The Slope on Thursday 29th May – Stipa in the Wind

Again a changeable week weather-wise. A couple of day with cloud and a few spots of rain and the rest hot! The images today sparkle with the sun.

The usual view

The usual view

Gaura doing its thing

Gaura doing its thing

Amazingly the cistus I took as a cutting is still producing flowers, it parent wasn't as floriferous when small

Amazingly the cistus I took as a cutting is still producing flowers, it parent wasn’t as floriferous when small

Stipa tenuissima the perfect grass for a dry wind position

Stipa tenuissima the perfect grass for a dry windy position

Isn't he beautiful? I thought I found his name last year but I can't find it now, any ideas please

Isn’t he beautiful? I thought I found his name last year but I can’t find it now, any ideas please

Lychnis coronaria with moving Stipa

Lychnis coronaria with moving Stipa

Cotinus, slowly growing, I'm looking forward to it really making a statement, at the moment it needs searching for.

Cotinus, slowly growing, I’m looking forward to it really making a statement, at the moment it needs searching for.

Flowers of Cotinus

Flowers of Cotinus

This double Philadelphus, flowers later than the single which is nice as it extends the season of perfume

This double Philadelphus, flowers later than the single which is nice as it extends the season of perfume

Pure white Philadelphus, I bought it as 'belle etoile' but that should have a crimson blotch in the centre so I'm not sure of the variety

Pure white Philadelphus, I bought it as ‘belle etoile’ but that should have a crimson blotch in the centre so I’m not sure of the variety

I had wanted to purchase Cytisus battandieri for some time; it should be perfect for my conditions. Eventually I tracked it down to a nursery that was present at a plant fair I intended attending, so sight unseen I bought it. I was a bit shocked as to how spindly the plant was and the fact that it was grafted when any I have seen in the UK have been on their own rootstock. When I got it home and looked closely I realised it was covered in scale insects, no wonder it was spindly! I carefully removed all the insects I could see and continued to remove them as new ones hatched; this was in autumn 2012. At last I have been rewarded with a couple of flowers and the leaves are growing and looking healthy. If it continues to grow it will become quite a large presence on the slope.

Cytisus battandieri

Cytisus battandieri

This was supposedly a reputable nursery, but they shouldn’t have sold this plant; if I hadn’t diagnosed the problem, I think the plant would have died and I would have had scale insect on other plants too!

Have you ever bought something you’re had to nurse back to health after buying it?

The poppies continue to give pleasure and I smile whenever I drive in past them, a lovely welcome home

The poppies continue to give pleasure and I smile whenever I drive in past them, a lovely welcome home

 

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18 thoughts on “The Slope on Thursday 29th May – Stipa in the Wind

  1. Wonderful Christina, your last photo reminds me of an active volcano with red hot lava pouring out of it!
    Did you let the nursery know about the state of their plant, they really shouldn’t have sold it to you covered in insects. Maybe they knew they were selling it to a very experienced gardener and you would sort it out, it came to the right garden!

    • Sadly I don’t think the nursery did know I would be able to deal with it! It was the first time I’d bought anything from them (and it will be the last); but they had come recommended.

  2. Your Stipa Tenuissima with the poppies are a real wow. I tried to foolishly grow this a couple of wet summers ago and a soggy mess ensued. I wish I could help with the beetle, he is very handsome. I had to send an apple tree and a Chanticleer pear back to two separate nurseries this year and both were really helpful and apologetic. Scale on a delivered plant is really unacceptable, your Cytisus is fortunate to have been given such loving care, its looking lovely now.

    • There isn’t the same concept that the customer is right or that things should be perfect when they are sold here. If the plant hadn’t been so difficult to find I would have burnt it, it was so infested.

  3. The Cytisus flower is lovely and definitely worth the trouble saving. Glad you could deal with the scale immediately. Sometimes I make the mistake of rescuing plants from ‘garden centres’ where the plants are wheeled in from a truck full to overflowing and either watered to death or parched! One such plant was a standard Fuchsia covered in greenfly. I saved it and managed to keep it through several winters indoors too. I love the effect of the wind in the Stipa. So pretty with the seemingly unmoving Lychnis in front.

    • I try not to be tempted by plants that look as if they’re suffering, but sometimes it can’t be helped. Also I find I want ot buy things that no one else wants so they’re been hanging around for ages in the nursery and so are pot bound and often full of weeds, and that’s another thing that annoys me greatly, I don’t want to buy a pot full of weeds!

  4. I love your river of poppies Christina, enough to make anybody smile. The lychnis against the stipa is also really beautiful. I’d not come across Cytisus battandieri before, sounds like a great plant, but how frustrating to have it arrive in such a sorry state. I was taken aback by the arrival of a day lily in only half a pot of compost – again from a supposedly reptuable nursery. I wasn’t impressed, and don’t think I will be buying from them again. One of the problems of buying sight unseen is having to trust the people who pick and pack on your behalf will only choose good specimens. I really miss ready access to a really good nursery. I’m going to have to investigate cistus, I know they would grow well here, there are several thriving right down next to the sea in one of the Island beds looked after the “In Bloom” ladies.

    • Cistus would definately do well in your garden, when they finish flowering they can add great form to the garden if you prune them into domes or doughnuts and it seems to improve the flowering for the following year.

  5. Your nursing work was certainly worth it for the cytisus, the gray foliage and bright yellow blooms are a perfect combination. Also of course I love your poppies and grass. I’m laughing a bit inside as I think of the tiny stipa seedling I’ve nursed along under lights this winter to place outside today. It’s barely a wisp of nothing, but I hope by autumn it becomes something I can run my hands through every time I pass.

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