Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Phlomis russeliana

Phlomis, sounds like some lovelorn swain from sixteenth century English lyric poetry. I can't find a reference though, and I can't face the Faerie Queen. A man's plant, we find:on our stall, the husbands make a beeline for it, but the wives are not impressed. A bit like Telekia speciosa.We like it, however, and it certainly likes our heavy clay.It has been here for years, and this year a swathe runs along a Bethersden Marble path through the middle of the big bed.

To the left of the Phlomis lurks a very uneven path.

As well as vibrant, refreshing yellow whorls at this time of year, the seed heads add structure to the garden in duller months. Bees make use of the flowers, and I would think seed eating birds and insects would enjoy the plant during the winter.


Everywhere is saturated now; I ran across the middle field with the tractor and trailer putting up an electric fence,marking the ground, but luckily not sinking in.The cattle enjoyed the change, having not been in this field before,at least officially.I spent a wet morning with our Natural England advisor, going over our Higher Level Stewardship Scheme application.After ten years, the grassland at
Riverhall is beginning to look more like a traditional haymeadow:we found hayrattle in the Waypost field, which was originally in an arable rotation. Vigorous grasses are declining, being replaced by crested dogstail and sweet vernal.
On Sunday, we will be in St Mary's churchyard in Sandwich with our plants, supporting the opening of the "Little Gardens of Sandwich".Lets hope it doesn't rain!
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1 comment

  1. Must say I am a fan of both the Phlomis and Telekia, my husband prefers the Phlomis (even if he doesn't know the botanical name !).
    Our Telekia grows in equally hidious hard sand/clay soil, as does the Phlomis - both are thriving even through drought.
    Beautifully written article ! Glad I read letter to the ed first this mth.

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