Peltaria agliacea – (shieldwort, garlic cress)

No question, it has to be an edible this week as we all try with varying degrees of success to grow our own fruit and veg. It’s odd, and rather unhelpful, that garlic cress is very difficult to source, and this I just don’t understand as it’s an easy plant to propagate, easy to grow, very decorative in and out of flower, and edible … what more could you want?! Peltaria alliacea is a hardy perennial in the Brassica family. It is endemic to south eastern Europe but has been recorded as naturalised on the Isle of Skye. The decorative, purple flushed foliage emerges early in the year and the leaves, which have a garlicky mustard flavour, can be cooked...

Continue reading

Thermopsis lanceolata

On bank holiday Monday a neighbour asked me to take a look at a plant in her garden that wasn’t thriving (a seven year old Euphorbia characias… time to take it out!), and while I was there, she pointed out her Thermopsis montana and exclaimed how much she loved it but in the same breath, what an absolute thug it was, even invading her lawn! I had to agree with her, although it is by no means number one on the nuisance list. I was therefore very happy indeed to be able to introduce her to its close relative and...

Continue reading

Exochorda x macrantha ‘The Bride’

We originally planted this eye catching and bountiful shrub by default. I had been after an obscure shade loving shrub whose name I have long forgotten, so when this bare rooted, twiggy plant arrived (out of leaf) in late winter, in it went and I didn’t give it further thought. Until that is, I spotted the first pearl-like buds appearing in early spring and followed soon after by an abundance of snowy white flowers which had a very long season. I quickly realised that we had been sent the wrong plant, but I didn’t care; our Exochorda is one...

Continue reading

Bellevalia romana

My head tells me that I should be writing about one of the many spring flowering shrubs that are looking so stunning right now, but my heart tells me to go for this beautiful yet seldom seen bulb that is such an eye-catching plant despite being quite small (8”-10”), and one that fits seamlessly into the spring tapestry. Over the years I have bought many interesting plants from Marina Christopher (Phoenix Perennial Plants), and this is one of them; having just looked up the date of purchase in my garden book, I notice that this was back in 2006!...

Continue reading