HOW TO GROW HOPS - Humulus lupulus

How to grow hops - Humulus lupulus

If you have a passion for beer (and let's be honest, who doesn't?) then you may have thought about growing your own hops. Native to Europe, western Asia and North America, the hop plant is a perennial, herbaceous climbing plant often found growing wild in hedges and thickets. It is the flowers of the hop plant (known as cones) of which are used as a flavoring and stability agent in beer.

How to grow hops - Humulus lupulus
The hop plant has a vigorous, habit, and when grown commercially is usually trained to grow up strings. This method of cultivation frees up energy for crop growth and flower production which would have otherwise been use to build plant cells for structural support. Hop plants are dioecious meaning that male and female flowers are produced on different plants. This is important to know as only female plants are used in the production of beer.

The traditional time to plant hop plants is during the winter months. Hops will perform best in a southern exposure, but an east or west exposure will do although this will affect the overall size of the plant. They prefer a light-textured, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 - 8.0. Avoid heavy soils and those prone to waterlogging, but if this is not possible the consider planting your hop plants into a raised mound to improve the drainage.

Due to the vigorous nature of the hop plant, dig in plenty of well-rotted farm manures or garden compost prior to plants. You can also consider adding balanced slow-release granular fertiliser. In fact the species name 'lupulus' is a derivative of the scientific name for the wolf - Canis lupus, as the hop plant is said to 'wolf down' its nutrients. Provide a mulch in the spring to maintain moist conditions. Avoid over-fertilizing with too much nitrogen as this will result in lower quality cones.

How to grow hops - Humulus lupulus
New plants will need to be watered in their first year during prolonged periods of drought. By the second year the roots will be established and additional watering should be unnecessary. Overwatering can cause the roots to succumb to fungal rots.

If you are growing a mixture of hop varieties then plant them 1.5 metres apart. If you are growing just one variety then they can be planted 1 metre apart.

The hops will not be ready for harvesting in late August or September. A good test of readiness is to squeeze the cone with your fingers, If the cones are damp, very green, and stay compressed after you have squeezed them then they are not ready. If they are beginning to dry out and expand back to their original shape after being squeezed then they are ready for harvest.

Harvesting hops

Once the hops are ready for harvest, cut the supporting string at the top and lay the vines lay down on the ground. Pick the cones as required, but wear suitable gloves and clothing as the leaves are coarsely toothed. Allow the vine to dry and die back naturally before removing the stems.
Click onto the above image for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop
Main Image - Hagen Graebner CC BY-SA 2.5
In-text image - By Marti at the German language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1565058
In-text image - Ilkka Paju file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

HOW TO GROW THE HOLM OAK - Quercus ilex

How to grow the Holm Oak - Quercus ilex



The Holm oak (also commonly known as the 'Evergreen Oak') - Quercus ilex, is a large evergreen tree noted for its attractive, corrugated bark, and for its dark, glossy foliage which resemble the leaves of the common European holly. The Common name 'Holm' is the Old English word for holly and the species name 'ilex' is also the genus name for holly plants - though with a capital 'I'. To add yet another layer of history, 'ilex' was in fact the original, classical Latin name for the holm oak, until it was later adopted as botanical genus name for the hollies.

How to grow the Holm Oak - Quercus ilex
The wood of the Holm oak has proven to be both hard and tough, and has been used since ancient times for the construction purposes of pillars, tools, wagons, vessels, and wine casks. While the earliest records of Holm oaks being cultivated in England date from before the 16th Century, its mediterranean origins mean that its not inconceivable that it was brought into this country during the Roman conquest 43 - 410 AD.

Under favourable condition a Holm oak can be expected to achieve an approximate height of between 21–28 metres. Once mature it will form a rounded head of branches, the ends of which become increasingly pendulous with age.

The narrowly oval or ovate-lanceolate leathery leaves are approximately 4–8 cm long and 1.2–2.5 cm wide. When young, both surfaces of the leaves are clothed with whitish down, which falls away from the upper surface leaving it a dark glossy green.
If shaded, young leaves are often completely green and glabrous. They can be variable in both shape and size depending upon the age of the individual specimen, with entire (even and smooth) or toothed margins. Mature leaves are typically dark green above, with a greyish, downy or glabrous underside.

