Excerpts from the Spring 2013 Journal
On Saturday 27 April our Stowupland Village Hall event will be
‘Members’ Favourites.’ Several members will be talking about their
particular choice of plant, illustrated with photographs taken at (we hope!)
the optimum season, depending on the plant.
Rather than something from her own garden, Anne Tweddle has chosen to
talk about the planned Plant Heritage iris project, showing us photographs
of the cultivars she and Sarah Cook will be propagating and telling us
about the breeders.
Patrick Palmer will talk about his abutilon trees, which have travelled from
garden to garden with him and which some of us will have seen when his
garden was open.
Anne Worledge has chosen a favourite rose; Linda Draper’s choice is
Fuschia ‘Lady Bacon’ which was the free plant at the Helmingham Plant
Fair a few years ago; Jo Pugh will be talking about Trachelospermum
jasminoides; Rosie Osborne has chosen a Japanese acer as it looks through
all four seasons; Widget Finn will talk about the favourite people in her
garden; and my own ‘favourite’ is foxgloves.
The talks by members was Maggie Thorpe’s idea and we hope that it will
become an annual event. So please come and hear about the current crop
of favourites and give some thought as to what you yourself might be able
to talk about – I will be hoping to book you for next time!
SUFFOLK PLANT HERITAGE IRIS PROJECT
The Iris Project, briefly outlined in the last newsletter, continues to
evolve. However the theme of reintroducing medal-winning iris
cultivars remains at the heart of the project. The breeders we are looking
at are all British and all won medals with their introductions.
Anne Tweddle will be talking about the Iris Project in the ‘Members
Favourites’ event at Stowupland Hall on Saturday 27th April. We are
currently in the collecting material phase. Any members interested in
being more closely involved, please get in touch with Anne Tweddle
01473 737337 email@example.com
ABUTILONS: MORE RESILIENT THAN YOU
Iwonder if like me you began to panic at the beginning of year when there
was talk of a severe drought and as a consequence a dreaded hosepipe
ban. For several years we have been warned of especially dry summers to
come and as a consequence I have tended to steer away from the very
thirsty varieties of plants. Even the most verdant of gardens have dry areas
and these can be challenging especially when long hot summers or dry
springs are experienced. This is why it is such a relief to discover a plant
which is robust and versatile enough to meet the challenges which keen
As long as twenty-five years ago I remember going to Beth Chatto's dry
garden in Essex as I was interested in obtaining some plants for a
troublesome dry area of my garden. This first visit was in late May and
whilst this was not necessarily a good time to evaluate a dry garden at
least it gave me a good idea of which plants had survived the previous dry
summer as well as a cold winter. This was also the time when I first saw
Abutilon vitifolium in full bloom. I was impressed to say the least and
could not believe something of such beautiful and exotic appearance could
survive both drought and cold. Ever since then I have grown blue and
white Abutilon vitifolium and now count them among my favourite plants.
Although I was first attracted to Abutilons primarily for their drought
tolerant attributes, recent quirks in our weather have revealed that they can
also do fantastically well in rather wetter conditions. The Abutilons in our
current garden have leaped ahead despite a year which has turned out to be
one of the wettest in our area, making this a very versatile shrub.
Coincidentally, I am sure many of you will agree that honey fungus has
proliferated this year adding to the challenges we have to face. No need to
be downcast though, as it turns out that Abutilons are resistant to such
This is but a short foray into the world of the Abutilon vitifolium which I
hope will stimulate further interest as I will be talking more on this topic at
the 'Members Favourites' session in April 2013. I also look forward to
hearing your experiences of growing this variety.