Friday, 29 July 2011

Oxford Blue

I actually can't believe how blue Salia patens is. See for yourself, it's just so erm, blue. I don't know whether I like it or not, there's honesty, it's just that you don't see that kind of blue (ah, Miles Davis) in nature often, bar say a kingfisher, like an azure flash.

I sowed a packet of seed back in March. I think there were about twenty in the envelope of which I kept and grew on six. They were slow to start and crept along for most of the summer until these last few weeks when suddenly they seem to have taken off.

I sit here on the terrace and just pick out the colour. You can see it in the centre of the photo.

They're not really hardy, but like a dahlia they develop a tuber which can be stored in much the same way so I'm told. I'll store these.

Sunday, 24 July 2011


They're doing good things with Iris deep in the heart of La France profonde. In fact they're doing good things with Salvia, Lavender and many things that like it dry.

Les Sentuers du Quercy are growers based in the department of the Lot, an hour south east of this part of the Perigord in the Midi Pyrenees. I take no money, no 'kickback' for mentioning them, just respect for what they do.

Go on, play the vid. It's only a minute and a half.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Limerock Ruby

I'm really knocked out with the colour of Coreopsis 'Limerock ruby'. It really is ruby. A deep ruby. Ruby, ruby, ruby in fact. I actually lost all the plants I put in last year. I'm not convinced it's really hardy at all, a combination of frost and root eating chafer grubs put paid to them but I have to say, replacing them this spring with six tiny plants and the growth has gone nuclear, just like an annual which I suspect they are, even here in gentle hardy zone eight.

It's the evening light that brings out the best in them. That Panicum 'Squaw' behind looks positively spiffy too. I'm looking forward to it sending up red tinged inflorescences, I've five planted in this area, so over the next few weeks the show starts.

Talking inflorescence, the first tails of Pennisetum villosum look luminous with the evening sun behind. I'm chuffed with this grass, I started it from seed back in March and it's romped away. I'll tuck it up warm over this coming winter so next year it'll make a really good sized plant. Or should that be a good sized bunch, I guess pennisetum is a bunch grass?

Talking ruby, not dissimilar to Limerock's colour is this rather excellent Cotes de Rhone, Domaine Lafond Roc- Epine. 70% Grenache, 30% Syrah (Shiraz), ruby indeed!