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08/07/2013 at 14:38

...I think the best poppies are those I see in meadows and fields.. when in Sussex there were acres of them on the south downs and nearby... I used to love walking around there just to see them in late June...however, that's a lovely shot too..

Thalictrums... don't see these everywhere... I tried to get to like them once and failed... the late Christopher Lloyd in one of his books I have.. describes Hewitt's Double as neat, with small fluffy double flowers... he seemed to like them well enough..

...there is also a photo in this book 'Garden Flowers'.. of an Agastache 'Firebird' which to me looks fiery orange but he describes as 'salmon'... and as tender perennials...I think I wouldn't mind that one but there are so many choices these days... and despite all the wonderful flower combinations we see in these books, I sometimes think that I shouldn't recommend a particular plant as it's such a personal choice.. rather like advising another lady which dress to buy in Marks's... so we have to make our own way with this and team things up as we see fit.. and learn and experiment from that...I hope you agree... favourite photo in his book is after page 32, plate 4, with the Phormium 'Sundowner' in centre shot.. this scene is packed full of wonderful colours and foliage, there's even a small Eucalyptus getting in on the act... sometimes I think I couldn't ever garden like that... my imagination doesn't stretch that far...or perhaps it would, if there was the space... it always comes down to land for me... struggling with small gardens, and feeling that you are reasonably successful after many attempts, is an achievement in itself I think... anyone who does that should feel proud of their efforts.. although I'm not sure we are ever really satisfied...

..I wonder if anyone else has this book of Mr Lloyd's... apart from the wonderful photos, I did find his prose a little flat.. perhaps age was getting to him.. but I thought it lacked enthusiasm and he was not his usual self...

..Japanese Anemone's... I love these but no longer plant them as I fear the consequences too much and happy to see them in others... Mr Lloyd states that 'Honorine Jobert' is by far and away the best white... I wonder if he was alive now he might change his mind as I think a couple of others are on the market that he might also prefer... ''Whirlwind'' is a double which I'm not so keen on personally, but my preference is for 'Andrea Atkinson'... this is just sensational planted en masse as I saw it at the Alnwick Castle gardens a few years ago... and would be my first choice in this colour... the pink 'September Charm' I grew in Sussex and found it lived up to it's name... charming..


08/07/2013 at 16:07

Hi Salino. Lass I was just commenting in that post on these ( as the others) as plants I liked and had grown - no statement other than that was intended. I liked CL's writing and choices myself but these comments are strictly my own preferences of the past. No thoughts about the Arnebias, Sternbergias or Crinum - enjoy your comments and thoughts and would like to hear them (yours and Verduns) on these as with any others I mention if I continue posting my thoughts on a selection of what I have grown in the past. By the way ref that Scopolia  this I found looking through those 2 liner small ads in the garden mags as I said I found many great plants years ago. I only found out later that they were/are  rare plants.  -  They do so I read only grow in just one place in Slovenia ( I think)  -  Scopolia carniolica itself has brown/mauve flowers but the one I have "hladnikiana" has pale green yellow flowers (as it should have) so I feel sure I have the correct plant. Both are rated rare to very rare in the case of hladnikiana and are on the lists of threatened species I read.

08/07/2013 at 18:50

Salino, the book?  Christopher lloyd's garden flowers? Is that it's name?  Must get a copy.  I have or have read a few of his books and always his enjoy his style

I grow a few Phormiums and Sundowner is a favourite.  Jester and dazzler too are very different though.  I  share your reluctance to plant jap anemones but seem to have overcome these omissions with Anemone Wild  Swan.  September Charm is one I liked but it is more of a spreader than honorine jobert so it had to go.  If my garden was bigger I prob would devote a bed to jap anemones but ensure any spread was contained


08/07/2013 at 21:28

Verdun... it's called Christopher Lloyd's GARDEN FLOWERS [Perennials,Bulbs,Grasses,Ferns]...

published in 2000 by Domino books... when it came out - hardback - it cost £30.00...

lots of lovely photos...


like you I've grown some Phormiums.. my biggest and I suppose the best were cookianium 'Tricolour' which grew into a huge plant with lots of flower spikes... Yellow Wave.. I loved this billowing in the breeze, also lots of flowers... Evening Glow... and it really does glow when backlit by the sun... Sundowner, which grew very big too but I preferred this, like some others, when young and fresh for some reason...  Maori Queen... quite a nice colour, but suffers in the winter here.. and is cut back... Jester wasn't hardy for me here in the East...Alison Blackman survives well - I have 2... 1 does better than the other but I love the yellow/brown leaves on this...

perhaps my favourite on the south coast where I grew it, was 'Firebird'.. a name given to so many plants but in this one it really glowed all shades of red again when backlit by the sun... it's not one I see very much either...

