Acer davidii 'Karmen' (Père David’s maple)
Acer palmatum (Japanese maple)
Acer palmatum 'Osakazuki' (Japanese maple)
Acer palmatum 'Sango-kaku' (Coral-bark maple; a.k.a. ‘Senkaki’)
Agastache 'Black Adder' (Giant hyssop)
Arundo donax var. versicolor (Variegated Spanish cane)
Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum' (Plume thistle)
Chrysanthemum coronarium var. spatiosum (Chop-suey greens)
Chrysanthemum ‘Ichi Monji’ (Emperor’s chrysanthemum)
Hippeastrum 'Emerald' (Amaryllis)
Hippeastrum 'La Paz' (Amaryllis)
Hippeastrum 'Merengue' (Amaryllis)
Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea 'Transparent'
Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea 'Windspiel'
Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Red Head' (Foxtail grass)
Pennisetum villosum (Feathertop grass)
Rhododendron 'Irene Koster' (‘Occidentale’ hybrid azalea)
Rhododendron luteum (Sweet pontica azalea)
Scabiosa caucasica var. alba (White scabious)
Planting acers and azaleas
Consider the soil : we are taking advantage of acidic conditions.
Aspect: the small, cut-leaf, acers need some protection from the sun hence best to plant them in the shade or under the canopy of taller trees and shrubs.
Scented azaleas should be placed where the fragrance can be appreciated in late spring (around a seating area, for instance).
Azaleas need some sun and but will reach greater heights in moist, woodland, conditions.
Prepare soil with lime-free organic matter (home-made compost) or composted bark and top off with a deep mulch of acidic organic matter like pine bark chips. DO NOT use mushroom compost or municipal waste because it contains lime.
Water with collected rainwater if you are in a hard water area.
See above for varieties featured but, in general, when choosing deciduous azalea varieties the most scented ones, in addition to the species Rhododendrom luteum, are contained within the ‘Ghent’, ‘Rustica’ and ‘Occidentale’ hybrid groups. Visit a specialist nursery or consult a good reference book (‘Hilliers Manual of Trees and Shrubs’ is the ‘bible’) to find this vital information.
Planting Hippeastrum (amaryllis)
Plant Hippeastrum in October for flowers at Christmas – they take about ten weeks from planting to flowering.
Plant the bulb half in and half out of the soil.
Mix a well draining compost; Alys used approx. 50/50 multipurpose compost and horticultural grit with half a handful of slow release fertiliser incorporated.
Plant in a pot 2" wider than the diameter of the bulb and put some crocks in the bottom for good drainage.
Keep warm, in a heated room for instance, around 70-75°F.
Feed with liquid fertiliser except when in flower.
Rotate the pot frequently to ensure that the flower spike grows up straight.
After flowering the plant should be fed every ten days until it dies down naturally.
Keep dry while dormant and repot with fresh compost to bring it back into growth for future displays.
Plant a succession, maybe a fortnight apart to have blooms for the longest possible time. Also it’s worth planting some single specimens in plastic pots and then putting a group together, in a large pot, when they are about to come into bloom. If they are planted all together from the start it is very difficult to get them all to flower at the same time. Amaryllis are well suited to big, bold, floral displays!
Collect when dry and ripe (usually you can tell this by the plant shedding seed spontaneously – or green seed turning brown / black).
Store in a labelled paper bag to allow excess moisture to escape.
Hang somewhere dry and warm to finish the drying process (fully dry seed has the best chance of remaining healthy until the spring ie. ‘maintain its viability’).
Sow as the temperatures rise in the spring (or sow half in the autumn, and leave outside, and half in the spring if you don’t know whether the plant requires winter cold in order to germinate).
Seed from ‘F1’ plants and other selected varieties will not ‘come true’ ie. the seedlings you raise may not flower or grow the same as the plants you collected the seed from! For these you have to buy commercially produced seed to ensure you get the desired outcome.
Chop Suey Greens
Chrysanthemum coronarium spatiosum
Annual growing to 1.2m
Last chance to sow this before it gets too cold.
Sow thinly on the surface of a pot of compost – it needs a pot, rather than a seedtray, because they will be in situ for many weeks.
Water in well.
Cover with a plastic bell cloche, or similar, if weather turns cold.
Cut the leaves regularly to add to stir fries etc.
In the spring stop cutting and allow the plants to grow up and flower.
Collect the resulting seed to begin the whole cycle again.
The Japanese Garden
Information Line: 01625 374435
Chrysanthemum display “from the second week of November for about a month”
RHS Wisley Gardens
Tel: 0845 260 9000
- Toby Buckland
- Carol Klein
- Alys Fowler
- Louise Hampden
- Rosemary Edwards