Six on Saturday: 17.9.22 RHS treats

Having done so well completing my RHS Level 2 in Horticulture I felt entitled to a few treats. We headed off to Skirlaugh Garden Centre. Of our local garden centres, I think this one has one of the best range of perennials at the best price. A few others have more choice but you pay for it. I was hoping for a few plants for what I’ve designated as the hot border. The other borders are looking like they’ll be fairly cohesive but this one isn’t looking so good. I had Geum totally tangerine in mind for decent bright flowers over a reasonable period. They had a lot of yellow Geums I wasn’t bothered for and one short red one I was tempted with but didn’t have a place in mind for. I was also looking for more Ophiopogon to go edging the arch on either side but it was very expensive for small pots so I’ll just divide my existing plants. It’ll take longer but it was looking to cost the better part of £50 to get enough to fill the space. But, let’s take a look at what I did buy.


It turned out they had all plants reduced. I assume they are clearing stock ahead of winter. So, all of this came to £30 which is pretty good for some decent perennials. I got 5 Kniphofia uvaria Flamenco. I have a lot of plants forming low mounds of foliage. I wanted a few plants that have more of an upright shape like these to vary things up. While I didn’t find the geum I wanted I did find Potentilla nepalensis Miss Wilmott. This has small pink flowers with a dark centre. Alice picked a potentilla a few years ago that I wasn’t sure about. However, it has proved a good plant and as this one has Miss Wilmott’s name to it, I’m willing to try it. I got 3 Agapanthus purple clouds that I’m planning to put together in a pot. I am trying to reduce my pot watering and the agapanthus have been great in the heat this year. I let Alice choose a number of plants from the alpine section for her alpine garden. She picked: Sempervivum arachnoideum bryoides, Erodium reichardii Album, Chaenorhinum origanifolium ‘blue dream’, Rhodiola pachyclados and Lilium formosanum var. Pricei. Amy choose a Rhodohypoxis Tetra Pink.

Agapanthus ‘purple cloud’

This is supposedly one of the darkest purple Agapnathus. Currently, I have various shades of blue, from very pale to a more royal blue. They have been reliable plants in the pots. They require minimal effort in terms of watering and they bring colour in late summer when there is a bit of a lull between some of the early summer plants fading. The bees seem to love them. This seems like a good enough reason for them to exist in my garden. I think the purple will complement nicely with my blousy pink hydrangeas.

Potentilla ‘Miss Wilmott’

I had envisioned this in a spot mid-border but when I looked up the details it is shorter than the label suggests. It should form a dense clump of strawberry-like leaves and flower through summer and possibly even into autumn. I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Miss Wilmott’s life and it is a fascinating story. An amazing plantswoman, though a bit of a controversial figure in her time, and I’m willing to give any plant with her name assigned a try. I’m going to have to reconsider my positioning though and look for a spot front of the border.

Kniphofia uvaria Flamenco

These are heading into the border I have assigned the hot border. As I said I wanted some plants with more upright shapes. There are a lot of clump-forming perennials with broader leaves like geraniums so these will make a contrast. They form the bottle brush flowers in shades of red, to orange, to yellow. Kniphofia are native to Africa and as such like it on the dryer side. I’m not sure what they’ll make of my soil which is much-improved clay soil. I think I’ve improved it enough over the last few years that these should survive and fit with my plans for more drought tolerance to reduce the need to water.

The alpines

Alice helped me plant up her choices in her fairy garden. We had the one sempervivum that didn’t fit that I’ll probably use in a pot sometime and Amy’s choice of the Rhodohypoxis Tetra Pink which went in the border. I’m not sure it will suit the border soil but Alice was definite it belonged there. A lot of what Alice selected are spreaders so we’ll see how they colonise the space of which suit the conditions well and which don’t. The lilies were new to me. They are a dwarf form that still forms a large flower but on short sturdy stem apparently. They look pretty on the label, but we’ll see. Lily beetle have been around a lot this year though I have still had most lilies make it to flower.

Acanthus ‘morning candle’

I like acanthus. They have nice deep cut leaves and the contrasting flowers are very attractive. I tried Acanthus whitewater last year but this year’s growth has been very weak. Whitewater is a highly variegated one and I wonder if this has weakened it. Morning candle has attractive veining but it is still a dark green so hopefully, this will grow strong. They form tap roots and regrow from small root sections so once placed they can keep coming back even if you move so I need to consider its position well.

I still want to track down the geum I failed to get but I feel this was a pretty good plant haul as a reward for my RHS results. A few people have asked if I plan to continue my studies. I’m not carrying on with any RHS courses currently. I am however aiming for a National Collection of Iris foetidissima. I’m also attending the British Cactus and Succulent society meetings. So between working on the National Collection for plant heritage, reading information from the British Iris Society and building my cactus knowledge I have plenty to keep me busy as I continue to develop my plant knowledge.

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12 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 17.9.22 RHS treats”

    1. I think the other garden centre locally has them as small pots £1.99 but need to buy several to make a clump. Would have proffered a big pot. It was all at a decent discount. Might need another trip as there are looking to be a few other gaps. I’m thinking I could do with something like another hollyhock for a spot requiring another tall perennial. Need to look up the more rust resistant cultivars.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well done on your exam results,quite an achievement. Some very interesting plants in this week’s haul….and quite a bargain bunch. Like the rest of the SoS team, I’m looking forward to seeing the Agapanthus in full colour.


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