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Plant alstroemerias in a sheltered site, in part shade or full sun, any time between May and August in good soil. All alstroemerias like good living, so give them plenty of organic matter at their roots. If watered regularly they will thrive; add a slow-release fertiliser in the spring.

All the taller forms need staking, or they will collapse in the wind or rain. Pick (or deadhead) them regularly and you'll get successional waves of flowers. The best way to do this is to pull each sten from near the base, like rhubarb. That leaves plenty of room for the next wave to come through which - in some varieties - grow taller than the previous generation.


Dwarf varieties give the best result in our windy climate!

Alstroemeria blooms are familiar to anyone who frequents the local florist's shop, but it's been a long wait for alstroemeria plants that are suited to home gardeners' needs. The wait is over. These dwarf beauties, known as Princess Lilies, were created to produce long seasons of vibrant color, blooms richly festooned with contrasting shades and lots of those endearing "whiskers". Dwarf alstroemeria are ideal for brilliant containers, alone of mixed with other plants, and for accenting smaller garden beds.


A lot of people are misinformed about these little-understood beauties. Many think they are not hardy, that they need copious amounts of water or that hardy ones only come in mixed colours (the ligtu hybrids), but all that has changed now and there are a fabulous range of colours from whites, pinks and maroons to sizzling oranges and yellows.

Their appearance is so exotic it is not surprising we cannot believe many are hardy (down to -12°C or more, providing they have a thick, 8" mulch in their first two years). They look like smallish lilies, but they have more staying power. Some will flower from June to November. Mine, Alstroemeria 'Sunlight’, stood up well to the relentless, hammering rain last summer, performing with perfect flowers, while roses nearby looked bedraggled in the extreme.


We have absolutely stunning new 'Inticancha' varieties at Griffins, all of which I am extremely impressed by! They are: 'Imala', 'Red', 'Sunlight' and 'Navayo'. Colourful, bright and surprisingly hardy - Alstroemeria is a flower more people need to hear about!


A spectacular small tree, ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ produces masses of deep scarlet-pink double flowers in May. The foliage is deeply lobed and dark green with a slight gloss and turns to yellow and bronze in the autumn. Small red haws are also present in the autumn. This extremely hardy, ornamental tree will grow in almost any conditions including: coastal, exposed, polluted and damp sites. A very good small tree for wildlife that is extremely popular, growing to 5 x 4 meters in 20 years. A lovely tree to grow in a large pot, suited to a patio or courtyard. Remember, if you grow a tree in a pot choose a large square pot - this will never get blown away in a storm.

Crataegus Paul Scarlet is wonderful in combination with white lilacs, laburnums or planted in a group of 3 and then under planted with evergreen azaleas.



Why do so Many People Plants Trees too Deep!


Over the years I have seen so many trees die because people plant them too deep. Why, oh why do people do this?


How to get it right:

Dig a huge hole about 4ft deep and 4ft wide. Back fill this hole with soil, John Innes multi-purpose compost, slow-release fertilizer and Seamungus, making sure everything is well soaked - your soil should be nice and muddy now.

Now for the important part: plant your tree only to the depth it was in its pot, not any deeper.   


So what was the big hole for I hear you say?  

Well, you do want your tree to flourish and now it will! It has a lovely soft bed under it so now the roots will be able to work their way through the soft ground, and you will find the growth of the tree will be very vigorous and healthy! It's common sense when it's explained, isn't it? 

Position your stake to the windward side so that your the wind hits the stake first not the tree - this will prevent any damage being caused by the tree being pushed against the stake. Use a soft tree tie to hold tree and stake together. Slip on a rabbit guard if you think rabbits may come invited for 'dinner', and finally, mulch with a mulch of your choice or use a tree mat. Happy planting! 

450px-Heuchera marmalade_02



For a low-growing plant with incredible foliage, it’s hard to beat heuchera. When you add pretty, delicate blooms and the fact that most heucheras are evergreen, what you end up with is a “must-have” plant.

There are nearly 300 known varieties of heuchera, also called “coral bells” or “alum root.” In general, heucheras grow to about eighteen inches tall (not counting the flower spikes) and around eighteen inches wide. Their blooms grow on spikes of delicate “bells” in shades of red, pink, white, and purple, generally blooming for four to eight weeks in late spring through early summer. Recent varieties have made the blooms more prominent. But it’s the foliage that makes heuchera a winner. Purple, black, red, orange, brown, silver, chartreuse-you name it, you can most likely find a heuchera in that colour.

Planting Heuchera

Heuchera can grow in shade, although some cultivars do better in full sun. They like soil that is average to rich fertility,and well-drained. Heavy soils can be amended at planting time by incorporating grit into the soil from the planting hole. Heucheras are great plants for either edging a bed or using a group as a focal point. They suffer from very few pests and diseases, but powdery mildew can be a problem. Be sure to give them some room so they will get good air circulation. Heucheras tend to be shallow-rooted, and will heave in the winter if there is a lot of freeze/thaw action. To prevent them from heaving, give them a good, three inch layer of grit  in late autumn

I find my heucheras grow far better in good rich soil with lots of grit put under their roots. For a long time my plants were rotting in winter before I took action with grit. Windy conditions suited them as well except for that dreaded eastery direction which is not good for man or plant . 

