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hot lips
& flowering
ardening is inspirational. And
plant nuts, like me, take inspiration
where we can – from our travels
around the world and the UK. A
recent trip to wonderful Wisley
Gardens in surrey made a huge
floral impact on me.
Wisley’s grounds are packed
with dozens of borders spread
throughout the acres of gardens. There are autumnal
delights such as Asters, barmy tropical Colocasias in
leafy, eye-popping displays. The highlight for me was
the new glasshouse which opened earlier this year. With
wonderful flowering honeycomb gingers and heaps of
cracking orchids, the glasshouse is a sensual stunner! A
temperate section with ferns like the glorious Cyathea
cooperi with deliciously hairy fronds really wowed
this plant nut along with a rare Angophora hispida,
Salvia Hot Lips Eucalyptus ficifolia (The Red Flowering Gum) and
stunning echiums (Giant Viper’s Bugloss).
As a rare plant fan I concluded that for the small
horticultural entity we are at Lullingstone, dwarfed by
Wisley Gardens
the brilliantly mighty Wisley Gardens, we’re not doing
too badly at all. We’ve got some wonderfully exotic and
in Surrey made
exciting plants in bloom this year including salvia hot
a big floral
Lips – my favourite plant of the moment.
This particular sage (Latin: salvia) has quite a fairytale
impact on me,
beginning: An American horticultural editor, and
says Tom Hart
keen plantsman richard Turner, threw a humongous
house warming party in mexico, for which his
stunning Mexican maid Altagracia provided the flower
arrangements. Altagracia included in one of her displays
a certain salvia from Oaxaca in mexico, which none of
the World
Altagracia’s boss’s horticultural associates had ever seen
Garden is now closed
before. And the rest as they say is horticultural history.
until Easter. Book now for
salvia microphylla ‘hot Lips’ is hardy here at
group parties and tours
Lullingstone in a sunny site with good drainage. It’s
of the World Garden
never been damaged by –10ºC! ‘hot Lips’ is easy to
in 2009 01322 866293
grow from a cutting. The plant has a curious appearance
with its flowers that can sometimes be white or red, or
bicoloured red and white. In fact you can have only
white, only red or bicoloured flowers on the same stem!
I would recommend pruning pretty hard at the end of
April each year as it can get pretty large.
Jobs for october
The most pumping horticultural delight at the close
of summer this year is the awesome appearance of a
Bring new life to your
Plant spring flowering
it takes two years in
flowering banana – not an uncommon sight now in the
rhubarb next year by lifting,
bulbs – these will need the
our English climate for
UK but nevertheless fabulous. The plant at Lullingstone
dividing and re-planting your
cold period of winter to
the fruit from a fig tree to
has even got mini four-inch banana’s that are revealed
old crowns
initiate flowering
properly grow and ripen. To
after the yellow-brown floral bracts fall away. I was in
successfully over-winter this
Spray peaches and
the middle of showing a group around the garden when
Lift and store dahlias year’s embryonic figs, they
nectarines against peach leaf
I saw this phenomenon and lost it completely – I was a
when their foliage has been will need protecting from the
curl – just as the leaves begin
jibbering and jabbering wreck.
blackened by the first of the worst of the cold.
to drop
winter frosts SiMOn EADE October 2008 vine 
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