The blooms appear in the form of wind pollinated catkins. The female blooms are inconspicuous red spheres, while the yellow, male catkins hang off the tree in abundance in early spring. Once pollinated, female flowers develop into acorns, which are smaller and have a more pointed tip than those of English or sessile oaks. Young acorns are green and mature to a dark red-brown before falling.


The Holm oak will thrive in all classes of well-drained soil, and is an excellent choice for planting in coastal regions. However it is not advisable to plant in cooler, inland areas. It will perform best in a sunny position however it will tolerate partial shade. It responds well to clipping and can indeed be clipped to form a tall hedge. Leaf fall can occur in summer, but this is perfectly normal.

When grown as a hedge plant 70 cm apart and remove the growing points to encourage bushy growth.
Click onto the above image for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop
For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW THE HOLM OAK - Quercus ilex


HOW TO GROW SAXIFRAGA FORTUNEI

How to grow Saxifraga fortunei


Commonly and unimaginatively known as the 'Fortune Saxifrage', Saxifraga fortunei is a herbaceous perennial native to Japan, Korea and China. It was was first described in 1863 by English botanist William Jackson Hooker (1785 – 1865) from a Chinese collection and named in honour of renowned plant hunter Robert Fortune (1812 – 1880) who discovered it for western science.

How to grow Saxifraga fortunei
Incidentally, Robert Fortune is the man responsible for introducing tea plants from China to India, and William Hooker was Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

The expected size of Saxifraga fortunei can be quite variable ranging from 7 cm to 40 cm in both height and width. The fleshy basal leaves are rounded, lobed at the margin, deep green on the surface and usually reddish beneath. Once mature, each leaf will grow to approximately 10 cm across.

The white, generally star-shaped blooms are approximately 2.5 cm wide and variable in shape. Each flower possesses short upper petals and 1 or 2 long, lower petals which are roughly twice as long as the upper ones. The flowers appear from late summer onwards in large open panicles.

Saxifraga fortunei is best planted in April and will perform best in a moist but well-drained soil. Provide a cool position in partial or full shade.
Click onto the above image for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop
Main image credit - KENPEI Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.1 Japan License
In text image - Ghislain 118 CC BY-SA 3.0

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW SAXIFRAGA FORTUNEI

HOW TO GROW CEANOTHUS THYRSIFLORUS 'PERSHORE ZANZIBAR'

How to grow Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Pershore Zanzibar'

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Pershore Zanzibar' is an ornamental evergreen shrub noted for its attractive variegated foliage. Native to Oregon and California, the original species was first described in 1837 and is arguably one of the hardiest forms in cultivation. The 'Pershore' part of the cultivar name reflects the selection of this form at Pershore Horticultural College, Warwickshire, England.

How to grow Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Pershore Zanzibar'
Under favourable conditions you can expect Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Pershore Zanzibar' to reach an approximate height and spread of between 1.5-2.5 metres. It has an loose, arching and somewhat untidy habit and is often cultivated as a wall shrub to show the foliage to its best effect. The leaves are a light greenish-yellow, blotched with dark green in the centre which fades as the season progresses. The blooms are bright blue and appear from April to June, however they are smaller that those of the original species.

It is best planted in a sunny, sheltered position away from cold, drying winds. It will be happy planted in most well-drained garden soils although it can become chlorotic on chalk soils. Avoid soils prone to waterlogging.

