Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Daily Archive: November 6, 2016

Black Eyed Susan – Rudbeckia

Another welcome gift from my daughter-in-law Deb. Three large healthy roots of this lovely hardy perennial. Deb is a gardener with her own successful company www.daisy-chain-gardens.co.uk. Thank you Deb.

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Charming, daisy-like flowers with prominent, cone-shaped, blackish-brown centres appear in abundance from August to October. This beautiful ‘black-eyed Susan’ is an excellent choice for the middle of a late summer border and it associates particularly well with ornamental grasses. It is a particularly free-flowering variety, that is best planted in bold drifts in a sunny or partially shady site that doesn’t dry out over summer. Information and picture from crocus.com.

Echinacea Primadonna Rose – Cone Flower

These plants came as part of the collection of perennials I bought from Thompson-Morgan and are now overwintering  on the window ledge following first stage potting on. The instructions were to pot on immediately and keep frost free until Spring. They are a tall hardy perennial and will thrive in a sunny or semi shaded position on moist, well drained soil. Coneflowers prefer a deep, fertile soil and will benefit from the addition of some well rotted manure or garden compost to soil, prior to planting.

Hosta – Silver Crown

Many years ago I visited my sister’s house and she and her husband were lifting and splitting some Hosta plants. I was given a good sized root which I planted in a large pot and then ignored. Every year the plant got bigger and bigger, I threatened to repot it but didn’t until this year. I struggled to get it out of it’s pot then, after much reading online about the best way to divide it I set to and hopefully haven’t destroyed it. It has been divided into seven good roots. The original pot with gravel for drainage and filled with new compost houses one root. I have given it a feed and topped the whole thing with gravel to keep away the slugs. I have temporarily potted the other roots to overwinter and may use some in the garden or give them away. I have read that this variety is the most common in this country and have been amazed by the number of varieties available. Only now have I learned the name of this plant and I have promised not to take it for granted in future. I shall keep it safe from slugs and snails and watch out for its flowers and seeds. April 29th 2017. Well I had given up all hope of getting any of the divided roots to survive. The main root was put back into its original pot and up to now is not showing at all. The other divisions were put into black florists buckets to overwinter and were all underwater and slimy when I checked on them in the spring so they were thrown onto the side garden which needed building up after excavation. The cosseted one in a big pot with new soil, feed and drainage is nowhere to be seen. However, popping up here and there in the side garden are the discarded ones. Gardening never fails to surprise me.

Athough there were more Hostas being cultivated in Japan, a Hosta with Chinese heritage was the first one to be grown outside of Asia. Seeds of the Hosta Plantagonea arrived in France in 1784. By 1790 the Hosta had arrived in London. In 1812 an Australian botanist named the Hosta in honour of Nicholas Thomas Host, an esteemed botanist and physician. It was then that the genus changed from Hemerocallis to Hosta.