I've heard of Anemone Wild Swan, maybe another day... see how people get on with it... I think that's a different type though...? 

08/07/2013 at 22:01

Keen 1,

..yes that's alright, I know you were just putting your thoughts to print about the plants you have grown in the past, but I like to comment here and there.. most of these I've not really heard of much, nor grown, the ones that you mention... however, I have found both Scopolia and Arnebia in my colourful garden books on perennials and this is what I can tell you... my books are by noted garden writers/photographers Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix...

Scopolia carniolica - they give a photo of this taken at RHS Wisley garden... lovely yellow/green flowers, fresh green leaves on  thick stumpy stems - short stocky plants... the variety name hladnikiana is not mentioned, yet the colour is the same as you describe for this cultivar... but they simply refer to it as carniolica...

it's also a native of Austria, Italy, Yugoslavia eastwards to the Baltic, Russia and the Caucasus... they state the flowers are usually brownish/purple or brownish/orange but sometimes all greenish/yellow as in the photo... so perhaps they were showing the hladnikiana cultivar but weren't aware of that name...

Arnebia echioides is also known as Arnebia pulchra or longiflora... pretty yellow us, at a glance, it might look like a primula until closer inspection of the leaves... quite a pretty little thing...


08/07/2013 at 22:28

I'm sorry but I'm pretty sure I was 27 before anyone here=1953,can you bet it?


08/07/2013 at 23:06

...wrong thread..

09/07/2013 at 00:08

Salino, thanks ..I will get a copy.  Sounds excellent

Yes, know those,Phormiums too.  I always split mine every 3 years or so.  It maintains the foliage colour, keeps the plant young and attractive but, strangely does not prevent them from flowering.  Every year in early spring I cut all the oldest leaves and pull out all the dead stuff.  So many Phormiums I see have been left to grow huge so lose the intensity of colour and then become a nightmare for their owners to control

09/07/2013 at 07:59

Hi Salino. Ref that Scopolia ( last comment about it). Did some Googling and this is a brief part of what is said.. Back in 1550 the original plants were found and were later named afte rthe famous Idrian physician and natural historian "Janez Anton Scopoli"  and the former province of Scopoli, presumably this means the brown/mauve flowered one  =  Scopolia carniolca.  Later plants were found in the forests around Turtak  with the yellow flowers by botanist Franc Hladnic - hence Scopolia carnilioca hlanikiana. Got this by typing the plants full name only into search and this is some details from first reference on page.

09/07/2013 at 21:45

Christopher lloyds book is on its way to me....due tomorrow I think.  Sure I will enjoy it.

A lot of grasses are now showing off......different deschampsia which I love; so delicate. ....calamagrostis Karl Foerster amd Overdam with their tight erect purplish/ beige flowers some 7' high.......stipas gigantea and Tennuissima .....festucas. Hordeums and Bowles golden grass.  Another month and the miscanthus varieties will flower too

09/07/2013 at 22:17

..oh I'm glad you've been able to order it... I've been re-reading it today, such wonderful photographs, his use of plants, colour and form just remarkable really... one plant you mentioned above.. Calamagrostis 'Overdam'... he uses near a flight of steps placed above Fuchsia 'Riccartonii'.. with Phlox and a yellow plant... it's a gorgeous shot that...

..I think I must get that Fuchsia again... it's been a long time since I had it.. and this has inspired me to find a place for one..

...he was never afraid to combine pink and yellow either...see that wonderful picture of the tall yellow Verbascums.. pink Phlox and some other yellow plants...cooled with some fresh green leafage and all backed by Clematis Jackmanii Superba on a pole... it's just magic...

..yes I preferred not to let my Phormiums get out of hand.. I don't like them when they do... I clear out all the old stems each Spring...

Keen 1

thank you for that information...quite some history going on there...


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