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Aftercare: Grows in most soils. Likes part sun - part shade. Can grow up to 6-8ft (180-240cm).
BEARDED IRIS (Iris Germanica)
Flowering time: May to June
Height: 2ft (60cm)
Aftercare: Plant 4 inches (10cm) apart and approximately 2-3 inches (5-8cm) deep in any type of soil. Will grow to form clumps over the years.
Flowering time: July to November
Height: 8-12in (20-30cm)
Indoor cultivation:- The tubers should be started during February or March by planting them with the hollow side uppermost in shallow boxes containing peat about half inch (1.5cm) below the surface. Keep them moist in the boxes until the shoots of the tubers are about 1 inch (2.5cm) long, when they should be potted up singly using a good quality potting compost. During the growing season feed them at weekly intervals with liquid fertilizer. After flowering, water sparingly until the stems fall away from the tubers when no more water should be given. They may be dried carefully and stored in pots of almost dry soil until the following season.
Outdoor cultivation:- The tubers may be started as above, then at the end of May, or as soon as all danger of frost is past, plant them out in ordinary garden soil. Alternatively, the dormant tubers can be planted in good garden soil about 3 inches (8cm) deep and 10 inches (25cm) apart during April or May. Begonias prefer a shady position and plenty of moisture. They need lifting after the first frosts have killed off the foliage. Dry and store them in a frost proof place. In tubs, window boxes or containers, tubers may be started as above, and planted in May about half inch (1.5cm) below the surface of a good quality potting compost. The tub, window box or container should have adequate drainage so lay crocks to a depth of 1 inch (2.5cm) over the drainage holes. Do remember to water adequately, particularly during dry spells. For cauldrons and hanging baskets the Cascade and Pendula type are especially suitable. Plant the tubers at an angle of 45 degrees with the roots pointing towards the centre as this will encourage the blooms to cascade over the edge of the cauldron or the basket. Apply water regularly, particularly during dry spells.
BIRD OF PARADISE (Strelizia)
Flowering time: late winter to spring
Height: 6.5ft (2m); spread 40in (1m)
Aftercare: Clump forming evergreen perennials. These plants are prone to frost and must be placed indoors or in the greenhouse during cold spells. In the growing season water freely and apply balanced liquid fertilizer monthly. Water sparingly in winter. Need to be potbound to flower. Use John Innes No 3 for potting.
BLACK ALDER WINTERBERRY (Ilex Verticillata)
Flowering time: mid spring
Height: It will remain almost unchanged as alder is grafted.
Aftercare: Grows in most well-drained soil types in sun or partial shade.
Aftercare: Plant in a sunny or partially sheltered position, where the plant can be trained against a wall, fence or along horizontal wires. Prune in the autumn each year by cutting out old wood and training the new growth for next year's fruit.
Aftercare: Blueberries need a good moist soil containing plenty of humus. Choose an open position in sun or partial shade and plant firmly 4ft (120cm) apart. Mulch with manure or peat after planting. Feed them each spring but avoid lime in any form. If your soil is not really suitable because it contains lime, fill in the holes with a mixture of 75% peat and 25% sand and leaf mould. Little pruning is necessary. Older, thicker stems should be cut out to encourage new growth.
Flowering time: spring and summer
Height: 60in (1.5m)
Aftercare: Plant in a large pot or tub using a good quality compost, ensuring plant is kept well watered. Give feed of liquid fertiliser every 2-3 weeks during the growing season. In winter protect from frost in exposed areas by bringing indoors into a temperature of about 7°C. Take outside in spring when risk of severe frost has gone.
Flowering time: all summer
Height: 4-5ft (120-150cm), in pot; 20ft (6m)in sunny border
Aftercare: Plant in 6-8 inch (15-20cm) pot, using John Innes No. 3 compost, placing crocks in base of pot for drainage. Train plant up canes or sticks, or in the border train along wires or trellis. Needs a sheltered, sunny position. When flowering ceases, reduce watering but keep plant moist. During winter maintain a temperature of 7-10°C. During March increase heat slightly to start new growth, and recommence watering.
Flowering time: July to October
Height: 9-10ft (270-300cm); spread, 9ft (270cm)
Aftercare: Will grow well in any fertile soil, but require an open position with good drainage. Soak the roots for 2-3 hours prior to planting. Spread the roots out carefully and plant firmly. Plant 4.5ft (140cm) apart. When planting is complete water well and continue watering for a few days if the weather is dry. Cut back hard in March.
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