- climbing plants
- fruit trees and plants
- general information
- hedging plants
- ornamental shrubs and trees
- patio/conservatory plants
- perennial plants
- summer flowering bulbs/corms/tubers
CAMPSIS - They are creeping, climbing plant. Prefer sunny locations with fertile soil. Hardy but avoid a windy location. Flowers mid summer to autumn. Can become a large plant but easily pruned in late winter to the size required.
CLEMATIS AND HONEYSUCKLE - Plant October-May preferably in a good well drained soil allowing fair soil depth for root development. Plant in an open sunny position giving protection to the base of the Clematis from the sun by planting low growth shrubs or bedding plants such as Petunias. Plant only in large tubs as limitation of root development will impede the plant. All new plants, especially Clematis, need to be pruned to about 20cm on planting. Nelly Moser and Ville de Lyon only require light pruning (in February) in subsequent years. Jackmanii should always be pruned back hard while Montana type Clematis, which is very vigorous, just needs to be cut back to check. With Honeysuckle, just trim out the wood occasionally after flowering. Honeysuckle can grow up to 2-3m.
|Variety of Clematis||Flower type||Flower period||Height|
|Alpina Frankie||Small||Early spring||2-3m|
|Armandii (Evergreen)||Small||Late winter/early spring||3m|
|Barbara Jackman||Large||Late spring/summer||2.5-3m|
|Cirrhosa (Evergreen)||Small||Late winter/early spring||3m|
|Double Blue||Small||Late winter/early spring||3m|
|Dr Ruppel||Large||Late spring/early summer||2.5m|
|Florida Sieboldii||Medium||Late spring/summer||2-2.5m|
|Hagley Hybrid||Large||Summer/early autumn||2m|
|Jackmanii Alba||Large||Late spring/summer||3m|
|Marhams Pink||Small||Early spring||2-3m|
|Madame Le Coultre||Large||Late spring/summer||3m|
|Miss Bateman||Large||Late spring/early summer||2.5m|
|Montana Alba||Small||Late spring||5m+|
|Multi Blue||Large||Late spring/early summer||2-3m|
|Nelly Moser||Large||Late spring/summer||2-3m|
|Rouge Cardinal||Large||Summer/early autumn||2-3m|
|The President||Large||Late spring/early summer||2.5-3m|
|Vyvian Pennel||Large Double||Late spring/summer||2-3m|
|Warszawska Nike||Large||Summer/early autumn||2-3m|
ACTINIDIA - Grow in fertile, well drained soil in full sun with shelter from strong winds. Prune in late winter if required.
AKEBIA - Grow in moist but well drained, fertile soil in sun or partial shade.
HYDRANGEA PETIOLARIS - Vigorous climbing hydrangea which can grow to 10m. Grow in well-drained fertile soil in light shade or sun.
JASMINE - Very hardy. Ordinary well drained soil is suitable. Will thrive in almost any position, even against a cold, shaded, north facing wall, though some support will be needed. Hard pruning after flowering is beneficial. Hard pruning after flowering is beneficial for the Jasmine nudiflorum.
PASSIFLORA (PASSION FLOWER) - Rapid annual growth, needs support to grow on. Flowers May-October. This self pollinating vine produces the common egg sized passion fruit. Grow in well drained to moist soil in full sun or partial shade. Prune as required.
RUSSIAN VINE, VIRGINIA CREEPER, PYRACANTHA AND HEDERA - All prefer a good quality soil though the Russian Vine will survive in a poor soil. Provide ample support until the plant is self-clinging. Pinch out the growing tips when requiring more lateral development. Hedera will grow in any soil and can grow in shade, though not complete shade. An ideal ground cover plant as well as a climber.
WISTERIA SINENSIS - Prefer a moist rich loam and adequate space for root development. Plant in a sunny spot. Provide a permanent support and tie young growth to it until the plant is well established. Prune in February.
PLANTING AND FEEDING - As a guide we give the following approximate distances apart for planting: Apples, Pears and stone fruit bushes - 270cm. Gooseberries and Currant bushes - 150cm. Rows 120-150cm apart and 45cm from plant to plant. Open out holes large enough to accommodate the roots without cramping them and break up the soil in the bottom. All but small trees require a stake which should now be driven in. Place the tree in position so that it will be planted at the same depth as it was in the Nursery, which can be seen from the soil mark on the stem. In the case of grafted trees it is most important that the junction of the scion and the root stock should be well above the level of the ground. Spread out the roots and fill the hole with well broken up soil, treading as firmly as possible. Make sure that no manure comes in contact with bare roots. Give a good watering when the planting operation is half completed and also daily afterwards if the weather is dry. Mulch or top dress the ground well with rotted manure if obtainable, and keep the surface cultivated as this prevents evaporation. Particular attention should be paid to the latter in dry weather. Give established trees during winter or in the spring a good dressing of manure or bone meal, which is a valuable long term fertiliser, and lightly dig in.
PRUNING - Apples, Pears, Plums, Gooseberries and Redcurrants bear fruit on mature wood and ideal trees, from a fruiting point of view, have a moderate number of branches with fruiting spurs along their whole length. Cross branches and weak shoots should be cut right out and the main branches pruned lightly or not at all. With Blackcurrants, young shoots from the base should be taken care of to replace the old ones, which will be cut out altogether after fruiting. Very little pruning is required on freshly planted trees but Blackberries should be cut down to within 15cm of the ground.
PESTS AND DISEASES - For sucking insects such as Green Fly, you can use any general purpose eco-friendly spray from your local garden centre. Fungus can be controlled with Lime Sulphur but where possible cut out and destroy badly affected branches. There are a host of insecticides and fungicides on the market which will enable you to treat any problem which may arise.
MINIATURE APPLES (SPUR APPLES) - When grown in open ground must be kept weed free at all times. Conditions relating to ordinary apple trees will apply to these. Most Spur Apples/Miniature Apples are grown for container use. These must be planted in a rich moisture retentive soil. Spur Apples have an upright non-spreading habit. Remove any minor branches which may appear laterally and support with stake when necessary.
FRUIT TREES (APPLES/PEARS/PLUMS/CHERRIES /APRICOT/NECTARINE/PEACH) - If possible, prepare the ground some time in advance of planting. Dig the ground over two spits, roughly 60cm deep; taking care to keep the subsoil to the bottom and thoroughly cleaning out all weeds, especially deep rooting kinds. For trees to be planted in grassland, cultivate circles at least 120cm in diameter. Chop up any old turf available, placing this between the two spits and if possible add plenty of well rotted manure, buried sufficiently to ensure that no bare roots can touch it when planting. Apricot/Nectarine/Peach should be grown in a sheltered, south facing position. A cold glasshouse is recommended in the most exposed and northern areas of the UK.
BLACKBERRIES/LOGANBERRIES/TAYBERRY - Can be grown on poles, walls, trellis work, fences, etc. Leave at least 2m between plants. Canes should be cut down to between 20-30cm from the ground when planted. After fruiting cut out at ground level all the stems which have borne fruit. The large berries will be produced by plants in a sunny position, but shady positions should not be ruled out. The soil should be rich in manure and compost.
