Where does our bird seed come from?
Snowdrop bulb sold for world record £357 ($576)

Recent postings online

Guardian,clay soil,plants for clay Here’s another update of my work that has appeared online in the last month. Just click the links to go to the pages.

The Guardian newspaper
Plants for clay soil (left, click to go to the page)

The Daily Telegraph newspaper
10 new and improved fruit, veg and flowers

Royal Horticultural Society New Plants blog
Yucca Bright Star: New from Notcutts
Hemerocallis ‘Vanilla Fluff’: New double daylily
Astilbe ‘Mighty Pip': New for 2011
Lobelia ‘Superstar’: New for 2011
Twelve new irises: From Cayeux Iris
Verbascum 'Blue Lagoon': First ever blue verbascum

Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit plants
Continuing my choices from plants awarded the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (AGM):
Plants to grow with hellebores which have received the AGM..
Be sure to take a look at all my selections of AGM plants.

And continuing my choices of plants recently award the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Bergenia 'Eric Smith'

Be sure to take a look at all the recent AGM winners I've written up.

Transatlantic Plantsman blog
Shooting in the snow
Quiet color in the snowy garden
Amazing acer for winter stems
Fishy catch is no longer served
New series on plant combinations
Garden bird counts coming up soon
Winter color - and not from flowers
Two new lectures on the way
Thinking about chrysanthemums - in January?
World's first blue verbascum
Where does our bird seed come from?


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Graham Spencer

What a shame that the Guardian closes comments so quickly after publication. I know some folks in the digital media section there and will ask them why.
Anyway, Brachyglottis Sunshine is a fairly ropey plant, in my opinion. It goes "bald" in the bottom within the first year. Brachyglottis Walberton's(R) Silver Dormouse is much superior - it is more silvery, both on the leaf upper surface and underneath, and it "keeps its trousers on" (to quote one grower) - in other words, it keeps leaves all the way to the bottom of the plant. I grow it well here on Sussex Weald clay (heavy, horrid) although, as with all Brachyglottis, it has taken a hit in the recent hard winters. It usually grows back from the middle once warm weather arrives.

Graham Spencer

My hotline to Guardian Central works a treat - instant reply from my lady-in-the-know. Apparently, the comments function has an automatic time-out which can be over-ridden by the editors so that comments can be left for longer periods on an article-by-article basis (so maybe you should ask your ed to extend comment on your articles?). Apparently they are working on a better system. Of course, they want to avoid the comments being filled by trolls.

Graham Rice

Yes Graham, Walberton's Silver Dormouse is a great plant but it's still quite difficult to find in nurseries and garden centers in Britain - perhaps buyers are put off by the slightly odd name. I was looking at the plant of 'Sunshine' in mother's garden in Surrey over Christmas and after three years (and only occasional light trimming) it was looking very bushy and happy. I've never seen Walberton's Silver Dormouse in her big local garden centre.

Graham Spencer

I'm working on availability. By my reckoning, there should be something like ten or twelve thousand plants coming onto the market in the UK in 2011, so availability should improve (only two years ago, supplies were down to just 2000 plants).
As for the name, it is named for David Tristram's wife, Rosemary. Rosemary has an uncanny ability to nod off in armchairs (no doubt due to the massive amount of charity work she does), so is nicknamed "Dormouse". Rosemary long held a ban on David naming any plant after her (finally broken with Helleborus Walberton's Rosemary), so David named the Brachyglottis Silver Dormouse to get around the ban!
The Walberton's prefix is trademarked and is used to identify plants that have been bred at David's nursery.

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