Architectural Exotics

One of my favourite plants is the huge aeonium or tree leek that I bring into the glasshouse each winter.

It looks fabulous in its pot against the flint wall.

It’ll soon be time to take it outside.

Three or four years ago a wisteria branch fell on it and several of the fleshy rosettes and their twisted branches were damaged so I cut them off and stuck them in compost filled pots and lo and behold they struck and rooted.

They all sold at one of our charity garden openings on a makeshift plant stall I set up.

So recently I decided to propagate a few more and couple of days after we transferred the mature plant to a new and larger terracotta pot I pruned four of the smaller lower offshoots.

This time I left the cut ends to “heal” or dry and today I potted them up in compost.

This time I’m going to grow them on and keep them in pots then dot them through the borders as an interesting focal point – a tip of Jimi Blake’s of Hunting Brook Gardens in Ireland.

My dahlias have gone into pots to get them started before planting out in May after the last frosts. I’m going to take cuttings beforehand to increase my stock for cut flowers and make a better display¬† in the borders this year. I’m growing Karma Choc, Karma Naomi, Apricot Desire and my favourite Thomas Edison saved from last year.

The purple ones are Thomas Edison

Another dramatic sub tropical plant I’m going try out in the border this year is an¬†echium pininana that a friend, Max, gave me as a tiny seedling last year.

They can grow into towering spikes many feet tall covered in tiny purplish blue flowers and self seed profusely. They’re also known as Tower of Jewels.

And the mimosa tree in the Secret Garden is in flower now.

The mimosa behind the old mulberry tree is set off perfectly by the daffodils in the foreground

We’ve just re-staked it as the trunk was rubbing against the old support and it was no longer upright. Now when you look out of the window you can the bright yellow frothy clusters of flowers above the dark green yew hedge that divides the main garden.

I hope to use some in my ikebana arrangements which I’m still doing weekly with my teacher, Junko.

A close up of the mimosa in full bloom

Here’s a couple I did last week – one using forsythia, hellebores and phormium leaves.

The other is different coloured hellebores and some more phormuim leaves.



I hope you enjoy them.