BLUEBERRY/CRANBERRY - Require an acid soil so plant with plenty of peat. They thrive with regular nitrogen feeding and like regular doses of manure. Plant deep as reproduction and new growth are by underground suckers. They are self-fertile but, however, heavy crops are achieved by cross pollination between two plants.
CORYLUS (HAZEL NUTS) - Prefer sun or partial shade in well-drained soil. Very hardy making them excellent in a windswept site where more delicate items can suffer. Remove old exhausted branches in March.
CURRANTS - RED, BLACK & WHITE - Plant in a sunny location. These are also robust and can be planted free standing. They can create an attractive boundary within a working Fruit and Vegetable garden. Water liberally throughout dry spells. Prune any time between October and March.
GOJI BERRY (LYCIUM BARBARUM) - Plant in full sun in any soil except very wet. Keep pruning to a minimum,but if essential pruning should be done in spring. Mulch with well rotted compost or manure in spring.
GOOSEBERRIES - Very robust plants which require very little care. They do however require moisture retentive soil. If you have a generally dry garden then compensate by watering liberally.
GRAPES (VITIS) - Plant in south facing sunny position. Good drainage is vital. Best conditions gritty or sandy soil. Grow in well-drained neutral or slightly alkali humus rich soil. Prefer full sun or partial shade, ideally a south facing position. Prune in mid winter and in mid summer if necessary. May require formal training.
HONEYBERRY (LONICERA KAMTSCHATICA)/VITALBERRY (SCHISANDRA CHINENSIS) - Grow in any fertile, moist but well drained soil in full sun.
KIWI FRUIT (ORIENTAL DELIGHT) - A hardy self-fertile variety. To be planted on a south facing wall in good soil with plenty of humus. A vigorous plant which requires a space of at least 3-4.5m. The foliage is attractive as is the cream coloured flowers.
NUT TREES - SPANISH CHESTNUT (CASTANEA SATIVA)/WALNUT (JUGLANS REGIA) - Grow in deep fertile well-drained soil. Will eventually grow into large tree so choose a suitable site, which is sheltered, yet receives direct sunlight.
RASPBERRIES - Grow well on cultivated and drained soil in a sunny or partially shaded site. Plant bare root canes from November to March. Plant firmly 35-45cm apart with 120-180cm between rows. Mulch with well rotted compost or manure which will also help weed control. After planting, cut back to between 15-25cm above soil level.
RHUBARB (RHEUM) - Can be grown in almost any reasonable soil in full sun. Plant 75cm apart. After the first season they will be ready to crop. Divide every 4/5 years and give your surplus crowns to friends or family.
STRAWBERRIES - Require rich soil and sunny positions. Plant 30cm deep to 45cm apart leaving 60cm between rows. Late autumn and spring planted bare root specimens are better with blooms removed in May to build strength for future season’s heavy crops. It is worth reading up about growing Strawberries through polythene or under cloches.
If goods arrive during a spell when the ground is frozen they should be unpacked and kept in a cool, humid place free from extreme frost. Keep shrub and tree roots moist but do not leave them submerged in water for long periods. Perennial plants must not be soaked but gently keep moist. The greatest danger to plants is over-exposure to a dry, moistureless atmosphere, even if not directly heated. Die-back and dehydration must be avoided. Due to the fact that most Horticultural Products are despatched in their dormant state (resting in between growing periods) you may find their general appearance a little alarming. Shrubs, for example, despatched during the autumn and spring will have little or no leaves on their branches. This is quite normal. The most important part of any product during its dormant state is its root system and this will have been carefully checked prior to despatch to ensure that during the next growing period your plants and shrubs will begin to grow with vigour.
If the ground is not ready the plants should be heeled-in a fairly sheltered spot outside. Putting hardy shrubs and plants in a greenhouse over winter does not protect them, in fact it weakens and disorientates them. It often encourages premature weak growth which, when the plant has to sustain itself outdoors, causes bud damage, die-back and plant mortality (protection outdoors by putting clear polythene over plants has the same effect).
All plants are living subjects and the care of them is invariably dictated by commonsense. If there are 20 degrees of frost then freshly planted stock will need protection if exposed. Straw, paper, etc. can come in useful. Frost damage can be arrested by pruning down to live buds. Failure to do this will lead to the damaged shoots dying back to rootstock. Do not assume that if the weather is not warm the soil is not dry. New plants must be given additional water until established. Do not be mean with the use of peat or compost and avoid strong manure or over use of fertilisers on new plants. A good balanced peaty blend of soil round new plants will encourage rapid, unimpeded root development and give you a bigger, more vigorous plant with the least delay. Liberal use of peat in lime soil will neutralise it and enable you to grow specialised plants such as Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Camellias, Skimmia, Kalmia, Japanese Maple, Pernettya, Pieris and Heathers, though if your soil is particularly alkaline (limey) it is advisable to grow the above ericaceous subjects in raised beds or neutralised compost or containers, as water drainage from alkaline soil will be detrimental regardless of the addition of peat around roots.
SLUGS Slugs are a menace in the garden. Where mass failure of newly planted plants or bulbs occurs in 9 out of 10 cases slug or snail damage is the cause. Disease, variable quality, drought or fungal infestation may count for a proportion of a certain type of plant failure but a clean sweep of failure is invariably the dreaded slug. In mild autumns and winters slugs attack new premature foliage to an extent that the plant crown cannot re-generate in the spring. In spring also lush new growth is vigorously attacked down to the crown of the plant or down to the tuber. Dahlias are particularly susceptible in the spring. A list of other plants which need protection by use of slug pellets are Clematis (new spring shoots, Delphiniums, Hyacinthus Candicans, Hollyhocks, Hostas, Bearded Iris, Lupins, Pansies and Primulas. Also new foliage of Hyacinths, Liliums and Tulips are considered a delicacy by snails.
PRIVET/BEECH/BERBERIS/HYPERICUM/ PYRACANTHA/SPIRAEA/LAUREL/QUICKTHORN - Plant in a moisture retentive soil with peat/humus, etc round the roots. Bone meal is also beneficial when planting. The planting distance and annual growth rates under normal conditions are as follows:
time of year
|Alder (Alnus Glutinosa)||40cm||50cm||Trim March|
|Blue Lawson||15-30cm||90cm||Trim June|
|Buxus (Box Hedging)||10-15cm||15cm||Trim as required|
|Common Laurel||45-60cm||60cm||Trim as required|
|Euonymus Alatus||30cm||50cm||Trim in spring|
|Golden Leylandii||20-45cm||75cm||Trim July|
|Green Leylandii Hornbeam||30-60cm||75cm||Trim July|
|(Carpinus Betulus)||60-80cm||25cm||As required|
|Hypericum||30cm||30cm||Trim after flowering|
|Maple (Acer Campestre)||50cm||25cm||Trim in spring|
|Photinia||30-40cm||35cm||Trim spring/early summer|
|Privet||60-90cm||45cm||Trim as required|
|Quickthorn||45-60cm||40cm||Trim as required|
|Queen Elizabeth / Stromboli Roses||60-90cm||45cm||Prune February/March|
|Rosa Rugosa||60-90cm||60cm||Trim as required|
|Spiraea Shirobana||30cm||45cm||Trim after flowering|
|Taxus||30-45cm||90cm||Trim as required|
Plant in any ordinary well-drained garden soil that does not dry out, from October until April. Locate in a sunny or partially shaded part of the garden. Evergreen shrubs often defoliate when disturbed or lifted or nipped by frost. Invariably new growth will appear in the spring.