Be aware that Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Pershore Zanzibar' has plant breeders rights and so cannot be propagated from with the correct permissions.
Click onto the above image for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop
For related articles click onto the the following links:
HOW TO GROW THE CALIFORNIAN LILAC - CEANOTHUS SPECIES
HOW TO GROW CEANOTHUS THYRSIFLORUS 'PERSHORE ZANZIBAR'
HOW TO GROW GRISELINIA LITTORALIS 'Variegata'
HOW TO GROW GRISELINIA LUCIDA

CLIMBING PLANTS FOR SHADED WALLS AND FENCES

Climbing plants for shaded walls and fences

It is always difficult to get good flower and foliage effect in shaded conditions but this is perfectly normal. It is because plants use light and heat from the sun to drive growth. So in the cooler, lower light levels of shaded areas plants noted for their foliage colour turn greener as they increase the chlorophyll (the green pigment responsible for the absorption of light to provide energy for photosynthesis) levels in the leaves, adapting to the less-than-optimum conditions. Furthermore seed production is energy expensive and so plants noted for their blooms struggle to produce enough energy to produce the flowers, and the subsequent fruits and seeds, in the lower light levels.

Climbing plants for shaded walls and fences
For shaded walls and fences climbing plants seem to be the obvious choice. However it is the habit of many climbers to drive growth upwards, making their way up through the canopy towards the light. This phase of their life cycle is juvenile and as such will not produce flowers. Once they have grown through the canopy their habit changes in several notable ways. The growth changes from juvenile to mature and is identified by the plant developing a denser, more shrubby habit. The genus Hedera (Ivies) as a good example of this. Once the plant has moved into its mature stage it will then begin to flower. Ths means that climbers grown on a shaded wall or fence will usually grow up, then over, flowering on your neighbours sunny side of the wall or fence!

That being said, if you do your research you will find a limited number of species and cultivars that will provide an ornamental display on you shaded wall or fence. The following examples are my preferred choices.

Garrya elliptica


Garrya elliptica
Commonly known as the silk tassel bush, Garrya elliptica, and in particular the 'James Roof' cultivar is an excellent choice for a shady wall. Not only is it tolerant of the low light levels, it is an attractive evergreen shrub noted for its stunning, spring catkins - male form only.

It is perfect for growing as a wall shrub as the Garrya elliptica will need a sheltered site as it easily suffers leaf scorch in windy or exposed sites. A north or east-facing wall is ideal but avoid frost pockets or very cold parts of the UK. Garrya will perform best in a well-drained soil. It can achieve a height and spread of between 3-4 metres

Hedera helix 'Oro di Bogliasco'


Hedera 'Oro di Bogliasco'
Hedera 'Oro di Bogliasco' is a vigorous, evergreen climber which under favourable conditions can reach an approximate height of 8 metres. It is noted for its rich-green 3-lobed leaves with an eye-catching large central splash of golden-yellow.

It will tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, but will perform best in alkaline, moist but well-drained soils sheltered from cold winds.

Like all ivies, Hedera 'Oro di Bogliasco' will cling to its supports by way of aerial roots.


Humulus lupulus 'Aureus'

Humulus lupulus 'Aureus'
Commonly known as the 'Golden Hop', Humulus lupulus 'Aureus' is a vigorous, deciduous, twining climber noted for being the only yellow-foliage climber that is able to retain most of its ornamental colour under shaded conditions.

It bear yellow, deeply lobed leaves which can be up to 15 cm in length. Drooping cone-like, greenish-yellow, aromatic female flower clusters appear in the summer followed by attractive hops.

You can expect Humulus lupulus 'Aureus' to reach an overall height of 4-8 metres with a width of 1.5-2.5 metres. It will perform best in a sheltered position planted in a moist, well-drained soil.

Hydrangea petiolaris

Hydrangea petiolaris
Commonly known as the climbing hydrangea, Hydrangea petiolaris is a large self-clinging, deciduous climber with broadly oval leaves. It is noted for its showy-white flower-heads up to 20cm in width, which appear in June.

Under favourable conditions you can expect Hydrangea petiolaris to reach a height of up to 12 metres and a width of 4-8 metres.

Plant in a sheltered position, in a moist but well-drained soil that has been previously enriched with plenty of well-rotted organic matter.

Parthenocissus henryana

Parthenocissus henryana
Commonly known as the Chinese virginia creeper, Parthenocissus henryana is a vigorous large deciduous climber native to China. The glossy, leaves are a gorgeous dark, velvety green or tinged bronze, with 3-5 silvery-veined leaflets. Small dark blue berries appear in the autumn as the same time as its stunning red, autumn foliage.

