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Postage : Seeds only $4 / Plants $20

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  • Salvia


    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.
    • roemeriana   CAG00595

      (Cedar sage)
      $12.00earn 60 points

      A charming small perennial Sage, found amongst limestone in Cedar forest, in Texas, Arizona and into Mexico. The shrubby mounds of softy haired, toothed, heart shaped, grey-green leaves, bear short, rigid stalks of bright red, hooded, two lipped, tubular flowers, endlessly throughout the warmer months. Generally dies down to a tuft of basal leaves over winter.

      Trim of the spent flower stalks to promote flowering and cut down to the point of new growth once flowering has finished in winter.

      Relatively short lived, 3-4 years, but should readily self seed in well drained soil.

      Great for naturalizing in light shade under trees where it will perform well once established, even with considerable dryness over summer.

  • Achillea


  • Aquilegia
    • shockleyi   CAG02080

      (Desert coumbine)

      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)
      Coreopsis tinctoria

      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)

    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.
  • Epilobium
    • canum subsp. canum   CAG02255

      (syn. Zauschneria californica)

      A soft, grey, sub-shrub from the South West United States, where, as here, it is exceptional for flowering during the heat and drought of summer and autumn. When tubular, scarlet flowers adorn the plant profusely and are much loved by hummingbirds, or honey-eaters in our case.

      Good drainage is preferred, though heavy soils may be tolerated briefly. An occasional drink over summer will encourage flowering but is not necessary, too much and you will permanently prevent flowering and life. Probably a strictly west cost plant, it may be worth trying in the eastern states with impeccable drainage, full exposure and no irrigation, though I suspect success would be only temporary.

      Cut back to ground level during winter when new growth is seen at the base otherwise it tends to become untidy by flowering time.

      Given bare soil seedlings can appear and transplant readily. Seedlings may differ from their parents with leaves that can be silver to sage green and with flowers varying in their depth of colour. These variations can be seen in the nursery and all are lovely, in time separate clones may be selected based on arbitrary and distinct qualities.

  • Euphorbia
    • atropurpurea var. atropurpurea   CAG02543

      A summer deciduous shrub of outstanding form, happiest in dry, exposed sites where it forms a dense crown of branches clothed in blue-green, linear leaves and bears in spring clusters of dark red flower-like bracts that enclose the true but tiny flowers.

      Naturally found on the lean, limestone soil of the Canary Islands, though it's quite content in all but poorly drained soil, it is well suited to garden life in the south west. Tolerant of at least light frost but inland gardeners may need to be cautious.

  • Gaillardia
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