ABELIOPHYLLUM DISTICHUM (FORSYTHIA) - Grow in well drained fertile soil. Prefer a sunny site. Flowers in late winter and early spring. Height and spread 1.5m
ABIES KOREANA (KOREAN FIR) - Grow to 2m in 10 years. Spread 120cm in 10 years. A slow growing, dense neat habit. Prefer deep moist soils.
ACER PALMATUM/JAPONICA - VARIETIES - Hardy shrubs ideal for the small garden. Plant in a well drained soil preferably enriched with peat. Site in a spot sheltered from strong morning sunlight and prevailing winds as the foliage can be damaged by late spring frosts or strong winds. Thus require an annual pruning in February when established.
ALBIZIA (SILK TREE) - Deciduous. Plant in full sun in well drained soil. Adult plant grows to 3-4m.
AMELANCHIER - White flowers in early spring followed by fruit later in the season. Vivid flamed leaves in autumn. Grow in full sun or partial shade in any soil, though prefers heavy soil. Prune to size required.
AZALEA/RHODODENDRONS/PIERIS/KALMIA/SKIMMIA - When planting avoid frost pockets. Frost will not kill the plants, however excessive, but frost can cause damage which will make the plants unsightly. Plant in a well drained soil free from lime. The PH reading should not be above 6.0. It is wise always to plant with a liberal quantity of peat or equivalent. Water the specimens well when planting and do not let them dry out during the late spring and summer. This is the main cause of losses so look out for the leaves drooping and curling. Regular mulching is helpful during the plants development. Azaleas do prefer to be kept out of direct sunlight.
BAY (LAURUS NOBILIS) - Plant in standard moisture retentive compost. Bay Bushes can be kept indoors throughout the year. However, protect from extreme frosts and avoid a cold windy location. Bring into a porch or greenhouse or conservatory in the depth of winter to be 100% sure of surviving. Leaves can be picked for culinary purposes.
BERBERIS - Helmond Pillar and Pow Wow grow to 3m with only a spread of 80cm. Mystery Fire are much more compact growing only 1m with a spread of 1m. Requires sun or semi-shade and any well drained soil.
BUDDLIEA - Most garden soils will do. Prefer a sunny location for flowering. Very easy to grow. Flowers July-September.
CALLICARPA PROFUSION - Grows to 150cm with a spread of 60cm. Lilac flowers in late summer. Light winter pruning to encourage bushiness. Well drained, reasonably fertile soil is required, and the site should be sheltered and sunny.
CAMELLIAS - Camellias require similar soil to Azaleas and Rhododendrons. They are best planted in a sheltered northerly aspect, possibly against a wall or screen, giving protection from excessive frosts and early morning sun. They dislike windy exposed positions, or water-logged conditions. (Japanese Azaleas dislike the former also). Read up from a comprehensive publication how to grow and force Camellias under glass. Pruning of Azaleas, Rhododendrons and Camellias is not necessary, just the odd snip to tidy the plant.
CARYOPTERIS - Grows to 60-90cm with a spread of 60-90cm. Blue flowers in August/September. Any reasonable garden soil will do, provided it is well drained. Full sun is preferred.
CATALPA BIGNONOIDES AUREA - Plant in full sun in moisture retentive soil. Fully hardy. Adult height 10m.
CEANOTHUS PUGET BLUE - A hardy medium sized shrub of 1.5-2m. Deep blue flowers in late spring/early summer. Ideal for sunny/partially shaded locations.
CEANOTHUS THYRSIFLORUS VAR REPENS - Grows to 90cm with a spread of 60cm. Masses of blue flowers in May-August. Perfect for border or container growth. Little or no pruning required. Has a spreading cascading habit, attractive foliage.
CEPHALANTHUS OCCIDENTALIS (BUTTON BUSH) - Glossy green leaves and unique white-cream flowers between July and September. Grow in full sun to light shade in a site sheltered from the wind. Prefers good moist soil.
CERATOSTIGMA PLUMBAGINOIDES - Grow in moderately fertile, moist but well drained soil in full sun. Prune in early spring if required.
CHAENOMELES (JAPANESE QUINCE) - Grow in moderately fertile, well drained soil in sun or partial shade. Will grow on a shaded wall but blooms and fruits best in full sun. Prune after flowering if required.
CHIMANANTHUS PRAECOX - Grow in any well drained soil in full sun. Prune plant immediately after flowering. Grow to approx. 2.5m.
CHINESE WITCH HAZEL (HAMAMELIS MOLIS) - Grafted not seed grown plants supplied (superior flower performance). Grow to 3m with a spread of 2.4m. Scented spidery flowers before foliage from December to March. Prefers neutral or acid soils that are well drained. Prefers sunny or light shade.
CHRISTMAS BOX (SARCOCOCCA HUMILIS) - Evergreen shrub which can be grown in any reasonable garden soil, in sun or partial shade. Prune after flowering. Flowers February-March.
CHOISYA - Grows to 90-120m. Flowers May-June. Any reasonable garden soil will do. Plant in full sun or light shade. Pruning is not essential but it is helpful to cut back some of the old wood each year immediately after flowering.
CISTIS (ROCK ROSE) - Dwarf shrub which flowers prolifically from early to late summer. Needs a sunny location which is sheltered from cold winds. Requires protection from heavy frosts. Can grow in any well drained soil.
CLERODENDRUM BUNGEI - Grow in fertile humus rich moist but well drained soil. Prefer a location in full sun. Originating in China, they have an eventual height and spread of 2m. The Pink Diamond is more compact with a height and spread of 1.2-1.5m.
CLETHRA RUBY SPICE - Panicles of pink, scented flowers in late summer for up to six weeks. Prefers lime free soil in sun or partial shade.
CONIFERS (ORNAMENTAL) - Remove the container and plant to a little above the previous soil level. Most varieties make fresh roots close to the surface. The addition of plenty of peat or compost (home produced compost can be a little unbalanced for this purpose) when planting is very important. Not only will peat facilitate new root growth but during the summer months the immediate environment of the plant will be highly moisture retentive. Do not let the Conifers dry out in summer, especially in their first year or two in a new location. If the soil is very light or heavy (clay) liberal amounts of peat or compost are essential. Most Conifers like fairly open locations. They will not be at their best in heavy shade. Avoid planting in very exposed, windy locations as extremes can cause wind/frost damage in winter and drying in summer. Keep weed free. All Dwarf Conifers are suitable for planting in tubs, rockeries and confined areas if you adhere to the advice above.
