Friday 29 April 2011

Wedding Royale

Wedding Royale
Congratulations and best wishes to the Royal couple on their Wedding Day.

Wedding Royale is a compact gold leaf zonal pelargonium with a chestnut zone.  It is a rosebud type with tight rose pink flowers, which resemble rose buds as they open.  

Introduced in 1982 by John Thorpe, Wedding Royale was raised by Dick Smith of Hinckly, Near Leicestershire.  It is believed that it may have been named for the wedding of Prince William's parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.   This makes sense as it would not have been released until the following year.

Wedding Royale is a really lovely pelargonium and one that I would like to have in my collection again.

Photograph has been reproduced with the kind permission of Fibrex Nursery, Pebworth, Nr. Stratford upon Avon, holders of the National Collection of Pelargoniums.

Friday 22 April 2011

Madame Salleron - buyer beware

With Easter upon us and a very fine weekend forecast, this is traditionally a very busy time at Garden Centres.    Here in the UK they won't be open on Easter Sunday, but Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday they will be and all will have their summer bedding plants prominently displayed.

It is, therefore, a good time to write about the pelargonium 'Madame Salleron', sometimes named as 'Madame Salleroi'.  

Madame Salleron
'Madame Salleron' has small silver bi-coloured leaves growing densely on a dwarf zonal type plant.
It does not flower!  This pelargonium was introduced in 1877 and was used by the Victorians as an edging plant to their formal bedding displays, to which it is ideally suited.

Should your 'Madame Salleron' produce a dark salmon coloured single flower, then it has sported to 'Litlte Trot'.  As you will see from the photo below, the leaves have a similar dense growth habit.

Little Trot
For the past four years or so, Garden Centres have been offering for sale a silver bi-coloured pelargonium  named Madame Salleron.  The plant has a single bright bright rose pink flower and should correctly be named 'Petals'.   'Petals' is a short jointed dwarf pelargonium introduced in the U.K. by Clifton in 1972.

Quite why the big growers have decided the change the name of this charming plant, no one knows.   Probably because 'Madam Salleron' is a more commercial name than 'Petals'.

It you look carefully at the photo's you will note that 'Madame Sallaron' has a wider uneven white margin.  In fact, some leaves can be almost white with very little green.

You may remember the French babies - the seedlings that cousin Sue found in her pots of pelargoniums last October when we tidied them up for the winter.  She brought them home and potted them up and my last photo of them in February showed some very health looking seedlings.   As Sue was to be away for about four weeks I was asked to take charge of them.  With the fine weather we have been having these baby seedlings have grown into fine 'children' and when Sue took them home last week she potted them up into their own pots.

Monday 18 April 2011

Freak of Nature and garden flowers

One pelargonium that stands out in the greenhouse is Freak of Nature.  Apart from the stunning single vermillion red flowers, it is the unusual white leaves edged in green that catch the eye.   It is a dwarf and slow growing pelargonium on stems which are also white.   This is not a new variety, having been introduced by a Mr Gray in 1880. It is not often offered by nurseries and, although not easy to propogate, I would not be without this variety.

Spring has arrived - the garden is beginning to burst with bloom.  It has been unusually warm and very dry with no rain for four weeks and, having emptied the water butts, I have resorted to using a hose on the vegetables.   Watering the plants in the  greenhouse has become an almost daily task.


Bluebell & Euphorbia

Clematis Armandiii

White 'blue' bells

Erodium trifolium

Golden leavs of Geranium 'Ann Folkard'


Hosta 'Geisha'
Hosta Pilgrim


White 'blue'bell

Coming back from a shopping trip on Saturay morning I noticed a large number of dandelion weeds which had suddenly flowered in the garden.  After lunch I set too to weed them out.  However, I was struck by how amazingly beautiful they actually are, and could not resist taking this picture.

Monday 11 April 2011

Angel Pelargonium "Henry Weller" & some ace acers

"Henry Weller" - Angel Pelargonium
Hybridised by Ken Dymond and introduced in the UK in 2000, Angel Pelargonium "Henry Weller" flowers prolifically on a strong growing plant. The top petals have a white edge and feathering on maroon and the lower petals are a paler maroon colour with a white throat.   Photograph was taken at Fibrex Nursery, home of the National Collection of Pelargoniums,

I have a few acers in the garden which I have purchased in the past few years.  Some are in pots and some I have planted out.  I usually keep them in pots for a while until I have decided where to place them in the garden.  Suddenly this weekend they have all produced the most glorious coloured leaves - surely they are really good value for money?  The leaves will change colour again in the autumn, hopefully giving another wonderful display.  One has even produced flowers which the bees are buzzing around.

Friday 8 April 2011

Grandad Mac - everyone seems to have one.

Stellar Pelargonium "Grandad Mac"

Whenever I've shown this plant someone always wants a cutting - "because I have a Grandad Mac".    Hybridised by the late Brian West, Pelargonium "Grandad Mac" makes a wonderful show plant.   It is a semi double stellar pelargonium with the usual spiky flowers in an attractive dark peach colour.   As you can see, it flowers prolifically, which makes it ideal for a show plant.  The leaves have a very dark blotch surrounded by a lighter green.   Pelargonium "Grandad Mac" was introduced in 2002.   The plant in the top photo is not mine, but was taken at a BPGS National Show.

Leaves Stellar pelargonium "Grandad Mac"

Today has been a long day - had my first visit to the allotment with younger son who shares the allotment with me.   It was our first visit this year.   The weeds were not as bad as envisaged, although half the site had been covered in black plastic all winter.  Underneath the soil was beautiful since Daniel had spread compost before laying the black plastic.  We planted our first early and second early potatoes.

This afternoon I went to up to the heath with my neighbour.  We both have an interest in photography and both wanted to take more photographs than we have been doing at the U3A photogaphy class we belong to.
It was an interesting afternoon and we were out for two and a half hours.  At first we planned taking only ten photographs each as an exercise in photography observation, but we both ended up taking far more - in my case 92. Here are a few:-

Tuesday 5 April 2011

Pelargonium "Shannon" - species hybrid

Species hybrid pelargonium "Shannon"

Hybridised by Jay Kapac of California, Pelargonium "Shannon" flowers profusely all summer.   The flowers are a very pretty peach colour with darker feathering on the upper two petals.  The leaves are dissected and the plant has a fairly lax growth habbit and looks good in a hanging pot.   Pelargonium "Shannon" is also known as "Silena".

More flowers in the garden:

Snakeshead Fritillary - I love the checkered patterning on the petals

Flowering Cherry - tree was bought about 3 years ago un-named.

Friday 1 April 2011

Pelargonium cordifolium - and some garden flowers

Pelargonium cordifolium has to be one of the most exotic looking pelargoniums.    Although the flowers are only about 3/4" (or 2cm), they are most unusual with the two pink larger upper petal attractively curved back slightly and with the usual darker feathered markings.  The three lower petals are paler in colour and are much thinner.  The leaves are an attractive grey/green and heart shaped, which is what gives Pelargonium cordifolium its name - heart-leaved pelargonium.

Found growing mainly near the coast of South Africa,  P. cordifolium was introduced into the UK by Frederick Masson in 1774.

Described as being spreading and branched, I find P. cordifolium tends to grow straight upwards without much branching and so needs frequent pinching to get a bushy shape.   It grows naturally in moist areas, so does need watering more often.   Easy to strike from cuttings.


Flowers in the garden this week:-

Magnolia stellata



Double muscari
Physocarpus opulifolius "Dart's Gold"