This arrived a week last Friday, and whilst Burncoose nursery did a great job of packing it, the couriers didn’t bother putting a note through the door to tell me they’d left it at the house over the road. The result was that I didn’t get to unrap them until Monday, by which point the deciduous two had decided it must be autumn already and started to drop their leaves. Not ideal. That said, here are the three together
The lot together:
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.
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 bought this at the RHS Spring Plant Fair the year before last. It’s taken until now to get it to flower. The inflorescence has more of a delicate look than that of any other ginger i’ve seen in flower before. The only disappointment is that there’s no scent. Perhaps I caught it at the wrong time of day.
Crug Farm are delivering on Thursday! I’ve been shopping with a couple of other nurseries too: Burncoose, who I bought from a few years ago, and Junker’s in Somerset, who have been very helpful.
The previous garden was planted up without as much thought as I might’ve used. There were several different schemes overlapping one another, but the pell-mell nature of what i’d created was something I could nonetheless enjoy most of the time. A bigger problem was what the place looked like in Winter. If the evergreens had been better placed, they would have distracted from the mud, bare brick and lack of proper paths. As it was, during the colder months they seemed like so many spare parts strewn around.
This time, i’m getting hold of the big deciduous trees and the evergreens first. A few other things have snuck in there too though – I didn’t want to miss out on the Disporums whilst buying from Crug, for instance. The other disclaimer i’m laying down here is some of these won’t arrive until the Autumn. The Cunninghamia is in the ground at the nursery and is best kept there until growth slows and the soil is not so dry.
That said, i’m expecting –
Magnolias insignis, laevifolia and macrophylla
Schefflera alpina and S. aff. chapana
Kalopanax septemlobus v. magnificus
Cunninghamia lanceolata ‘Glauca’
Disporum cantoniense v. y-tiense
Oh my god I am so excited!
Last week was spent on holiday in North Wales, hence the previous post of pictures taken at Portmeirion. We were going to have a day out on Snowdon, myself and Alex walking up it and Anna and Reuben taking the train, but seeing as the train was all booked up, we went to Caernarfon to see the castle and call in at Crug Farm while we were at it, seeing as it is only two or three miles from the town. This was great news for me, but I hadn’t wanted to push my agenda given that this was meant to be a family holiday. The children behaved wonderfully. Alex wanted to know all about the poisonous plants! I told him to steer clear of the Illicium, just in case.
The taxi driver was bemused as to why we wanted to go there. “There isn’t much there you know. I’ll wait for a few minutes in case you want to come straight back. I’ve been doing this job for twelve years and i’ve never been asked to go there ” I wondered if we were thinking of the same place and told him about the Chelsea show gold medals and the plant hunting they do. What was I expecting him to say? That they have an excellent selection from the Araliaceae family? Once we were there, an employee there said that people often turn up expecting coffee, cake and ask where all the plants are because they don’t “get” what the nursery does and sail straight through the garden without noticing anything. I wasn’t disappointed, although we didn’t have the capability to take anything away with us there and then.
Here are loads of pictures with the labels given after each one:
Rhododendron sinogrande or maybe R. falconeri in the foreground, at a guess.
Obviously I would have wanted to take all of these, if I could. But it was a privilege just to be there.
In the next installment, the nursery sale area.