CORKSCREW HAZEL (CORYLUS CONTORTA) - Plant in sun or partial shade in well drained soil. Excellent in windswept site. Cut out old exhausted branches in March.
CORNUS ALBA (DOGWOOD) - Grow to 2-2.5m. Plant in groups of 3 for an even spread. Brilliant coloured shoots in winter after defoliation. Most reasonable garden soils will do. Will grow in sun or partial shade.
CORYLOPSIS PAUCIFLORA - Grow in any moist well drained soil however best results are achieved in slightly acidic soil. Prune immediately after flowering if required.
COTINUS - Plant in any soil, though light loam is best. Full sun is preferred. Prune to requirements in spring. Grow to 3m. Spread 1.8-2.4m.
CYTISUS (BROOM) - Most garden soils are suitable though extreme excesses of acid or chalk are best avoided. They like sunny or partially shaded positions.
DAPHNE - Flowers in Feb/March. The scented flowers are followed by berries. Well drained, humus rich soil is required. Thrives in sun or light shade.
DEUTZIA - Grow in fertile soil that is not too dry, in full sun. Thin out old growth after flowering.
ENKIANTHUS - Plant in lime free well drained soil. Prefers light shade. Flowers in May. Height 1.5m.
EUCALYPTUS - A quick growing shrub with silvery-blue round leaves. The foliage has a pleasant fragrance. Grow in any well drained soil in full sun. Prefers a location where it is sheltered from the wind.
EUONYMUS ALATUS/EUROPAEUS - A deciduous Euonymus. Grow in any reasonable soil in partial shade or sun.
EUONYMUS (EMERALD GAIETY, BLONDY AND HARLEQUIN) - Grows to 45-60cm with a Spread of 90-120cm. Little or no pruning is required, but you can cut them back hard if required in May. Beware of blackfly. Any soil will do. Sun or partial shade.
GARRYA ELLIPTICA - Can be grown in any well drained soil in a sheltered location. Plant in full sun or partial shade. Flowers January-February. Prune in spring. Height 3m.
GAULTHERIA PROCUMBENS (PARTRIDGE BERRY) - Grows to 15-25cm and flowers in July. Excellent ground cover plant. Produces bright red berried and reddish foliage in autumn. Requires moist and lime free soil. Thrives best in partial shade.
GLEDITSIA - Hardy tree which can be grown in any well drained soil in sun or partial shade. Allow reasonable space for growth.
GOLDEN ELM (ULMUS WREDEI) - Grow to 3m with a spread of only 60cm. A tall slender tree with a pillar of golden yellow. Any reasonable and deep garden soil will do. Thrives in sun or light shade.
HEATHERS - Ideal for planting in rockeries, borders or in groups for ground cover. They thrive in sunny, well drained positions in lime free soil, though they will do reasonably well in semi shade. Use plenty of peat when planting and plant deeply with the lower foliage firmly on the soil. Keep weed free. Plant 30-45cm apart to give ground cover within three years. In the first season after planting do not allow the plants to dry out. Also avoid fertilising as this could be damaging. Established plants react to natural fertiliser well, such as manure or hoof and horn.
HEBES (Veronicas) - Will thrive in moist well drained garden soil, including chalk, and in full sun. Plant firmly and water regularly until established. Excellent ground cover plants. Spread up to 9cm.
HIBISCUS - Like a light, rich soil (add plenty of peat/compost) and a sunny, sheltered position. They take a long time to establish themselves so do not be disappointed if you see little change in size for the first year or so. Hibiscus, especially newly planted ones, break bud very late, sometimes as late as June, so do not think it is struggling if its leaves appear very late. Always keep well watered.
HOLLY (ILEX) - Shrubs grow to 2m after 10 years (slow growing). Spacing 90-120cm. Produce berries in winter. Can be drastically cut back if necessary without harm in summer. Any soil not fussy, but add some peat when planting. Will grow in sun or shade.
HYDRAGEA - Plant in a loamy, moisture retentive soil which has previously been mixed with peat, rotten compost or manure. situate in a reasonably sheltered spot as late spring frosts can nip the new growth. They prefer sun or partial shade. Heavy shade makes them drawn and weak. They benefit from an annual mulch. Hydrangea Petiolaris can become a large plant and does very well against a north wall.
HYPERICUM - Orange flair grows to 60-90cm with a spread of 45-60cm. Calcinum grows to 45cm with a spread of 45-60cm. Flowers freely July-September. Will grow in any garden soil. Can survive well in shade.
LABURNUM VOSSII - Grow to 4.5m with a spread of 3-3.5m. Long cascading yellow flowers in May. Caution - the pods, leaves and branches are poisonous. Any reasonable garden soil in sun or partial shade. Protect from strong winds.
LEUCOTHOE SCARLETTA - Grow to 45-60cm. with a spread of 90-120cm. Flowers late spring or early autumn. Prefers fertile neutral or acid soil. Thrives in light shade.
LEYLANDII (GREEN & GOLDEN), CHAMAECYPARIS ALLUMII - These conifers are easily grown in an ordinary garden soil, but do best in moist, deep soil. Plant from November to March, using plants up to 60cm in height. Keep the site well watered and clear of competing weeds, apply a dressing of general fertiliser, usually in spring. For hedging, space at intervals of 45-60cm. The growing tips may be pinched out to promote bushy growth. When plants are in their juvenile form avoid exposing to excesses of wind, it dries and browns the foliage. The ideal time for trimming is July.
LILAC 'DWARF' (SYRINGA) - Grows to 120-150cm with a spread of 60-90cm. Flowers May-June. Ideal for container planting or a central piece in a low growing border. Any reasonable garden soil will do. Full sun is preferred but tolerates partial shade.
MAGNOLIA SOULANGEANA / LILIFOLIA SUSAN / STELLATA - Magnolia Soulangeana grows to 3m with a spread of 3m (can be kept in check with regular pruning). Flowers in April - white flushed rose purple.
Magnolia Lilifolia Susan grows to 1.8-2.1m with a spread of 1.5-1.8m. Flowers in April/May - purple red long fluted flowers.
Magnolia Stellata grows to 1.2-1.5m with a spread of 90-120cm. Flowers in March/April - white starry shaped flowers.
Prefer sheltered site away from northerly winds. Any reasonable garden soil will do.
MAHONIA - Mahonia Aquifolia grows to 60cm, spread 60cm. Mahonia Bealei grows to 150cm, spread 120cm. Flowers in winter months until May. Fragrant flowers in spring. After the flowers there are blue/black berries. Any reasonable garden soil will do. Thrives in shady situations.
NANDICA DOMESTICA (FIRE POWER) - Grows to 120cm with a spread of 90cm. The evergreen leaves turn fire red in spring and autumn. Flowers in mid summer (long stemmed small flowers). Berries in autumn. Any well drained garden soil will do. Thrives best in full sun.PACHYSANDRA TERMINALIS - Succulent evergreen foliage that required loamy soil, excellent for semi shade or deep shade. Plant 60cm apart to create dense carpet.
