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Monday, 16 January 2017

Jasminum Nudiflorum Winter Jasmine Yellow Winter Flowering Climbing Shrub

Jasminum Nudiflorum Winter Jasmine is a popular shrub with its origins in China where it was found by the great plant collector Robert Fortune in 1845. No amount of frost it seems dulls this plants spirit as its yellow flowers, which emerge from bare green stems, are a bright and cheerful sight in the dark days of Winter when they appear. Its leaves are narrow and an unremarkable oval shape and appear in the Spring.
Jasminum Nudiflorum can be found grown against the walls of grand houses, cottages and suburban houses alike here in the UK. Surprisingly it is not a climber as such, however Winter Jasmine does seem to do best against some kind of support where it can scramble over a wall or trellis
Winter Jasmine can tolerate almost all soil conditions and seems happy growing in sun or shade. It is a tough shrub but as with all shrubs soaking the root ball and adding compost together with a handful of fish blood and bone meal when planting will give it the best start.
Train those first few stems of a new plant by tying them to horizontal wires on a wall or tie the shoots to wooden trellis or a vertical frame. This will help the shrub climb and maintain its shape.
Winter Jasmines growing habit does make it look a little straggly after a few years of growth and although they don't require a great deal of maintenance pruning is desirable to keep it in some semblance of shape. Pruning should ideally be done after flowering has finished in late February-March. For a light prune to keep the shrub in shape trim back the bright green flowering stems to where they emerge. It may be necessary to cut the shrub back harder as it expands from its support. Only the outer new stems flower so a more substantial cut back is required after a few years especially if bare patches have started to appear.
General discussion and your views are welcome please say hello. I regret however because of my busy schedule, I am unable to answer many questions. Sneaky advertising will be deleted sorry. Thanks so much for visiting my blog today.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Stachys byzantina Lambs Ear Herbaceous Perennnial

Stachys Byzantina more commonly known as Lambs Ear, Rabbits Ear, or sometimes woolly nettle is a popular perennial found in many grand herbaceous borders around Britain where it is cultivated. It originates from countries at the Eastern edges of the European Caucasus such as  Armenia through to Turkey and on to Middle Eastern Countries like Iran There are quite a number of different cultivars and varieties of Stachys.
Its Silver grey green leaves remain throughout the year and are a soft furry velvet like to the touch, hence its common lambs ear name. Whilst the leaves do last fairly well through the winter they are not truly evergreen and will certainly not withstand heavy frosting or snow. New leaves always emerge in the Spring to replace the old.
Lambs ear has a dense ground covering habit and can spread quite quickly during the growing season. It is and ideal weed suppressant or ground cover plant and is particularly effective softening the edge of a terrace.  It is best planted in the Spring in well drained loamy soil but will tolerate poorer positions. It prefers to be in full sun but will grow fairly happily in partial shade.
Lambs ear is mostly grown and planted for its silvery green leaves which are valued because of the great contrast they make to other plants in a border. However Stachys Byzantina does produce small pinkish flowers on tall felt covered  stocky stems (60cm/ 24inch/2 feet tall) from early summer. They are a great favourite of Bees. Note: some choices of Stachys Byzantina flower more rarely than others
After a few seasons the original plant will probably need to divided as dead patches can appear and is best done in Spring. Lambs Ear also self seeds from the flower heads so it is not unusual to find a few volunteers springing up in your border. Remove brown dead leaves periodically especially in Autumn to prevent rot and cut back flower stems to their base when finished.
General discussion and your views are welcome please say hello. I regret however because of my busy schedule, I am unable to answer many questions. Sneaky advertising will be deleted sorry. Thanks so much for visiting my blog today.