Tuesday 1 February 2011

Ashfield Serenade - and a bargain book

Zonal Pelargonium Ashfield Serenade

Perfectly formed flower head with single pale lavender pink flowers, Ashfield Serenade was introduced by Kitson in the UK in 1975.  It has dark green leaves with a light zone.  It has a compact and dense growth habit  and is short jointed.  

Ashfield Serenade is a tretraploid - tetraploid means the plant has four times the number of chromosomes than a diploid.  Each member of the pelargonium family has a different number of chromosomes either diplopid or tetraploid, and therefore they will not ‘cross’.   A good guide is that diploid zonals have a smooth and glossy appearance to their leaves, and tertraploid zonals have a furry feel and appearance.

I spotted a bargain Poundland last week which I just could not resist- a new hardback book on Heuchera, Tiarella and Heucherella by Charles and Martha Oliver.  It was published in 2006, so not a very old book.  It gives practical advice on growing these plants, and also includes the lesser known tellima and mitella. Detailed information on all the garden-worthy cultivars, where each will grow best in the garden, cultivation, care and propagation is included.  There are some beautiful photographs.  Well worth £1.00.

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