PAULOWNIA TOMENTOSA - Thrives in fertile soil. Eventually grows to 6m and best grown in a sheltered sunny site. Flowers April-May.
PERNETTYA (PRICKLY HEATH) - Red, pink, white and thymifolia (male). They grow to 90cm with a spread of 90-120cm. Flowers in May, followed in autumn and winter with masses of berries. Acid soil is preferred so add peat at planting time. Grows in sun or partial shade.
PHILADELPHUS VIRGINAL - Popular double flowering Philadelphus. Grow in any reasonable soil in sun or partial shade. Flowers June-July.
POTENTILLA SHRUBS - An easy subject to grow. They like, for best results, a sunny position in light, well drained soil. They will tolerate partial shade but are not really at their best. Light pruning in March can be undertaken but is not necessary.
PRUNUS GRANDULOSA ROSEA/ALBA (CHERRIES) - Grows to 150cm with a spread of 90-120cm. Flowers in May (double flowering). Cut out damaged and unwanted shoots in late summer. Any well drained garden soil will do. Pick a sunny spot.
PRUNUS SHIDARE SAKURA/AMANAGOWA - Flowering time March-April. Plant in any garden soil, in a sunny location. Dig hole large enough to take roots without bending, place a stake in the hole to support and fasten to trunk. Prunus Shidare Sakura has a height and spread of 4-6m. Prunus Amanagowa grows upright to 4m with a spread of only 60-90cm.
ROBINIA FRISIA - Fast growing columnar, deciduous tree bearing gentle, yellow foliage in early summer turning orange in autumn. Small white flowers in summer. Grow in moist well drained soil. Like a full sun location.
ROSEMARY CAPRI - Weeping evergreen shrub. Flowers August-Oct. Likes sunny location in well drained soil. Recommended for ground cover.
SALIX AND HALF STANDARD GRAFTED SHRUBS - Ideal little trees for the small garden. They require good well drained soil and adequate staking as they develop a full head. They can be grown in tubs and make exquisite subjects on patios, etc.
SAMBUCUS - Grow in a well drained soil. Prefer the soil to be moist and Humus. They grow well in full sun or partial shade. The plant retain their colour best in dappled shade. Tolerates hard pruning. Grow to 2-2.5m.
SPIRAEA JAPONICA GOLD FLAME/SHIROBANA - Despatched field grown roots wrapped in moss. Grows to 90cm with a spread of 45cm. When pruning cut back the stems to 7-10cm above the ground in early spring. Any reasonable garden soil will do. Thrives in sun or light shade.
TAMARISK (TAMARIX) - Can grow un-pruned to 4.5-6m (prune to size required). Flowers May-June (pink plumes). One of the most resilient shrubs in the garden. Most well drained soils will do. They prefer a sunny site.
TRACHELOSPERMUM ASIANTICUM 'TRICOLOUR' - Plant in well drained soil in sunny location. Excellent ground cover and can also be grown in containers.
VIBURNUM - Prefers well cultivated soil containing ample humus. Does well in full sun. Cut back old and damaged branches after flowering (deciduous types) or in May (evergreen types).
VINCA - A shrub, which can often be mistaken for a perennial. Excellent trailer or ground cover plant. Thrives in all reasonable soils in sun or shade.
WEEPING BIRCH (BETULA PENDULA YOUNGII) - Can be grown in all soil types. Small weeping tree.
WEIGELIA - Plant in any reasonable soil in sun or partial shade. Flowers May-June.
TRAILING CARNATIONS - Unpack immediately upon receipt and water and, if possible, plant out straight away. If potting on use suitable proprietary compost. These plants will establish themselves without difficulty and provide a glorious show in their first year.
For over-wintering please remember to give them suitable winter protection, i.e. by use of straw etc. It is advisable with the trailing plants to avoid an over exposed location as severe winter weather conditions can kill these plants.
DATURA HYBRIDS/TIBOUCHINA/MANDAVILLIA/RUWELIA - For best results plant in a large tub and bring on in a sunny sheltered spot to get the maximum flowers. They are not winter hardy outdoors but can be easily kept over winter in a greenhouse or indoors. We have removed the large Datura leaves. New ones will grow in 2-3 weeks.
CONVOLVULUS/MAURITANICUS/ASTERICUS MARITIMUS - Only hardy in sheltered areas. Winter protection of straw or removal to shelter is recommended.
CORDYLINE INDIVISA - This plant is primarily grown for its magnificent shape and colour of leaf. Will not survive severe winter outdoors the experts say. However, we know of a 2m plant which has been outdoors for the last 5 years in Manchester and looks great.
DICKSONIA FIBROSA (Tree Fern) - They do best as tub plants. Stand out during late spring until first frosts in autumn. You can then bring them indoors. They can be kept in a dark place if necessary - you could remove the old leaves. Do not let the trunk dry out during winter. Water the top of the trunk. Like all ferns, Dicksonia do extremely well in the shade.
BAY (Laurus Nobilis) - Plant in a standard moisture retentive compost. Bay Bushes can be kept outdoors throughout the year. However, protect from extreme frosts and avoid a cold windy location. Bring into a porch or greenhouse or conservatory in the depth of winter to be 100% sure of surviving. Leaves can be picked for culinary purposes.
FAN PALM (Chamaerops Humilis)/ CYCAS REVOLUTA (Sago Palm)/AGAVE AMERICANA VARIEGATA/PHOENIX CANARIENSIS - Suitable outside only in frost free months. They then need to be brought inside. They also do well as house or conservatory plants in a position that receives much sunlight. Water regularly and fertilize slightly.
ACALYPHA PENDULA - Bring indoors in winter and you can keep them flowering as a houseplant continually.
ABUTILON/LAVATERA/CITRUS/BOUGAINVILLEA/MIMULUS/ JASMINE/THUNBERGIA/CALLISTEMON/DALECHAMPSIA/MUSA BASJOO/PANDOREA JASMINOIDES /IPOMOEA/OLEANDER/PATIO OLIVE/FIG/SUNDAVILLE (Dipladenia)/AESCHYNANTHUS/HIPPEASTRUM - Must only be grown outdoors in sunny sheltered spot. More ideal for a greenhouse to bring out in a tub during the warmth of summer. Use a large tub, well drained soil.
BIRD OF PARADISE (Strelitzia Reginae) - Beautiful summer patio plant that can also make an excellent houseplant. Water sparingly over winter. Exotic flowers ideal for cutting.
MIMOSA - Ideally grown in a large tub in well-drained soil. Grow outdoors in a sheltered spot but should be kept in a frost free place over winter. Produce beautiful feathery foliage and an abundance of yellow flowers in its second year.
PASSION FLOWERS/LOFOS - These varieties of Passion Flowers are frost sensitive and should be grown in loamy soil in a container. Ideally grown outdoors from April to mid October in full sun. Should be brought indoors over winter. Water sparingly over winter.
