Geoff Hawkins, gardener, broadcaster and consultant spoke on “All Year Round Colour”. Numerous slides showed a vast variety of plants, shrubs and trees, throughout the seasons, many enhanced by colourful foliage, (some strikingly variegated) and others by bright, sometimes vivid stems.
White and gold mark the Winter landscape with Galanthus Nivalis, best seen in massed drifts, as at Welford Park. Chimomanthus praecox (Wintersweet) has yellow, fragrant flowers, with purple centres. Hamamelis (Witch Hazel) bears yellow flowers on H. Pallida and on H. Mollis. H. Jelena has orange flowers from early to mid-winter. Hx intermedia “Diane” has deep red flowers. Corylus (Hazel), C.maxima (Filbert) bears long yellow catkins. Garrya elliptica’s name (Silk tassel bush) is self evident. Geoff mentioned three greenhouse plants, for the house – Cymbidium, Zygopelatum and Bilbergia nutans. Iris: many forms of these perennials, but Geoff focused on I. unguicularis (Algerian winter Iris): evergreen, lilac, yellow centres, appearing from late autumn to early spring .
Winter to early spring.
Hellebores. Helleborus argutifolius: green flowers, winter to spring. H. torquatus. “This genus is always expanding”.
Spring:- Chaenomeles (flowering quince). C. X superba (“Crimson and gold”). Daphne odora – fragrant, purplish pink and white flowers. D. Aureomarginata, flowers mid-winter to early spring – scent and colour. Stachyurus praecox – “Magpie”, pale yellow flowers borne in late winter and early spring.
Narcissus – a plethora of forms, December to May. N. caniliculatus “Baby Moon”
Leucojum vernum, “Spring snowflake”
Camellia – many forms – C. Innovation.
Forget-me-not (Myosotis). Crocus. Primrose. Primula – huge
Pulmonaria . Dicentra spectabilis, D.formosa.
Epimedium. Bishop’s Mitre (foliage). Aubrietia, Forsythia. Wisteria – W.sinensis.
Doronicum-“Leopards bane”. Clematis – C. armandii. Many forms.
Magnolia – M.stellata. M.wilsonii (late spring and early summer). Fragrant flowers, white, with crimson stamens, arching branches.
Tulips – T.Angelique. T. Pink Diamond. T. Spring Green. Clematis montana, Elizabeth.
Paeony- Peony, P.wittmanniana.
Vinca “Illumination”, for variegation. Acers.
Rhododendron. Azalea. Prunus (Cherry). P.Taihaku.
Syringa – lilac. Physocarpus –P.macrophylla
Ajuga. Lamium. Malus – Crab apple. “M. Red Jade”.
Helianthemum, Rock rose. Foxglove – Digitalis.
F.davisiana. Pineapple Broom – Cytisus.
Rose – so many! Geoff referred to Rambling Rector and Bobbie James and Blush Ramblers – long lasting blooms.
Geranium- Cranesbill – Johnson’s Blue, Kashmir White.
Clematis – “Mrs Cholmondeley”, “Trevor Lawrence”.
Eccremocarpus – E. scaber.
Hydrangea –H.arborescens, “Annabelle”., huge flower heads.
Cleome – spider flower – Pink flushed white flowers, appear in Summer. Penstemon.Nepeta.
Campanula- Bellflower- “Pritchard’s variety”.
Verbascum – Mullein, Summer flowering perennials.
Iris. Poppy – Papaver P. “Victoria”.
Sweet peas – Lathyrus odoratus. L. grandiflora.
Hemerocallis – Day Lily – many forms.
Aquilegia – Granny’s Bonnet. Cosmos. Sensations Series.
Rhodochiton. Sisyrinchium. useful as a colourful and vertical plant.
Romneya – Tree Poppy.
Passion flower – Passiflora. Its elements tell the story of the suffering of Christ.
Echinacea,” Cone Flower”.
Fuchsia – so many forms.
F.Thalia – an excellent specimen plant in Summer.
Hydrangea. Ceratostigma,. C.plumbaginoides.
Sedum – “Stonecrop” – S.cauticola.
Aster – Michaelmas Daisy – “Harrington’s Pink”
Parthenocissus – “Virginia Creeper.” Nerine, “Zeal Giant.”
Kniphofia. “Red Hot Poker.” ”Torch Lily”. K. Brimstone.
Liquidambar (Trees) – L.styraciflua (Sweet Gum)
Cercidiphyllum (Trees). C. japonicum (smells of candyfloss)
Autumn colour is provided by so many plants and trees, Geoff referred to:- Mahonias.
Callicarpa – shrubs. C.”Profusion”
Azaleas, some, he said ,have Autumn colour..
Tropaelum – Nasturtium. T. speciosum. Davidia – handerchief tree.
Betula (birch) B. ermani. Pyracantha – Firethorn. P. “Soleil D’or”
Clerodendrum – flowers in October.
Cornus – Dogwood. Brightly coloured winter stems.
Cyclamens – For colour under trees and shrubs.
Geoff also showed a decorated conifer swag, on his fireplace at Christmas.
This was a richly detailed talk, delivered with zest and humour, and well received.