Schizostylis Coccinea Major is a total eye catcher in the garden at a time when perhaps, you think its all over. Possibly the star of all the Autumn flowers, it is a vigorous clump forming perennial with erect sword shaped leaves and single red flowers.
Flowering period can be from September through till November, even in our cooler Aberdeen climate, although this year the first flowers did not show until the second week of October.
All varieties are said to have been cultivated from a single South African species. They are suitable for growing at the front of a herbaceous border or at the base of a south facing wall. Schizostylis is also a great plant for the unheated greenhouse where it will flower continually through most of the Winter.
This one in our front garden was planted in a north west facing border right in front of a couple of fairly tall conifers. Everything about this is wrong. First of all Schizostylis is said to dislike a position where the soil dries out in Summer, well as you can imagine these trees make great demand on the available moisture. Also they are said to grow well in a south facing position, or at least where sun shines most of the day. Our plant has been in this less sunny spot for seven years, it hasn’t flowered profusely every year, but generally does pretty well.
This year in spite of being a little later to bloom, it is outstanding with seven stems on the one plant. I reckon the times when it was not so floriferous were years when rainfall was less and I was also not so fussy about keeping it well watered. It is also said that the flowers can get damaged with the frost. I have found after a frosty spell in November when the stems have drooped they do in fact recover fully when the temperature rises a little. Some years flowers have continued in to December.
The most important point to remember when planting Schizostylis is to make sure you plant in a position where they do not dry out, water copiously in Summer. In spite of this love of water it must also be free draining as they cant stand being waterlogged in Winter.
Hardiness – Fully hardy
Height – 50/60cm
Position – safest in full sun
This is another Schizostylis (Mrs Heggarty) which we had in the back garden a few years ago. It is every bit as hardy as major, perhaps even a little later in flowering. I have seen it suggested that this one can grow to a height in excess of 3ft, never grew taller than 30″ in our garden. Plants which have been in the garden for a number of years become reluctant to flower leaving you with a big clump of strappy leaves and not much else. If you find this happening, simply lift your plant and divide, preferably in Spring.
Last week I was showing what was still in flower in the garden in early November. We have had a touch of frost since then. Interest now is all to do with leaves and structure.
The Aucuba (spotted Laurel) is a firm favourite of ours. Seems to be getting to a situation where if we cant come up with anything else in goes a spotted laurel. Have to take care regarding this.
Brunnera Jack Frost planted in late Spring is still looking not bad, I wonder if it will give a show of flowers next year.
Wont be so very long before the Hakonechloa goes to sleep for the Winter. In the meantime, still hanging in there.
Holly Golden King is all about year round effect. This is another evergreen which is to be found in several spots in our garden.
The Acer Palmatum Atropurpureum still hanging on to its leaves in November 12th.
The Rowan tree Joseph Rock has been smothered with its yellow berries this year. When the birds have feasted on the red berries of the other Rowans they then turn on Joseph Rock. I counted twelve blackbirds on it the other day, ah the simple things in life. See what Donna had to say at garden walk .
I think Skimmia Japonica is if anything more attractive in winter when the flower buds are developing.
This simple variegated ivy would improve the look of the rather ugly wall if I were to plant a few more.
This Pieris above has been in the front garden for about 15 years. It is my favourite of the ones which we have. It really deserves a place in my plant profiles, however this is another plant which I cant trace the name of. The white flowers are extremely profuse in the Spring. Pruning back the new growth in Summer seems to encourage the formation of these flower buds. The shrub is no more than 42 inches high 105cm and maybe much the same in width. See how tightly packed the leaves are on this one and they are smaller than those which are on many of the other pieris shrubs. Also the reddish flower buds are very striking at this time of year. Picture taken on 12th November. I would be more than pleased to hear suggestions. I don’t think it is Compacta as I am sure it has greenish flower buds.