SOLANUM MURICATUM (Papino Melon) - Not frost hardy although can survive temperatures down to 2C, so some protection is required in winter. Well drained neutral to acid soil is required. Fruit is edible.
DURANTA ERECTA - Tender shrub which if not brought indoors in winter will die back to roots, however with a mulch protection will re-appear vigorously every year. Prefers a location with full sun.
Plant in prepared soil, well dug and containing rotted manure, in a sunny part of the garden. Most varieties can be split and transplanted after flowering when clumps become too large. Do not let the plants dry out in the summer. Hosta and Astilbes especially dislike dry locations and can easily die in dry weather. Ferns also need moist locations and thrive out of direct sunlight in a cool, shaded location. Many of our perennial plants are field grown. These produce large plants quickly and often flower in their first year. They are despatched to you within 2-3 days of being lifted and are mostly moss root wrapped to sustain moisture. The best treatment on arrival is to plant them or heel them in as soon as possible. In other words to put them back into the ground as soon as possible. To leave them packed up for any prolonged period or to store them in a shed, garage or greenhouse will seriously damage them. In late autumn or early spring if they arrive then just remember that they are hardy perennial plants which have just come from the cold ground and would much prefer to go back there.
ACANTHUS - Prefer full sun or partial shade. Plant in fertile, well drained soil. They flower in late summer.
AGAPANTHUS - Flowering July/September (June under glass). Excellent for greenhouse pot cultivation. Only winter outdoors in mildest regions of Britain and cover well in winter. Plant 5cm below ground level in well drained soil in sunny, sheltered location or place pot outdoors in April. Cut back after flowering. Propagate by division.
AGASTACHE - Grow in well drained, fertile soil in full sun.
ANEMONE JAPONICA - Flowering time August-October. Height 90cm. Thrives in any ordinary soil and a sunny or shaded position but resents root disturbance and may be slow to get started in the first season. Plant in groups, 30cm apart. Flowers freely when established.
ANEMONE MULTIFIDA/ANEMONE LEVEILLEI GLACIER - Plant in any well drained soil in full sun or partial shade.
ARUNCUS - Grow in moist, fertile soil in sun or partial shade. Aruncus Dioicus will tolerate drier conditions in full sun.
BAMBOO(Fargesia)/Pleioblastus /Phyllostachys - Plant in a moist soil. Roots should not be allowed to dry out. Locate in a position sheltered from cold wind in sun or partial shade. To propagate divide and replace tough roots in April.
BRUNNERA - Shade loving perennial, which can be grown in any well-drained soil. Flowers April-June.
CIMICIFRUGA - Prefer moist fertile humus rich soil in partial shade. The tall stalks sometimes need support. Protect from winds. Produces giant spikes up to 2.2m tall in July/August.
DICENTRA - Useful and graceful plant that can grow in a shady area. Grow in any well-drained garden soil. Dicentra Pregrina are unusual dwarf varieties. Flower April-June.
EPIMEDIUM - Grow in fertile, well drained, humus rich soil in partial shade with shelter from cold, dry winds. Mulch for winter protection where frosts are long or severe.
EUPHORBIA - Flowers April-June. Will thrive in any well drained soil in sun or partial shade. The sap can be an irritant.
FERNS - Ideal for indoor or outdoor cultivation. Outdoors, plant in a rich fertile soil leaving the nose showing. For indoor growing put in a 13cm or 15cm pot. Water freely during the growing season.
GAURA - Grow in fertile, moist but well drained soil in full sun. Drought and partial shade are tolerated.
GERANIUMS - Hardy Perennial Geraniums can be grown in any well-drained soil in sun or partial shade.
A perfect robust and versatile ground cover plant, which can flower from May to September.
GUNNERA MANACATA - Hardy. Grow in deep moist humus rich soil. Prefer full sun or partial shade. These clump forming perennials need shelter from cold winds. Mulch the crown in winter. Protect against slugs and snails.
HELLEBORUS (CHRISTMAS ROSES) - Flowering time December to March. Plant 45cm apart in sun or partial shade in deep, well drained, but moist soil. Once planted Helleborus should not be disturbed. Although Helleborus are evergreen, they often loose their foliage in the first season. Our Helleborus are supplied as bare rooted plants, sometimes with or without top growth.
Helleborus Niger grows to 30-35cm. Helleborus Queen of Night grow to 40-45cm.
Helleborus Orientalis grow to 50-55cm.
HEPATICA - Grow in damp, well-drained soil in partial shade or sunny location. Once established they produce flowers February-May.
HOSTAS - Flowering time late summer. Height 60cm. Plant 45cm apart in sun or partial shade, but remember that variegated varieties retain their colour better when planted in partial shade. Any well drained soil is suitable but prefer enriched with rotted compost, leaf-mould or peat. Excellent for ground cover and waterside planting. Leave undisturbed for years.
HOUTTUYNIA CHAMAELON - Flowering time summer. Height 25cm. Plant in moist soil in sunny position.
To be removed from pots and planted to depth of pot only.
IRIS - Grow in well drained, fertile soil in full sun or partial shade. Water moderately when in growth. Iris Louisiana should be grown in damp, humus rich soil. Iris Ensata thrive in wet, deep, humus rich soil, they will thrive in the margins of a pond or stream.
LIGULARIA - Prefer deep and moist soil in a site with full sun. Protect from strong winds. Protect from slugs and snails in early spring. Dense racemes of yellow flowers in mid-late summer.
MECONOPSIS - Requires lime free soil, which is well-drained. A location in light shade is preferred. Flowers in July-July.
MISCANTHUS - Can be grown in all well drained soils. Prefer full sun. Resistant to pests and diseases. Miscanthus Variegatus grows to 1.6m and the Zebrinus grows to 1.5m. Pyramidal Panicles are produced in autumn.
MONARDA (BERGAMOT) - Long flowering season from early summer to early autumn, continuous blooms if dead-headed. Spreads quickly so divide clumps every few years. Will thrive in any location in any well drained soil.
OMPHALODES STARRY EYES - Prefer moist well drained humus rich soil. Protect against Slugs and Snails. Grows to 20cm with a spread of 50cm. Flowers throughout May and early June.
ORNAMENTAL GRASS - Ornamental grass should be planted in sun or lightly shaded locations in moist soil.
Very effective if planted then surrounded by gravel or pebbles. This gives an ornamental effect and eliminates competing weeds. Use pebbles or gravel to the same effect when planting in containers.
PAEONIES - Flowering time May to July. Height 75-90cm. Can remain in the same position indefinitely as they resent disturbance, so do select their position with care. Grow in any moist but well drained soil, in sun or partial shade. Plant 35cm apart and making sure that the top of the crown is not more than 3cm deep. Water freely in dry weather. Dead head as flowers fade and cut down the foliage in late October.
PAMPAS GRASS - Height 180cm. Remove from pot and plant in any well drained fertile soil, choose a sheltered sunny site. Tidy the plants each spring by removing all dead foliage. Wear gloves for this as the leaf edges are sharp.
