New arrivals

I’m always looking for more plants that look good and attract insects. So below are two newly acquired plants. I’ve often seen Mahonia in people’s gardens with its evergreen holly-like leaves and florets of bright yellow flowers, but just not got around to buying one. But I only recently saw willow described as one of the best bee attractors. Given the size of the garden I found a variety that does well in a small container.

Mahonia Mahonia aquifoloium

An Ornamental Willow Salix integra

Well established but newly ‘out’ a stunning pink lily.

Tiger Lily Lilium bulbiferum

Almost anything can grow in a container rather than directly into soil. However, when container gardening you have to pay particular attention to a number of things. Pots dry out much quicker than flower beds so watering is a must, best done in the cool of the evening to avoid evaporation and by watering the roots where possible. The corollary is drainage. Most plants need enough drainage so they do not become water logged (pondside plants are the exception) but sufficient moisture holding compost that they do not dry out and wither. Mulching is also important, especially if the mulch is nutrient rich… so the potted plant retains moisture where mulch stops evaporation and the nutrients slowly leach from the mulch to feed the plants.

There are exceptions, when adding wildflowers etc to attract insects it must be remembered that many naturally grow on nutrient poor soils. If you over feed they will not do well and be outcompeted by self-sown grasses etc.

I have some trees in planters… not that I planted them, somehow, they arrived. Below are an Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and a Birch (Betula) we also have a tiny holly… I must go gather some acorns. I transplant into my largest pots but trees are self-limiting to an extent so will dwarf if they have insufficient soil to expand.

Rant it out!
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