For the best autumn colour, site in partial shade or full shade. It will thrives in any fertile, well-drained soil.

Under favourable conditions you can expect Parthenocissus henryana to reach a height of 8-12 metres and a width of 2.5-4 metres.

Also for consideration

Celastrus orbiculatus
Clematis - large flowered hybrids
Jasminum species and cultivars
Lonicera japonica 'Halliana'
Pyracantha species and cultivars
Tropaeolum speciosum
Wisteria sinensis
Click onto the above image for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop
In text image - aplnj.com/landscaping/sun-shade-gardens

For related articles click onto the following links:
CLIMBING PLANTS FOR SHADED WALLS AND FENCES
WHEN AND HOW DO YOU PRUNE BACK GARRYA ELLIPTICA

HOW TO GROW SNOWDROPS FROM SEED

How to grow snowdrops from seed

In England it used to be that snowdrops - Galanthus nivalis, were the first plants to bloom in the spring, but with an influx of new plant introductions over the past centuries this is no longer the case. That being said, they are still considered to be the first sign that winter's cold grip is coming to an end. Native to Europe and the Middle East, the snowdrop is generally believed to be a British native wild flower, or to have been brought to the British Isles by the Romans, however it is believed to have been introduced around the early 16th century.

How to grow snowdrops from seed
The seeds of most species and single-flowered species can be collected, however the seed pods will need to be left on the plant and only picked when they turn yellow. They can not be picked earlier and ripened indoors as this will drastically affect their viability. Interestingly, snowdrop seeds have a tail-like appendage called an elaiosome. The elaiosome is rich in fatty acids and attractive to ants. In the wild ants would carry off the elaiosomes, including the seeds, which allows the plants to become distributed further afield.

Once collected the seeds should be sown immediately however prior to sowing prepare the seeds by removing any parts of the seed pod adhering to it. Sow the seeds thinly in 9 cm pots containing a good quality compost such as John Innes 'Seed and Cutting'. Press into the compost but do not bury. Top off with 1 cm of grit-sand. Gently water in so as not to disturb the seeds and then place outside in a cold frame. Keep the compost moist but not waterlogged and do not allow the compost to dry out.

How to grow snowdrops from seed
You can expect germination to occur at the end of the following winter. Be aware that most conditions must be maintained throughout the year as drought can easily kill off the seedlings. The seedlings will be able to remain in the pots for a couple of years, and fed with a 50% dilute liquid soluble fertiliser. They can then be potted on into larger pots with John Innes 'No.3' or planted outside into their final position.

Snowdrops will perform best in heavy loams with plenty of moisture and some shade.

The first flowers will begin to appear in the 4th year but depending on conditions the first blooms may not emerge until the sixth year.
Click onto the above image for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop
Main image - Bank hall bretherton at en.wikipedia CC BY 3.0
In text image - http://pacific bulb society.org/
In text image - http://www.laslett.info/

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW THE LODDON LILY  - Leucojum aestivum
HOW TO GROW SNOWDROPS FROM SEED
HOW TO GROW THE SPRING SNOWFLAKE - Leucojum vernum

HOW TO GROW EUCRYPHIA X INTERMEDIA 'Rostrevor'


Eucryphia × intermedia 'Rostrevor', although for obvious convenience is more commonly known as Eucryphia 'Rostrevor', is an attractive, fast-growing hybrid of Eucryphia glutinosa (southern Chile and Argentina) and Eucryphia lucida (western Tasmania). The selected form 'Rostrevor' is the one most likely to be seen in general cultivation. The original hybrid was first discovered in Rostrevor, Northern Ireland, in the garden of the late Sir John of Bladensburg. The 'Rostrevor' selection was also raised in Rostrevor.

How to grow Eucryphia x intermedia ''Rostrevor'
Historical note:It was shown in flower by Lord Aberconway on the 1st September 1936, at Vincent Square, a large grass-covered square in Westminster, London, England, covering 13 acres. Suitably impressed, the Royal Horticultural Society awarded it the prestigious Award of Merit.