PEROVSKIA BLUE SPIRE (RUSSIAN SAGE) - Grey green foliage on white stems, deep violet flowers from July to October. Plant in full sun in any very well drained soil. Drought resistant.
PULSATILLA RUBRA - Plant in well drained soil in sunny position. Flowers April-May.
Height 20-25cm, spread 30cm.
SANGUISORBA OBTUSA - Grow in any moist well drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Height and spread of 60cm. Rich Pink flowers from mid summer to early autumn
STOKESIA LAEVIS - Prefer sun or semi-shade and fertile well drained soil. Large Pink Flowers in June-September. Grows to 50-60cm with a spread of 30cm.
THALICTRUM - Grow in moist, humus rich soil in partial shade.
TRADESCANTIA - Grow in almost any soil and in any location. Height 45cm and flowers in June-Sept.
VERBASCUM - Prefer a slightly alkaline well drained soil and a site with full sun. Grow to 90cm with a spread of 45cm.
VERBENA - Ideally located in full sun in any well drained soil. Winter hardy in most parts of the country, mulch for winter protection in autumn.
VERONICA VIRGINICUM - Fully hardy upright perennial grown in moist well drained soil in full sun. Flower July September.
YUCCA FILAMENTOSA - Prefer Loam Based Soil (Compost). Prefer a site in full sun and well drained soil. It is a clump forming shrub which grows to 75cm with a spread of 1.5m.
To plant, dig a hole large enough to take the roots when fully outspread, remembering that the point at which the plant was originally budded should be sufficiently low in the hole to be 2.5cm below the surface of the soil when it is filled in. Distribute the roots evenly round the hole and put in a little fine soil to which has been added a small amount of bone meal. Fill in a further 5cm of ordinary soil over the roots and tread in firmly. Tread in additional soil firmly at each stage as the hole is filled. Roses MUST be firmly planted. If they are not the winds of winter will loosen the roots and may cause the newly planted rose to die. Generally speaking, the depth of holes in which the roses are to be planted will vary between 10-20cm but examination of the plants will show quite clearly the depth to which they were originally planted and this depth should be adhered to provided that it does place the point at which the stock was budded just below the surface of the soil.
PRUNING - VERY IMPORTANT
Bush Roses should be well pruned in mid-March in Southern England and as one proceeds further north this should be deferred at such a rate that in the North of Scotland it is done in the second week of April. Floribunda Roses are a little tenderer and should be pruned one week later than the above dates. Newly planted Hybrid Tea Roses should always be pruned back hard in the spring, provided the roots are firmly established, leaving only three or four eyes per stem, generally leaving about 15-25cm in length. Roses are roughly pruned in the nursery to approximately 35-45cm of stem. If left unpruned they will die back along the stem and perish or produce leggy poor specimens.
Do not prune for two years after planting and then only sparsely, removing unrequired growing tips. Weak or dead wood should be removed.
Stake well with expandable ties, driving in the stake below the head of the tree. Plant Rose Tree to old soil mark level. Put liberal amounts of planting medium in hole. Prune back well in spring to good bud.
GROUND COVER ROSES
Prior to planting ensure that the site has been well dug over and a small amount of bone meal can be added and well raked in. Allow a gap of 90 to 120cm between the roses, next year they will grow about 120cm in diameter so allow for this to happen. PRUNING - head the roses back by about a third at the end of the flowering season (November). Before growth begins the following season halve the remaining wood. Follow this simple procedure and you will be rewarded with vigorous growth and copious blooms.
These are miniature versions of Hybrid Tea or Floribunda types and should be treated the same allowing for the difference of scale. Miniature Roses are ideal for borders and rockeries or as pot plants, though they should be in the dry atmosphere of the house only for limited periods. Prune hard after planting.
ACIDANTHERA - Should be planted at the beginning of May in rich sandy loam, 8cm deep and 15cm apart. They should be planted in a sunny position and will flower during August and September. The corms should be lifted and stored before the first frost. (Treatment same as Gladioli).
ALLIUM/BRODIAE - Plant 5cm apart in well drained soil. They do best in a sunny situation. Cover the bulbs to 3 or 4 times their own depth. Leave untouched for years until the bulbs have multiplied to the extent that flowering potential is impeded. Flower June/July.
ALSTROEMERIA - Plant in well drained fertile soil in a sheltered position where they can be left undisturbed. They may not flower the first season but will do so freely when established. Give protection during the winter.
ANEMONES - Hardly any flower can compare with the endless variety of shades produced by these flowers. They may be had in bloom almost the whole year by planting at intervals. All Anemones are perfectly hardy and are ideal subjects for cut flower, border and rockery work. Plant 2.5-5cm deep and not less than 10cm apart and soaking in water for one day prior to planting is recommended. While they do not object to partial shade, a sunny position suits them best. A rich, moist soil is essential to success; indeed the richer the soil the more flowers each corm will give, although care should be taken that there is good drainage as they are sensitive to dampness. They may be grown in pots as long as they are not given heat, but are best suited to beds, borders and rockeries.
BEGONIAS - Begonia tubers may be started into growth from February onwards. The easiest way is to put them into shallow boxes containing a mixture of loam, leaf mould and sand. Meanwhile, prepare the potting soil. Good top soil mixed with one-sixth part of manure should form the basis. To this prepared soil add leaf mould in a proportion of 1 part leaf mould to 3 of loam and enough sand to make a fairly porous compost. Soot and bonemeal added to the compost will be appreciated. As soon as the shoots of the tubers are about 2cm long pot them up in 15cm pots and place them into larger pots as the roots reach the sides of the pots.
BEGONIAS IN THE OPEN - Begonias are particularly useful for bedding purposes and, if planted in beds which are enriched with well rotted manure or leaf mould will make a fine show. They should be started in shallow boxes in light soil; the saucer like tubers should be planted very shallow with the hollow side up. As soon as all danger of frost is passed they can be transferred to their position in the garden at least 30cm apart. Begonias are great lovers of moisture and during dry weather should be watered in the early morning or the evening.
CALADIUM - Caladium are grown for their spectacular foliage. Start the small tubers indoors at a temperature of 21°C (70°F). Place on damp peat and syringe daily. When growth has commenced pot on 2.5cm deep. Reasonable moisture is essential but good drainage is imperative. Never leave to dry out. A humid, warm atmosphere is necessary. Gradually bring outdoors during the height of summer if used as a pot plant. In autumn when leaves fade the tubers should be rested in a semi-dry state for winter at a temperature of 13°C (55°F).
CALLAS (ARUM LILIES) - Can be grown as a conservatory or house plant as well as a patio plant (May-Oct). Grow in humus rich moist soil in full sun. Should be protected from frost with deep winter mulch. Can be cultivated indoors in loam based potting compost in full light. Water freely and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks until the flowers have faded. Keep just moist in winter.
CANNAS - Store in cool but not cold place, not below 40°F until planting time earliest April. Plant out in loamy soil or if in containers in a balanced compost, can start earlier than April like Dahlias in a greenhouse or even windowsill indoors. The tubers should be lifted and stored indoors after the first autumn frost.
