Posts Tagged ‘cuttings’

Phillyrea angustifolia

November 3, 2009

It’s time I put in a plug for one of my all-time favourite plants, Phillyrea angustifolia – there’s no common name, this is one of those instances where you just have to get your head round the Latin. Like box (Buxus), this evergreen shrub tolerates hard pruning, and was often used in combination with box in 17th-century knot gardens. But it makes a much more open, elegant plant.


Phillyrea angustifolia has firm, flame like leaves that are apparently disease proof

Angustifolia means ‘with narrow leaves’, and if you thought they looked like those of an olive (but green), you’d be on to something – the two plants are indeed related. But unlike the olive, the phillyrea is bone hardy. I have two, planted as a pair that herald the start of a path that leads down my garden.

I am particularly attached to them – I bought them at Rosemary Verey’s garden near Cirencester some twenty years ago. Maybe some of the magic of that place lives on in my garden. Mrs Verey speculated that the plant’s lack of a common name had much to do with its fall from favour – that and the difficulties of propagating it. Apparently, cuttings have to be of two-year-old wood and taken in November – that’s now, isn’t it?

Summer’s not over yet

August 23, 2009

I’ve taken a break from blogging – summer holidays (in Poland, land of my fathers, for the first time ever. There’s another thread there, surely).

But back now, though not entirely in the swing of things, as still in the holiday mood. Some friends I’m planning to visit shortly want some advice on taking cuttings, so that will relight the gardening flame. As from next week (after bank holiday) I’ll be back blogging on a more regular basis – so please keep checking in.

Wet weather – again

July 29, 2009

So – the Met Office is now saying that, contrary to previous predictions of a “barbecue summer”, the wet weather is set to continue into August.

While that brings pluses and minuses for gardeners, it is seriously bad news for anyone who opens their garden to the public and makes their living this way. Not many people will willingly traipse round gardens in the pouring rain. (This applies less to those public gardens that are attached to stately homes, of course – visitors can always run for the shelter of the café and gift shop, if not the house itself.)

But please don’t abandon garden visiting entirely – merely delay it. Maybe September and October will be better, but you should also consider getting out and about in November. Contrary to expectaction, November is often blessed with mild, settled weather, and good gardens offer plenty to enjoy at any season of the year.

Blackberries seem to do well in cool, damp conditions

Blackberries seem to do well in cool, damp conditions

In case you are wondering what I think the pluses of all this wet are – well, blackberries (and the hybrid Tayberries and Loganberries) should produce copious succulent fruit, and any new plants (especially trees and shrubs) you put in in spring should now be ripping away. There should be plenty of good material for taking cuttings later on.