It is an extremely free-flowering, small tree with a compact and broadly columnar habit. Under favourable conditions you can expect Eucryphia × intermedia 'Rostrevor' to reach an approximate height of 8-12 metres with a width of between 4-8 metres. It has both both simple and trifoliate leaves, which are glaucous (dull greyish-green or blue colour) beneath.

The fragrant white blooms smother the slender branches in in August and September. Each flower composes of 5 petals and is 2.5-5 cm across.

Eucryphia × intermedia 'Rostrevor' has received two further awards from the Royal Horticultural Society, namely the First Class Certificate in 1973 and the Award of Garden Merit in 1984.

Provide a sheltered aspect in full sun although Eucryphia × intermedia 'Rostrevor' will be tolerant of partial-shade. Plant in a moist well-drained, acidic soil. Like clematis, be aware that Eucryphia × intermedia 'Rostrevor' prefers to have its roots shaded when grown in full sun.
Click onto the above image for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop
For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW EUCRYPHIA X INTERMEDIA 'Rostrevor'
HOW TO GROW EUCRYPHIA X NYMANSENSIS 'Nymansay'

HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM COLENSOI 'TRICOLOUR'

How to grow Phormium colensoi 'Tricolour'





Phormium colensoi 'Tricolour' (formally known as Phormium cookianum 'Tricolour') is a popular, evergreen perennial noted for its ornamental foliage. The 'Tricolour' sport (part of a plant that shows morphological differences from the rest of the plant) was discovered in 1888 by William Summers, a gardener on the Brancepeth Estate, one of the largest sheep stations in the history of New Zealand.

How to grow Phormium colensoi 'Tricolour'
The discovery of Phormium colensoi 'Tricolour' was recorded. William Summers found the sport on the steep cliffs of the Wainuioru River, in the Wairarapa area of New Zealand's North Island. However due to its remote and almost inaccessible location William Summers was reluctant to be lowered down the cliff face to collect a division of the sport, however a sailor who was also working at Brancepeth at the time agreed to collect the specimen in his stead. So without the courage of the sailor, whose name was unfortunately not recorded, the 'Tricolour' sport, the subsequent sport 'Cream Delight', nor any of the other hybrids from which these two cultivars have parented would not exist today.

It is a large, clump-forming specimen with sword-like leaves. Each leaf can grow to approximately 1-1.5 metres and is striped yellow and green with a thin red edge. Once established you can expect it to attain a spread of between 1.5-2.5 metres. The blooms are produced on panicles (flower stems) up to 1 metre over the summer, although when grown in northern European gardens the flowers are rarely produced.

The natural habitat of the original species is separated into two distinct geological form. The first is restricted to the lowland regions of the North Island and is easily identified by producing yellow flowers. The second inhabits the mountainous regions of both islands and displays red flowers.

As a garden plant Phormium colensoi 'Tricolour' has proven to be surprisingly adaptable. So long as it is positioned in full sun it will cope well in a wide range of 'ordinary' soil from acid to alkaline, and sand, chalk or clay. It also displays excellent tolerance for maritime conditions and high air pollution.

When growing in northern European gardens it should not be considered fully hardy although it has proven to be hardy enough to survive outside in the south and southwest of England and Ireland. Winter protection will need to be considered when planted further north, just be aware that Phormium colensoi 'Tricolour' can be killed off during unseasonably cold british winters.
Click onto the above image for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop
Main image credit - http://northcoastgardening.com/

For related article click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM COLENSOI 'TRICOLOUR'
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM COOKIANUM (Phormium Colensoi)
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUMS FROM SEED
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM TENAX

HOW TO GROW PHORMIUMS FROM SEED

How to grow Phormiums from seed

Phormiums are a fantastic ornamental foliage plants and cope surprisingly well in almost all soil types and conditions so long as they get plenty of sun. They are also tolerant of maritime exposure and industrial areas. Despite the large number of differing cultivars around there only in fact two species within the genus Phormium - Phormium colensoi (formally cookianum) and Phormium tenax.

