most varieties offered are quite hardy in Perth with a good drink once a week over summer. They invariably have narrow, glaucous foliage resistant to dry air and high light intensity.

    Sweet williams (Dianthus barbatus) are biennials that will often persist for several years and typically have tall stems bearing clusters of small fringed flowers. They have broader leaves and require a bit softer conditions than the Pinks. The Nigrescens group seem the hardiest of the bunch and can become quite shrubby, potted colour varieties, often sold by the punnet, are worth growing but usually amount to little more than tender annuals.

    Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus). Those developed for the cut flower market are mostly ugly plants needing support and are best left to the dedicated enthusiast or florist. Better garden plants are the seldom seen border carnations, they have the same beautiful flowers of the florist types but are less gawky, don't need staking, are often perfumed and are almost as hardy as the pinks.
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