Garden And Gardener

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New products at Crocus

by Sarah - February 19th, 2016.
Filed under: Crocus, New Products.

New lines at Crocus

Cycas revoluta (sago palm)

Cycas revoluta (sago palm) £19.99
Position: bright but indirect light Soil: fertile: good well drianed potting compost Rate of growth: slow Hardiness: frost tender (indoors only) Although not a true palm, Cycas revoluta is actually a member of the Cycads – a group of plants which have been around since prehistoric times and have that classic palm tree shape. Easy to look after and slow growing they became very popular in Victorian times as conservatory plants and house plants. Still popular today they are perfect for creating an exotic jungle-style look. Coping well with centrally heated rooms, they enjoy heat, but choose a bright position away from direct sunlight as this can scorch the fronds. Makes a lovely plant for a sheltered summer patio, though they are best moved back inside before the autumn. Mature plants can withstand a light frost and in very mild areas can be planted out in the garden with protection during the winter. Home care: Water well during the summer growing season, keeping the soil just moist, but only water sparingly the rest of the year. Feed regularly during the growing season with a balanced liquid fertiliser. Keep out of the reach of cats and dogs as the leaves can be toxic if eaten. Avoid repotting until it is really potbound as they don’t like to be disturbed. In time this plant will grow to around 2m or more. It is an interesting-looking plant with a bulb-like base that holds onto water (which means you don’t need to water it very often), with a topknot of slender leaves that cascade around the stem. This pony tail palm does not need humid air, so copes well with centrally heated rooms. Home care: Water well, making sure the excess water drains away freely. These plants dislike overwatering, so let the compost get quite dry before repeating the process again. Repot only when necessary, using a pot only a few centimetres wider than the bulbous base. Air temperatures should not dip below 7C in winter.

Paeonia lactiflora  'Mother's Choice' (peony)

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Mother’s Choice’ (peony) £14.99
Position: full sun or partial shade Soil: fertile, moisture-retentive yet well-drained Rate of growth: average Flowering period: June to July Flower colour: creamy white Other features: mid green leaves Hardiness: fully hardy Exquisite, fully double, large and fragrant blush white flowers top strong stems from early to midsummer. A floriferous variety, ‘Mother’s Choice’ makes an excellent garden plant and will also produce superb cut flowers for the vase and would make a lovely gift. The large, rose-like flowers are sometimes attractively marked with tiny crinson flecks. Plant it close to a pathway or entrance, where the fabulous scent can be really appreciated. Garden care: Deadhead after flowering. In early spring apply a balanced slow-release fertiliser around the base of the plant and mulch with well-rotted compost or manure. Fungal diseases may occur in cool, wet springs so prune out any affected parts and spray the remaining sections with fungicide. One of the more ‘flop-resistant’ double varieties, it will benefit from staking for a little extra support.

Iris 'Benton Caramel' (iris)

Iris ‘Benton Caramel’ (iris) £11.99
Position: full sun Soil: well-drained, moderately fertile, neutral to acidic soil Rate of growth: average Flowering period: May and June Hardiness: fully hardy A magnificent tall and elgant bearded iris bred by renowned artist and plantsman Sir Cedric Morris during his time at ‘Benton End’ in Suffolk in the mid 20th century. Sir Cedric Morris raised thousands of iris seedlings but only the best were named and released. Selected for vigour and form with his artist’s eye, Benton irises make an exquisite addition to the garden. The deliciously sultry flowers of ‘Benton Caramel’ are held on tall stiff stems and like all iris, it’s a natural multiplier so will spread over a number of years. Plant it in bold drifts in a sunny, well-drained border. Garden Care: Plant shallowly with the upper part of the rhizome sitting on the surface of the soil, incorporating a low nitrogen fertiliser in the planting hole. After planting remove the upper-most third of the leaves to protect against wind-rock. In exposed areas stake with bamboo canes in early spring. Remove the stems after flowering from the base as this will concentrate the plant’s energy into producing new rhizomes. Divide and replant about every three years.

Isolepis cernua (fiber optic plant (syn Scirpus cernuus ))

Isolepis cernua (fiber optic plant (syn Scirpus cernuus )) £9.99
Position: full sun or partial shade Depth of water: 0-8cm (0-3in) Rate of growth: average Flowering period: June to August Hardiness: fully hardy This wonderful foliage plant creates a fibre-optic effect, particularly when its slender tips are topped with small silvery white flower heads. A great architectural specimen for a bog garden or the margins of a pond, it can also be grown in a pot if you make sure it is kept really well watered. Garden care: From mid-spring to early summer lift and divide congested colonies.

Stratiotes aloides (water soldier)

Stratiotes aloides (water soldier) £7.99
Position: full sun or partial shade Depth of water: over 25cm Rate of growth: average to fast Flowering period: July Hardiness: fully hardy This fascinating semi-evergreen plant spends most of the time under the surface of the water, but it rises up when it starts to flower in summer. Its slender, pointed foliage looks good though whether it is submerged or not, so it will make an interesting addition to deeper ponds, where it will spread to form a sizeable clump. Garden care: Remove runners when it has produced too many.

Delphinium 'Blue Lace (New Millennium Series)' (delphinium )

Delphinium ‘Blue Lace (New Millennium Series)’ (delphinium ) £5.99
Position: full sun Soil: fertile, well-drained soil Rate of growth: average Flowering period: June and July Hardiness: fully hardy Each sky blue floret has a lavender pink flush and a light eye, so the inflorescence is very striking when fully open. Useful for providing a bold focal point in the border, they are also excellent if you want to create vertical interest. For best effect they should be planted in odd-numbered clumps or drifts, and to encourage a second flush of flowers in late summer you should cut the flowered stems back as soon as they have faded. Garden care: For best results, choose an open spot away from taller plants. Stake with bamboo canes as they start to shoot upwards in mid-spring and protect young foliage against slug and snail damage. During the growing season, apply a balanced liquid fertiliser every 2-3 weeks and wearing gloves cut back the faded flower-stems to a flowering side-shoot to encourage repeat flowering. At the end of autumn cut back and compost the faded flower stems.