The lot together:
It might be some time before the Illicium flowers. In the meantime, it doesn’t take my breath away, but it will be valuable in the winter when much else is bare. This one will get big, but slowly.
Magnolia insignis is an evergreen. It flowers in summer, which I took to mean that the flowers are less prone to being destroyed by frost than earlier flowering Magnolias of similar hardiness. Plus the flowers are not standard cream/pink in colour. The nursery told me that they’d had to cut the leader off to get it in the box, so that was expected and fine. In summary, it definitely isn’t Magnolia soulangeana and won’t be mistaken for it. Just what I wanted on that score.
Blechnum chilense I have had before, from the shop at Kew Gardens. It’s suffered death by brother, so i’ve bought this replacement seeing as they looked so primitive when I saw them at Crug. A couple of the fronds have been snapped in transit but I can’t say i’m surprised. It’s fine.
Dendropanax looks like it could do with a bigger pot soonish. I forget the hardiness of this one. Maybe I can risk planting it straight away, while it is still small. It looks great, easy to tell the close relation to ivy, although this one is a tree, not a climber. Pity the mature foliage will be simple rather than tri-lobed though.
Disporum. This is one I didn’t notice at the nursery so I bought it blind. It’s a lot frothier than I was expecting. This is the only buy that feels like it might have been an error.
Kalopanax. Whoops, I forgot that the foliage is variable. The previous one I had had very deeply cut foliage. That said, I am happy with this one. There is still something pleasingly unusual about the geometry of those leaves. It looks like an acer with a personality crisis. All acers should have personality crises. Also, spines! Massive spiny tree!
The Roscoea wasn’t something I ordered. What happened was that somebody else’s plants had been delivered to me by mistake. Crug said he’d cancelled the order because of the mistake, so the courier took them back, but not before I rang the nursery back and asked if I could buy this particular plant. It’s Roscoea purpurea “Vannin”, a collection the Wynn-Joneses made in Nepal.
I’d seen countless Scheffleras online, until the day two weeks ago when we visited Crug Farm Nursery I hadn’t met one in real life. They are the pick of the bunch if you ask me. The Scheffleras: