Wandering through the garden to check for any damage caused by a very windy, wet August night I saw that one of the Californian lilacs was already in full bloom. Ceanothus arboreus ‘Trewithen Blue’ makes an evergreen small tree growing, with us, up to 5 metres tall. Its 12cm long, fragrant, powder blue flower panicles are displayed from August until early October.
Three or four years ago my good friend Simon Rickard gave me a large tree peony. It flowered beautifully in my garden this year in a hot north facing spot near the public dunny. I couldn’t remember the tale behind this plant and asked Simon for any information he had on it. The following is his reply.
We’re sowing our main crop onion seeds this week. The strain we’ll be sowing is Tilbury F1. We grew Tilbury for the first time last year and had a terrific result. Harvested mid January the onions are still in excellent condition now in mid August as you can see from the photograph.
A couple of years ago the gardening world in the UK, Europe and America was bewitched by these new plants, the result of some brilliant hybridising by the venerable old English company Thompson and Morgan.
Dowdeswell’s Delphiniums is a family owned Delphinium nursery in Whanganui New Zealand that is recognised worldwide for their superb breeding work. Plants raised from their hand pollinated seed are much better than cheaper strains such as Pacific Giants or Magic Fountains.
For four or five years a couple of decades ago I grew the heirloom watermelon ‘Moon and Stars’. In all those years not one ‘Moon and Stars’ melon ripened properly. This was because this melon takes up to 125 days to ripen which is problematic in our area where there are spring frosts as late as the third week in November and autumn frost as early as the end of April.
I’ve grown Salvia guaranitica for the best part of 50 years although to start with I had it as Salvia ambigens as the late Dennis Norgate sold it. Norgate’s plant ran at the feet too much for most garden situations and to my mind the size and number of flowers were too small for such a bulky plant growing as it did some 160cm tall by 100cm across.