Star Attractions on the Plant Centre – Part 1

By Lorraine Spooner

In this week’s blog I am focussing on a range of plants that are looking particularly attractive at the moment, from climbers with fragrant blossom and shrubs with striking foliage to herbaceous perennials which are waiting patiently to be planted in your gardens.

In addition, we are offering:


NOW £4.00!

The Hairy Pot range owes its success to the planters which are produced from bio-degradable coconut husks (coir) and can be planted straight into the soil without any root disturbance.

Now is the time to get planting to create colourful borders for high summer impact or plant a container full of fragrant herbs to add flavour to BBQ’s and long summer drinks – think mint in your Pimms to celebrate the return of Wimbledon next week 😊

Star Attractions on the Plant Centre - Part 1
Star Attractions on the Plant Centre - Part 1
Star Attractions on the Plant Centre - Part 1

Carpinus betulus ‘Lucas’

‘Lucas’ is a more fastigiate form of our native Hornbeam producing a neat, oval canopy in maturity. Growing to 8-10 by just 1-3 metres, it has a dense growth habit, attractive yellow/green catkins in early spring and bright green, serrated foliage which can be partially retained through autumn and winter, when it takes on its typical russet hues. This is an excellent choice where canopy spread could be an issue but still retains all the attributes of the genus, thriving particularly well on clay soils.

Star Attractions on the Plant Centre - Part 1

Sorbus aria ‘Lutescens’

Introduced to Britain by a French nursery in the mid 19th century, this popular cultivar of the Whitebeam is an undemanding tree, tolerant of a wide range of situations from urban to exposed. The spring foliage resembles silvery candles sitting on the branches and unfurls to a beautiful shade of grey/green; the clusters of creamy white flowers mature to orange/red berries in the autumn. Best suited to chalk soils, site where it will literally ‘light up’ an area of the garden which is predominantly green.

Star Attractions on the Plant Centre - Part 1

Trachelospermum jasminoides

One of the most popular evergreen climbers with highly scented, white flowers which are about to burst from their buds to display their annual starry spectacle. Tolerant of a range of soils and aspects, this Jasmine can be planted against walls, over pergolas or arches, and is especially effective in large containers on a terrace, where the fragrance can be best enjoyed at close quarters. In the right conditions, the foliage can turn shades of crimson in the autumn, prolonging the season. Available in a range of forms, it is the arches that absolutely steal the show!

Star Attractions on the Plant Centre - Part 1

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bobo’

The introduction of cultivars such as ‘Limelight’ have brought Hydrangeas back on the garden design scene, and this neat, compact version is proving to be very popular for smaller gardens, growing to just one metre tall with a slightly wider spread, making it a useful ground cover shrub.  With a profusion of conical shaped flower heads opening pure white on graceful, arching stems, these become suffused with pink as they mature, creating a striking contrast with the vibrant autumn foliage.  An excellent contender for long season interest, which could also take centre stage in a large container.

Star Attractions on the Plant Centre - Part 1

Garrya elliptica

The Silk Tassel Bush originates from the coastal regions of Western USA and was introduced to Britain in the early 19th century. It is a striking evergreen shrub or climber for a sheltered position, ideally against a wall in sun or shade, where it will benefit from the additional warmth. The wavy, leathery foliage is a deep sea-green and is offset by highly decorative, 20cms long, grey-green catkins, which develop into pink-tinged, silky tassels from mid-winter to early spring. The foliage then becomes an excellent foil for later flowering shrubs and perennials. May require some protection from frost in harsh winters.

Star Attractions on the Plant Centre - Part 1

Hebe pinguifolia ‘Sutherlandii’

One of many cultivars of Hebe’s in stock, ‘Sutherlandii’ is a compact, hardy, evergreen shrub forming low mounds of grey-green foliage to 45cms tall, but with double the spread.  Purple stems carry delightful white flowers from late spring.  Requiring little attention, it can be planted in groups at the front of borders, as a low growing informal hedge or to offset more traditional formal topiary.  All Hebe blooms are very attractive to bees and are mainly from the white, purple and blue spectrum.

We look forward to welcoming you to Nicholsons Plants very soon. Look out for Part 2 of this blog on 1st July, where further recommendations will be featured.

Please be advised that container grown specimens can be planted all year round, a little more attention at planting time and vigilant aftercare will be required to ensure the plants remain healthy and thrive. Store your plants in the shade until you are ready to plant, choose a dull, overcast day, soak the root balls and the planting holes thoroughly, then water again to settle the soil and apply a thick mulch of fine bark for water retention. Planting in the early evening is advisable so that cooler temperatures throughout the night can help prevent wilting.

You will need to carry out regular watering checks while your plants establish (please refer to the ‘Squeeze Test’ in our Planting and Watering Guidelines link). Click here to view the NICHOLSONS Planting and Watering Guidelines.pdf

Why not enhance your enjoyment of all Nicholsons has to offer by booking a table at our Yurt Restaurant for brunch or lunch to sample the culinary delights created by our Chef, Andrew. Contact to make a booking.

Sourcing from responsible U.K. growers has never been more important and we are proud to have met the requirements of the Plant Healthy Management Standard; this certification, together with achieving 100% peat free status in our home-grown crops, allows us to focus our energy on a greener future.

Star Attractions on the Plant Centre - Part 1
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