Presents in the Post


Mail order plants can get a bad press, especially at the moment, when both Royal Mail and private couriers have been overwhelmed by demand from the locked-down population.

One of our gardeners has received a parcel today, and is dancing a jig on her lawn.  I’m not surprised – the plants look lovely.  Here they are:


A box full of Nemesia – and it looks like good, stout packaging.

Julie's Nemesia 1 A


And here they are, unpacked.

Julie's Nemesia 2 A


Super!   I should give a shout out to the supplier (Plants by Post), and no, none of us get any benefits from them.  But if a supplier does well, we should say so.

As an afterword – I’ve had to edit yesterday’s post.  It isn’t a tree stump, after all…

A Little Magic

Today’s image is one that invites the imagination to come out and play.


Hugh's thing A

What is it?

A Zen area of raked gravel?

A remnant of ancient pagan ritual?

Any other ideas?

Actually, It’s an ivy-covered stump (at least, I think it is) surrounded by a lawn covered in a blanket of fallen cherry blossom.

Fleeting, and beautiful.

Now, that ancient pagan temple…



Edited to add:  Sometimes my gardening students are mischievous.  The identity of the ‘object’ under the ivy was not disclosed.  I assumed.  Now I’ve been given a clue:  It can only be used on sunny days.

A sundial then!  But it is still fallen cherry blossom.


Spring Beauties

Today, one of our gardeners has given us a look at some of the plants in his garden.  Let’s see what he’s got:

Here’s a lovely collection of hostas and azaleas

Rob's collection 1 A


Here’s one of his favourite clematis – Mrs N Thompson, raised by Walter Pennell around 1954, and named for the wife of Pennell’s nursery office manager.

Rob's clematis Mrs N Thompson A


And here’s another favourite – Clematis Nelly Moser, introduced in 1897, and raised by Moser et Fils in France.

Rob's clematis Nelly Moser A




Tuesday Treats

We are back to Tuesday again, and the weather is heating up again.  By midweek, we might be talking about 80 degrees F in old money.  If you have young seedlings, they’ll need shade.

So, what do I have for the Nature Table today?  Let’s find out.  Oh, and the answers to last week’s Nature Table are here:


1  This climber

Edited to add:  Clematis montana, cultivar not known

Hugh's Clematis montana 2 A


2  The blue-flowered plant.  Brownie points if you get the silvery-leaved shrub behind it.

Edited to add: Ajuga reptans Chocolate Chip.  The silvery shrub behind was Senecio greyi, but is now Brachyglottis greyi.  The cultivar is probably ‘Sunshine’, since this is pretty much the only one on sale here.

Lesley's ajuga A


3  The leaves with a reddish flush, and the spotted leaves.

Edited to add: The red-flushed leaves are an epimedium, sort unknown.  These are fantastic plants for dry shade as here, around the trunk of a lime tree. (For those in other climes, this lime tree is in the genus Tilia, not the one with the lovely fruit that you slip into your cocktails, or make Key Lime Pie with.)

The spotted leaves are Pulmonaria, variety unknown, unconnected with the forget-me-not flowers.  Pulmonaria foliage can be anything from plain to spotted to completely silvered.

Lesley's epimedium and pulmonaria A


4  The green-flowered plant in the centre – a bonus for anything else.

Edited to add: The green flowered plant is Euphorbia martini Walburton Red Flush.  We also have two different tulips, forget-me-nots, a bluebell (probably Spanish), golden feverfew and Solomon’s Seal, probably Polygonatum x hybridum.  On the left hand side is Jack-by-the-Hedge, Alliaria petiolaris, the only food plant of the orange tip butterfly.

Lesley's euphorbia A


5  The pink-flowered plant

Edited to add: This is a candelabra primula, Primula japonica ‘Miller’s Crimson’.

Lesley's primula A


6  The dark purple flower

Edited to add: A parrot tulip, and very dramatic, too.

Lesley's tulip A


Good luck!

Edited to add:  Give yourselves a pat on the back for having a go!


Something from Down Under

Today’s image from one of our gardeners is a plant that grows wild, but definitely not here.  It’s from Down Under.  The Antipodes.  Australia, to you and me.  It grows on the eastern coast, in places like Queensland and New South Wales.  It’s the cut-leaf mint bush, Prostanthera incisa rosea.

Judy's Prostanthera incisa rosea Cut-leaved mint bush A

I was going to put this as one of the Nature Table images, but then I thought that might be too cruel.

It likes sheltered, well-drained, slightly acidic positions, and is hardy down to about -5 degrees C.  In heavy soil, it gets root rot, so no point me asking for a cutting!

It’s a member of the Lamiaceae, and as you would expect, it’s got aromatic foliage.

I know from our gardener that this is at least two years old, and is flowering better now than last year.

It’s certainly a lovely, colourful thing, and not at all easy to come across.


One of our gardeners has sent me some images of the plantings in her troughs.  Enjoy them!

Violas and ajuga

Glynis's trough 1 A


Violas – just full of flower

Glynis's trough 2 A


Violas and ajuga

Glynis's trough 3 A



Glynis's trough 4 A


Another trough of colourful sempervivums

Glynis's trough 5 A


Thanks for sharing!

Social distancing app


Two of our gardeners have their own personal distancing app.  It ensures that no-one with the virus enters through any part of the hedge surrounding their garden.  It unerringly detects every single possible contact and deters them or sounds an alarm for our two gardeners.


Hugh and Judy's Penny A


She’s called Penny.

Sometimes old ways beat new tech!