How to grow Phormiums from seed
Both species are native to the north and south islands of New Zealand' Phormium tenax is strictly a coastal cover plant while Phormium colensoi has separated into two distinct geological forms identifiable by the obvious location and flower colour. The first form is restricted to the lowland regions of the North Island and displays yellow blooms, The second inhabits the mountainous regions of both islands and displays red blooms. When growing in northern European gardens both are arguably as hardy as each other and will be fine kept outside in the south and southwest of England and Ireland. Winter protection will need to be considered further north as both species can be killed off during unseasonably cold british winters.

Both species will grow true from seed, but be aware that Phormium tenax flowers more freely than Phormium colensoi (meaing fewer if any seeds), and when cultivated forms are used the resulting seedlings are unlikely to grow true to the parent plants. After flowering, the seed pods will naturally dry dry and open to release the seed. The easiest way to collect the seeds is to place a bag over the seed pods just before they open (this is best indicated by the pods turning black) and come back a couple of weeks later to collect the seed. If your timing is out then just place a bag over opened seed pods and shake to dislodge the remaining seeds.

How to grow Phormiums from seed
You can sow Phormium seeds in Autumn (Sept to Oct) or if you miss this period you can have another shot during the Spring (Feb to April).

Using deep 9cm pots, fill with a good quality compost such as John Innes 'Seed and Cutting'. Consider adding horticultural sand to improve the drainage further.

At a rate of one seed per pot, press the seed into the surface (do not bury) and then cover with a thin layer of horticultural grit or vermiculite. Gently water in and then place the pots inside a heated propagator at a temperature of between 18-22 degrees Celsius. Keep the compost moist at all time but avoid waterlogging. Be aware that germination can be erratic, taking from between 30 to 180 days.

As each seedling emerges remove from the propagator and grow on in a bright, frost free position but one which is out of direct sunlight. Once the root systems have established in their pots they can be potted on and hardened off over 10-14 days to direct sunlight. Overwinter in a greenhouse or cold frame during their first winter.

Plant them out into their final positions in the following spring once all risk of late frosts have passed.

Click onto the above image for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop
Main image credit - Pixabay under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication
Phormium seeds - Roger Culos CC BY-SA 3.0

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUMS FROM SEED
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM COLENSOI 'TRICOLOUR'
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM COLENSOI 'CREAM DELIGHT'
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM COOKIANUM (Phormium Colensoi)
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM TENAX

HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM COOKIANUM (Phormium Colensoi)

How to grow Phormium cookianum (Phormium Colensoi)

Commonly known as the New Zealand Mountain Flax, Phormium cookianum (correctly known as colensoi) is an evergreen plant found throughout New Zealand. Despite its common name its habitat is generally restricted to coastal slopes up to above the treeline, and among scrub or grasslands, although there are outcrops in mountainous areas of the South Island. It was first discovered but not described by William Colenso (1811 – 1899), a Cornish Botanist and Christian missionary to New Zealand. The species name 'cookianum' was changed to honour his discovery. It was introduced to English gardeners in 1848.

How to grow Phormium cookianum (Phormium Colensoi)
Under favourable conditions you can expect Phormium cookianum to grow to approximately 2 metres in height, the length of the sword-shaped leathery leaves. It differs from the more familiar Phormium tenax as the leaves are thinner, more green, lax and flexible. The blooms are produced on panicles (flower stems) up to 1 metre over the summer. These greenish, yellow or orange flowers are then followed by twisted seed pods un to 20 cm in length.

Grow Phormium cookianum in a fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun. It will however tolerate some shade.

In areas prone to frost some cold protection will be required. Provide a covering of horticultural fleece or at least a deep, dry mulch to help protect the shallow roots. Keep well watered during the summer months, especially in its first year of planting.

