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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Recent Comments

New bicoloured salvia, dwarf phlox and green echinacea

Posted by Graham Rice on 23 May 2008 at 05:55 PM

Derek Jarman at Hayloft Plants just emailed to tell me about the newcomers in their latest catalogue. Salvia greggii ‘Icing Sugar’ looks one of the best.

Recalling the bicoloured flowers of Salvia x jamensis ‘Hot Lips’, the two-tone purple flowers of ‘Icing Sugar’ are carried on bushy, twiggy plants up to 90cm high from now through to September. Click on the picture to see the plant in more detail. However, unlike those of ‘Hot Lips’, the two-tone colouring is stable whatever the weather or the time of year. Easy in full sun and best in well-drained soil, once established ‘Icing Sugar’ will tolerate drought.

Salvia greggii ‘Icing Sugar’ is available from Hayloft Plants. It is also available from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries, from some independent garden centres, and from garden centres in these groups: Capital Gardens, Dobbies, Frosts, Blue Diamond, Haskins, Klondyke, Strikes, Stewarts and The Garden Stores.

The Cocktail Series of border phlox also looks interesting. Bred in Holland by Jan Verschoor, Jan is already well-known for his previous phlox including the bicoloured ‘Peppermint Twist’. The three in the Cocktail Series, with small gardens in mind, reach only about 50cm so can even be grown in containers.

‘Pina Colada’ is pure white, Derek describes ‘Fondant Fancy’ as ”true girly pink” while he says ‘Grenadine Dream’ is “an incredible deep red, probably the best red ever” – that’s something to live up to. All are scented and weather resistant and their neatly rounded, flat flowers are especially elegant.

These three phlox in the Cocktail Series are available from Hayloft Plants.

Finally, on the back cover of their catalogue Hayloft also have yet another new echinacea – this one, from famed breeder and garden designer Piet Oudolf, ‘Green Jewel’ is completely green.

Echinacea ‘Green Jewel’ is available from Hayloft Plants.


dobbies flowers said:

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on 22 Jun 2008 at 12:08 AM

dobbies garden centres said:

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on 29 Jun 2008 at 09:25 AM

echinacea green jewel said:

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on 10 Jul 2008 at 05:50 PM

Martin Blow said:

re Dwarf phlox. Do these stay dwarf? I was told by the owner of a large garden centre that they get really tall in their second year. We've tried Peppermint Twist but it keeps on reverting to plain pink.

on 01 Dec 2008 at 01:11 PM

Graham Rice said:

There's now quite a number of series of so-called dwarf phlox and while, like most flowering perennials, they will grower taller in their second year with the extra root space available in the open ground, most do seem to stay shorter than traditional varieties. Unfortunately, although consistency of height and habit across individual series is often trumpeted, in my experience the different colours may mature to different heights.

The RHS is currently organizing a trial of border phlox which should make it clear which really are the most dwarf.

on 01 Dec 2008 at 01:58 PM