Heucheras do very well in pots, containers, and window boxes. Grow them as combination plants, summer bedding, patio plants or mixed with shrubs. Heucheras will give great winter colour once your soil isn't too wet or soggy. On our nursery here in Dripsey, heuchera are a very important crop for us both in summer and winter, and our grower John has devised a great growing regime that gives a finished plant of superior quality. 


Some of the best varieties we grow are: Black Beauty, Can-Can, Creme Brulée Firechief, Marmalade, Midnight Buoy & Berry smoothie . 

As delicious as a  Summer dessert  'Berry smoothie'  is a sweet treat for any gardener.

Campanula Mrs Rosholt



Many, many people love and adore this flower but find it hard to get the right variety. By the right variety I mean the one that grows tight over rocks and stones and gets into crevices in walls. Well, 'Mrs. Rosholt' is the name of this variety. 'Mrs. Resholt' is a low-growing, spreading, semi-evergreen to evergreen perennial with small kidney or heart-shaped, toothed, mid-green leaves and racemes of star-shaped, mid- to violet blue flowers in summer. It is not a difficult variety to grow but a few rules apply:


Rule No 1

While campanula loves dry conditions it need to be well watered till it gets established .


Rule no 2

You will needs patience ,while this plants grows fast it does take a while to get established.


Rule no 3

The best time to stick this plant into crevices of walls is October, but you will not get this plant for sale then as it is always sold out in early May.


Rule no 4

Buy plants now and grow them on in the ground or in larger pots and containers - this will give you a ready supply of material that you can stick into crevices and holes. These will get anchored in over winter and start to grow the following Spring, giving you your required effect you had wished for.


Rule no 5

Campanula is good combined with other rockery plants, especially aubretia, the purple spring flowering rock plant that most people confuse with campanula. A combined planting will give you a prolonged flowering season from Spring right through to late summer.


Planting instructions:

Campanula loves well drained soil, so add lots of grit if you are planting in the ground or in pots. If planting into stones walls, just use some wet soil mixed with Westland slow-release fertilizer. Campanula can be evergreen in dry conditions, but in damper soils will lose its foliage for winter.


Description: A good neat, clone of this vigorous alpine plant which is smothered in deep purple flowers in mid-summer. It makes an excellent wall plant. Grow in a soil that is not too dry in sun or semi-shade. May-Aug. Height approx. 15Cm, spreading habit.




Aquilegias have wonderful foliage that emerges early in the year, creating tuffets of bright green among the sharp verticals of daffodils and other bulbs. They are among the most telling of springtime plants, both for foliage and for flowers.

Aquilegia longissima is an exquisite flower. Its petals are a pale, soft, buttery yellow, and its spurs - of a deeper yellow, and sometimes up to 6in (15cm) long - are swept elegantly back, giving the whole flower the look of a ship's figurehead.


Long-spurred hybrids have been developed from it and from several other species: its close cousin A. chrysantha; A. formosa, which has dainty red-and-yellow flowers; and A. coerulea, a graceful blue-and-white columbine with finely divided "maidenhair" leaves.

The genus aquilegia is widespread in the northern hemisphere: Europe and Asia, as well as America, have their own columbines. Many of the North American species are short-lived, but they can be grown easily from seed.


Growing tips


Aquilegias lend themselves to cottagey or semi-wild settings. Most relish dappled shade. They love deep, rich soil. Most garden varieties do not resent clay, but alpine types prefer well-drained loam. When planting, work in extra humus: old muck or garden compost is best. Mulch with the same material.

Remove seed heads before they disperse their contents, otherwise the parent plant may be crowded out by its own offspring. Save the seed and sow it fresh if you want more plants elsewhere.

Good companions

Try A. longissima contrasted against the darkly dramatic foliage of Cimicifuga simplex var. simplex Atropurpurea Group or in combination with pale-lemon buttercups and golden grasses. Plant blue A. alpina as it grows in the wild, with Geranium sylvaticum and trollius. A. formosa and A. canadensis, both of which are soft red and yellow, look at home with Primula cockburniana, a small asiatic primula with vermilion flowers.

Dwarf wallflower sugar rush



Wallflower 'Sugar Rush' F1 Hybrid

Erysimum, Cheiranthus

Best New Bedding Plant at the Grower of the Year Awards 2013

Winner in the ‘Best New Bedding Plant’ category at the Grower of the Year Awards 2013, this is one of the most exciting wallflowers to emerge in recent years. Dense, fragrant flower spikes in shades of cream, yellow, red and purple appear not only in the spring, but throughout the autumn too, blooming just 10 weeks after sowing! With a delightful sweet fragrance and compact, multi-branching habit, Wallflower ‘Sugar Rush’ is perfect for beds, borders, containers and window boxes, creating a mass of colour and scent when much of the garden is dormant. Versatile and undemanding, wallflowers are tough enough to cope in even the poorest soils.

A great way to brighten up your garden or front door for Easter, giving you colour for a long period and fragrance that will take you back to your childhood. The best compost to use is Westland john innes multi-purpose which has a mixture of mostly loam and reduced amounts of peat making it a great compost and environmentally  friendly, John our nursery manager has tested this compost over the past few years and he has found it to be the very beat on the market, newer composts have come on stream but none could compare to the john innes from westland ,this compost has slow release fertilizer added which will keep your plants in tip-top condition. Sugar-rush will grow to a height of 30cm (12"). Plant in groups of 3 either on their own or combined with any of the following:



Choisya sundance



To get the best perfume from your 'Sugar Rush' choose a sunny position.

Happy gardening

inspirational gardens