Phormium cookianum received the First Class Certificate from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1868, and the Award of Garden Merit in 1984. The following selected forms have also received the Award of Garden Merit:

'Cream Delight'
'Tricolor'
Click onto the above image for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop
Main image credit - Avenue CC BY-SA 3.0

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM COLENSOI 'CREAM DELIGHT'
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM COLENSOI 'TRICOLOUR'
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM COOKIANUM (Phormium Colensoi)
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUMS FROM SEED
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM TENAX

HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM COLENSOI 'CREAM DELIGHT'

How to grow Phormium colensoi 'Cream Delight'

Phormium colensoi 'Cream Delight' (formally Phormium cookianum 'Cream Delight') is an attractive ornamental foliage plant, the original species of which is found on coastal slopes found throughout New Zealand.

How to grow Phormium colensoi 'Cream Delight'
Phormium colensoi 'Cream Delight' is a selected sport produced by a specimen of Phormium colensoi 'Tricolour' and introduced by Margaret Jones in 1978. Incidentally, Phormium colensoi 'Tricolour' is itself a variegated sport of the type species.

Under favourable conditions you can expect it to reach a height and spread of between approximately 50-150 cm. The evergreen sword-shaped leaves have a broad. cream-yellow coloured central belt with narrower bands of cream towards the margin. Tubular greenish-yellow flowers are formed on with tall panicles in late summer although these are seldom produced in the cooler climates of northern European.

This is a shallow rooted, clump forming species which will grows best in a fertile well-drained, moist soil. Position in full sun, but be aware that winter protection may be required in regions prone to extender freezing conditions.

Remove spent flower stalks and damaged leaves in August or September.

Phormium colensoi 'Cream Delight' received the Award of Garden Merit in 1984 from the Royal Horticultural Society.
Click onto the above image for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop
For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM COLENSOI 'CREAM DELIGHT'
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM COLENSOI 'TRICOLOUR'
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM COOKIANUM (Phormium Colensoi)
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUMS FROM SEED
HOW TO GROW PHORMIUM TENAX

HOW TO GROW EUCALYPTUS FROM SEED

How to grow Eucalyptus from seed

Article based on text from Reader's Digest Encyclopaedia of Plants and Flowers

Eucalyptus seed pods - malleenativeplants.com.au
All Eucalyptus species can be grown from seed, however in the United Kingdom it is only worth considering propagating hardy strains that have already established in this country. Furthermore, and if it is possible, select seeds from parent plants growing in localities subject to similar or more severe frosts than are liable to occur at the proposed planting site.

Be aware that the small woody seed capsules will not mature until a year after flowering. With that in mind, collect one year old and older seed capsules at the normal flowering time and leave in a dry room to open. It will not be necessary to separate the seeds from the capsule.

Using deep 7-9 cm pots, sow the seeds in February onto a finely sieved compost such as John Innes 'Seed and Potting'. Press the seeds into the compost (do not bury) and cover with a thin layer of lime-free horticultural grit. Gently water in so as not to disturb the seeds then cover the pots under a sheet of glass or clear perspex. Cover with a single layer of newspaper to act as shading. Maintain a soil temperature of between 13-16 degrees Celsius if soil warming is available with a minimum air temperature of 4 degrees Celsius.

Eucalyptus seedlings - www.palmtalk.org
The majority of Eucalyptus seeds will germinate within a couple of weeks, however Eucalyptus coccifera, niphophila and pauciflora will need to be subjected to cold stratification for between 6-8 weeds prior to immediate sowing.

Once the seedlings begin to emerge remove the coverings, soil heaters and move to a position of full light. Keep the compost moist at all times.

Once the seedlings have established their root systems they can be moved outside to a cold frame. Keep the lights open unless heavy or prolonged rain is forecasted. When the seedlings stems are strong enough a split cane should be place in the pot for support. Place the base of the cane 2-3 cm away from the stem to prevent damage to the root system. Sweet pea rings can be used for tying in to prevent damage to the stem.

Once the seedlings have reached approximately 30 cm tall they will be ready for planting out into their final position outside or repotting onto a large container using John Innes 'No 3 compost.
Click onto the above image for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop
Main image - Toby Hudson licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW EUCALYPTUS FROM SEED

WHICH PLANT IS 'LONDON PRIDE'?