CHLIDANTHUS - Can be left outdoors in the milder areas only, otherwise must be lifted and stored in a frost free place. Plant in April with the nose of the bulb just showing above soil level. Need well drained soil. Can be grown in pots starting off in March in a loamy compost.
CROCOSMIA/ MONTBRETIAS - Flowers July/August. Plant 7cm deep in a well-drained soil facing a sunny aspect. May need a season or two before it is free flowering but when established will naturalise into clumps and flower prolifically every year.
HARDY CYCLAMEN - These like well drained, fairly sheltered spots in the garden. Ideal for naturalising, plant 5cm deep, 15cm apart. NOTE: They will not necessarily flower in the first year. They often take time to establish themselves in their new environment.
DAHLIAS - Tubers should be planted outdoors in the late spring when there is little chance of further frost. Store in a cool, dry, frost free environment until planting. They prefer a sunny position in rich, loamy soil and should be planted 10-12cm deep and 45-60cm apart. The tubers should be lifted and stored indoors after the first frost.
DUTCH IRIS (Retarded) - Plant 8cm deep and 12cm apart in a well drained soil. A sunny, sheltered spot in the garden is an ideal place and they will come to a strong, well developed plant, producing fine, well shaped flowers when planted in a well prepared soil.
EREMURUS BUNGEI (FOXTAIL LILIES) - Grow in fertile, sandy well-drained soil, sunny position, shelter from wind, support in exposed sites.
FREESIAS (SUMMER FLOWERING) - Plant from the end of April onwards about 2.5cm deep and 5cm apart. It is preferable to plant in a shaded position, between low growing shrubs is ideal.
GALTONIA (CAPE HYACINTHS) - Grow in fertile well-drained soil, in sunny position, must be kept moist from spring-summer. Mulch over winter or lift in areas with severe winters.
GLADIOLI - In the ordinary garden the cultivation of Gladioli is similar to that of most other bulbs. They prefer deeply dug, well drained soil containing plenty of sand as well as some leaf mould. The soil should be dug at least 45cm deep, more if possible, and well decayed manure should be worked into the bottom 30cm. If no decayed manure is available, bonemeal should be worked into the soil prior to planting. Planting can be done in succession from early March onwards to the end of May at fortnightly intervals. This ensures a continuity of flowers throughout the summer and autumn months. The corms must be planted at least 15cm apart and will display much better if they are massed together instead of being dotted simply along the borders. They should be planted 15 cm below the soil, shallow planting encourages the flower spike to topple and therefore requires staking. When planting in a heavy soil, put a small portion of sand underneath each corm at planting time. This will assist drainage and prevent the development of disease.
HYACINTHUS CANDICANS - Plant in groups in March and April in ordinary well drained soil in a sunny position. Plant 15cm deep and 15cm apart. A useful pot plant in a cold greenhouse.
ISMENE - Plant in a cool greenhouse or outdoors but only in a sheltered location in a mild district. Start in pots in a minimum temperature of 13?C. Use a light compost and water freely during the growing season.
IXIA - The bulbs of Ixia, which are small, should be planted 8cm deep and apart in a well drained, sunny and sheltered position or the plants will grow too tall and slender. They are ideal for pot culture and could be forced gently in a cold greenhouse or cold frame.
LILIUMS - Liliums do not like rich food but do appreciate moisture. Most Liliums do not like lime in the soil. They like leaf mould but dislike bog peat because of its acidity. It is a mistake to enrich soil for Lily culture with fresh animal manure as this inclines to bring fungoid disease as well as introduce pests, which may ruin the bulbs. When Liliums are to be cultivated the soil should be deeply dug so that it is well drained and if leaf mould cannot be obtained some old, well rotted, manure may be dug into light soil. When planting, each bulb should be surrounded with a little sharp sand under and above the bulb to keep of slugs and excessive wet and ward off disease. As most Liliums are stem rooting we strongly advise to plant 15cm deep. They give a much better display when planted in clumps of 3, 6 or 12 bulbs, 45cm apart. They appreciate the shelter of low growing shrubs or other plants near their roots. Planting time is from December to April.
MIRABILIS - Plant in April when there is no danger of frost in a sheltered, sunny site. A light, moderately rich soil is required. Tubers can be stored in a frost free room during winter.
NERINES (GUERNSEY LILY) - Must be planted in a sunny position. They should be left undisturbed and may take a season or two to establish themselves before flowering. Plant with the top of the bulb just below ground level. Plant in a soil containing a lot of peat and sharp sand (acid soil) and give plenty of winter protection. Nerines are ideal for potting up and introducing to the garden in April. Water should be held back when the bulb is dormant.
ORNITHOGALUM ARABICUM - This lovely scented subject will grow in any good, well drained soil. Plant 15-20cm apart with the neck of the bulb just below soil level.
ORNITHOGALUM THYRSOIDES (CHINCHERINCHEES) - The bulbs should be planted in April/May about 5cm deep and 10cm apart and will bloom from July until October. One bulb produces several vigorous stems reaching an average height of 40cm. Well manured humus soil is necessary. Plenty of water and an application of fertiliser are beneficial during flowering time.
PLEIONE FORMOSANA / BLETILLA HYACINTHINA - This can be grown outdoors only in the warmest of southerly locations, otherwise it is recommended for a cold greenhouse for use as a pot plant. Plant in equal parts of loam, leaf mould and sand. During the summer months can be temporarily located outdoors. Do not over water in winter.
POLYANTHUS TUBEROSA - Recommended for indoor cultivation. Bring on in cool greenhouse. The use of additional heat can result in flowering times being staggered throughout the summer/early autumn.
RANUNCULUS - These thrive in any ordinary soil. Plant 5cm deep and 10cm apart, pressing the tubers firmly into the soil with the claws downwards. The tubers can be easily preserved in a dry state and may be planted at any time. A sunny position suits them best and one that is not exposed to strong winds. They should be protected against frost. They can also be successfully grown in a cold greenhouse or frame. IMPORTANT: Soak well for a day prior to planting. They will swell to 6 or 8 times their dried bulk.
SCADOXUS (FIREBALL LILY) - Giant 20cm diameter red flowers on 60-70m stems. Ideal patio container item or can be grown indoors. Outdoors it prefers a shaded/partially shaded area with well drained soil. Not frost hardy, store in a frost free area over winter.
SPARAXIS (SUMMER FLOWERING) - Plant from end of April onwards, 5cm deep and not less than 8cm apart. They will grow in any good soil but they favour a warm, protected spot in the garden.
TIGRIDIAS - Not perfectly hardy. Bulbs should be planted in March/April, 8cm deep and 15cm apart in a well drained sunny border. Flowering July, reaching a height of 30-60cm. Give plenty of water in dry weather and protect from severe frost and wet weather in winter. They can also be grown as pot plants in a cool greenhouse.
ZEPHYRANTHUS (PERUVIAN SWAMP LILY OR FLOWER OF THE WEST WIND) - Plant 8-10cm apart, covering with 5cm of soil. Suitable for plant cultivation in cool greenhouse.