Northumberland Diary Discussion: 11 July 2016
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Northumberland Diary. Entry 320.Go to latest contribution by John Richards, 10 August 2016, 20:52. Go to bottom of this page.
Good to see you are enjoying your trips around the country and making continued progress from your eye difficulties, John. It has certainly been a "good" summer for lush growth and weeds in the garden.
Just found and read by chance a few of your latest diaries and loved reading them, must find some time to read more....!!
I believe that the plant you saw at Holker Hall might be Iochroma australe, a small relative of Datura.
Luit, you are a mine of information, as ever!
Iochroma australe grows vigorously fo us in our Southampton Garden. This Argentinian native flowers well throughout most of the summer, covering itself in pendent blue trumpets. Over about seven years it has grown to about 10 feet high, and would have had a similar spread had we not hacked it back regularly. It's deciduous, with a woody framework, coming into growth rather late in spring. When we originally acquired this plant it was suggested to us that it might not be hardy, but it has survived winter frosts - OK we are in the south coast banana belt. Our plant is in a sunny position in somewhat dry sandy soil. This is well worth trying and certainly delivers.
There is a fantastic plant of Iochroma at the Chelsea Physic Garden - here's a link to the blogspot of 'A Lady from Lousiana'.(http://victoriasbackyard.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/at-chelsea-physic-garden-with-lady-from.html)
In a mild garden like the CPG - and it must be the same in Cornwall - Iochroma australis makes a small tree, but it seems remarkably hardy in colder gardens as well, sprouting from old wood if cut back by frost. A friend in our Group actually grows it in his garden high up on the N. Downs, though it never gets to any size.