Which plant is 'London Pride'?

Bomb damage in London
Brought to widespread attention by the patriotic song of the same name, 'London Pride' is the common name given to the perennial garden flowering plant Saxifraga × urbium. That being said, the Sweet William - Dianthus barbatus, was also previously identified as 'London Pride' prior to 1700.

The song 'London Pride' was written and composed in the spring of 1941 during the Blitz, by English playwright, director, actor and singer Noël Coward(1899 –1973). Saxifraga x urbium was known to quickly colonised bomb sites and the song was intended to raise Londoners' spirits during the heavy air raids carried out during the Second World War.

Saxifraga x urbium is a hybrid between Saxifraga umbrosa (a native to the Spanish Pyrenees) and Saxifraga spathularis (from western Ireland). The hybrid has been known since at least the 17th century.

Which plant is 'London Pride'?
'London Pride' is an evergreen perennial which under favourable condition can be expected to grow to 30 cm in height. It is an effective ground cover plant, forming wide mats of leaf rosettes. The long-stalked leaves are spoon-shaped with scalloped margins.

Small pink-flushed white flowers are borne in lax panicles from early summer.

Position 'London Pride' in semi-shade to full shade. As you would expect from a plant that thrived amongst the ruins of London's blitz, it is easy to grow in any type of soil or situation.

Saxifraga × urbium received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1993.
Click onto the above image for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop
Main image - Hugo.arg is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
In text image - Holger Casselmann licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
In text image - By Unknown - http://media.iwm.org.uk/iwm/mediaLib//295/media-295237/large.jpgThis is photograph HU 36157 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25092234

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW SAXIFRAGA FORTUNEI
WHICH PLANT IS 'LONDON PRIDE'?

HOW TO GROW EXOCHORDA GIRALDII var Wilsonii

How to grow Exochorda giraldii var. wilsonii - dawesarb.arboretumexplorer.org/

Exochorda giraldii var. wilsonii is an excellent free-flowering, deciduous shrub, and noted for having arguably the largest blooms of any species or cultivar within the genus Exochorda! The original species is a native to northwest China and was introduced to western science in 1907 by the Italian Franciscan monk and missionary Giuseppe Giraldi (1848-1901). Giraldi was a well known colleague of plant collector, botanist and fellow missionary Father Hugh Scallan (1851-1928), and together completed a number of plant hunting expeditions, from which many of their introductions are still under cultivation. It was described and named by horticulturist and taxonomist Alfred Rehder (1863 – 1949) in honour of Giraldi's discovery.

How to grow Exochorda giraldii var. wilsonii
Exochorda giraldii was first distributed by Hesse’s nurseries at Weener near Hanover, Germany, then subsequently introduced to England in 1909. Unusually, the following wilsonii variety (named in honour of notable English plant collector Ernest Henry 'Chinese' Wilson (1876 – 1930)) was introduced to English gardeners two years earlier. The same year the original species was introduced.

Under favourable conditions you can expect Exochorda giraldii var. wilsonii to achieve an approximate height and width of 2.5 metres. It has characteristic arching branches (although a little more erect than the true species), and covered with attractive dark-green, narrowly obovate leaves. The paper-white, five-petaled blooms are an impressive 5 cm across and appear in May.

For best flowering affect plant Exochorda giraldii var. wilsonii in full sun although it will tolerate light, dappled shade. It will be happy in most garden soils, preferably well-drained, moisture retentive soil, although it may turn chlorotic on very shallow, chalk soils.

Prune the stems of Exochorda giraldii var wilsonii back to a strong bud after flowering to help encourage growth and more flowers.

Exochorda giraldii var. wilsonii received the Award of Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1931.
Click onto the above image for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop
For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW DAPHNE BHOLUA 'Jacqueline Postill'
HOW TO GROW EXOCHORDA GIRALDII var Wilsonii
HOW TO GROW EXOCHORDA x MACRANTHA 'The Bride'