Start a new thread

1 to 9 of 9 replies

Whereas I absolutely agree about the Dahlia and to s lesser extent the Ceanothus, I have to disagree about the others. Whereas the Acuba is and the Lonicera are not exactly in my top ten they can fit the bill when planting up a terribly difficult position such as under a large conifer. There are more attractive cultivars of both. The Variegated ground elder I have myself and although it has got very invasive tendencies - again it can fit the bill when isolated in a semi wild area and has very attractive foliage. It collapses in very dry conditions however (having tried it under the very large conifer) It is all to do with the right plant for the right place.
James is right tho', H.'Caramel' is incontrovertibly vile. Heuchera 'Peach Flambe' on the other hand....
It's true.....fashions and tastes change. Five years ago the thought of making a fuss about ANY plant would've had me in stitches, but middle age (perhaps?) or the acquisition of a garden has changed all that. And I've discoverd I like chrysanthemums and dahlias...of most colours. That's radical these days. Monty did have an article in one gardeners' world magazine wondering when people would wake up to the fact that begonias are actually quite repellant (although he was more polite). I'd have to agree with him there!
Thank you all for your comments: I had a funny feeling that I might get someone disagreeing with me! I understand the amenity value of some of the shrubs I mentioned and I by no means think that they are bad plants - just that I don't like them very much. Aucuba always reminds me of cheerless, dank shared front gardens full of dustbins and a bike with a buckled wheel. My problem, I suppose, with many plants is that there are so many others that are so much better therefore why give up space in your valuable garden to anything that is mediocre? Instead of variegated ground elder try Tiarella, Euphorbia robbiae, Geranium macrorrhizum or Asarum europaeum But I'm still not convinced by Heuchera Caramel and as for the Garden Monkey's Heuchera Peach Flambe? What an unutterably ghastly name. It is bad enough breeding things like that without burdening the poor unfortunates with names like that. It makes poor Tiramisu Andre (or whatever name it is that Peter and Jordan have chosen) seem very nearly classy.


I agree on the dahlia. It's hideous, the rest are ok. My worst one is ribes, flowering currant, it's awful and smells terrible!!!
James, don't hold back that way. I think that you should learn to cast aside this staid and reserved form of self-expression and tell us how you really feel. Plants do evoke incredibly strong positive and negative reactions for me too. Most of the ones I really despise are things that I've had to work very hard to eradicate at some point like a Fuschia magellanica that took over one small shady garden and enveloped it in a dense gloom. My greatest disdain, however, is reserved for Lysichiton americanus. The common name, skunk cabbage, says it all. This is beneath all weeds in my esteem. It smells terrible and when I was a kid on the west coast of Canada, about the worst thing you could do to another kid was to make him eat some. I don't think that you can imagine my shock and incredulity at finding it as a cultivated plant in this country.
I would never have thought of making people eat skunk cabbage - you Canadians have such imagination: when I was a child we made people eat worms which is pretty unfair on vegetarians ! I have grown skunk cabbage on streams and large ponds - it is undoubtedly striking. But then I suppose skunks are as well from a distance.
I think perhaps you went on your rant a little too long there! Because some plants such as Aucuba and Lonicera nitida have been overused as amenity planting, doesn't make them bad plants...quite the reverse in my opinion! They are plants that work well in many conditions and are extremely successful in what they do, that it is OUR fault, the INDUSTRY'S fault that you now despise them. Heuchera caramel is one of THE most stunning ground cover plants I've ever come across, especially when combined with other deep violet varieties to exaggerate the gold and bronze foliage. I do agree with your last paragraph though, taste goes around with fashion...laburnum, forsythia and kerria were favourites of the gardeners of old, but now many also despise these plants...personally I find laburnum belongs in victorian settings such as terraced houses, but they would never be exempt from contemporary plans I might compose simply because the popular belief is that you shouldn't!

Opinion is opinion, I do not contest that, but one man's trash is another man's treasure!

Sign up or log in to post a reply