Acer griseum – Paperbark maple

Acers must rate as one of the most ornamental plants grown in the Lothians. This plant rates as my favourite tree for a small garden and must be,pound for pound, one of the most beautiful trees. However I know of one local nurseryman who does not rate this plant at all. The secret with this plant is patience as the tree in my parents’ front garden,that I planted over twenty years ago,would testify if it could speak. Hardly a week goes by without a complimentary comment being made by passersby. The famous plantsman Roy Lancaster confirms this as he states that ‘few ornamental trees arouse so much interest’.

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Abies koreana – A cracker of a tree for Christmas

I wonder how many people this Christmas will purchase a potted Christmas tree with the intention of being environmentally friendly and intend to plant it in their garden after the festive season. Let’s consider what options there will be in the garden centre?

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New Plant Name for an Old Favourite – Actaea

I first got to know this plant as Cimicifuga the old name originating for the cimex meaning bug, fuga meaning to drive away, these relate to it’s common name of Bugbane however the botanists gave it the new name of Actaea. The greek translation of aktea is of little help meaning elder tree but we should not let this confusion put you off the wonderful herbaceous perennial described in one catalogue as a truly striking plant.

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Nepeta – A catmint that’s not just for the cats

Nepeta is a genus of approximately 250 species of perennial and annual herbaceous plants. The 2 cultivars I have selected are herbaceous perennials that provide me with the longest flowering period of any of my herbaceous perennials in my own garden.

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Geranium – ‘a Splendid Subject’

The milder temperatures and the increased length in days at this time of year help to transfer my thoughts onto the summer ahead and the promise of the herbaceous perennials in my garden coming to the forefront. One genus that I rely on more than any other for producing consistent displays throughout the summer is the Genus Geranium.

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Viburnum Bodnantense

This is one plant I would not like to be without, especially during the dark winter months. It’s a medium to large sized shrub that produces flowers all the way through the winter months, sometimes starting in October and lasting all the way through to April. In one garden I recorded a flower on the plant for 10 successive months.

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