Discovering new varieties is thrilling

Three container-grown shrubs bought recently are heeled into the garden until permanent planting is possible. More will be joining them as the year progresses.

Sunday, 4th February 2018, 3:45 pm
Viburnum tinus Variegatum, the silver-leafed version. Picture by Tom Pattinson.

The Pittosporum Garnettii is a long-overdue replacement for a forerunner, which lasted 10 years before prolonged frost intervened. The white-edged green leaves are a border attraction, and it’s far superior to the green-leafed version, commonly referred to as ‘pit’ by florists.

Viburnum tinus is a dense, evergreen fixture, offering protection for birds and continuous flowering from October to April. The red-tipped buds give way to clusters of white blooms. Imagine the thrill of finding a silver-leafed version (Variegatum). It can only add to the enjoyment.

When the lady of the house chose a skimmia on a visit to Heighley Gate, I reminded her that we already have the red-budded S. rubella, a male variety. Her response that Skimmia japonica Finchy is different sealed the deal.

It’s an evergreen with soft green flower buds from September to April, when they open into fragrant creamy-white blooms.

Can’t wait (but must) to get them permanently planted.