of the season:
A deciduous shrub, related to Forsythia, which produces fragrant flowers in February and March. Although perfectly hardy it performs better against a sunny wall. It can be pruned hard after flowering and is a useful host plant for a late flowering clematis.
This splendid large evergreen shrub produces these yellow flowers in February or March. Even during a very cold winter it has suffered no frost damage.
A deciduous shrub with very fragrant flowers from November to March. Best grown against a wall. it came into flower over Christmas thsi year.
A superb low evergreen shrub which flowers well in sun or shade.It produces sweetly scented creamy flowers in spring.
This superb small tree is flowering well at the moment. The flowers are 3-4 inches wide and pendulous, with a delicious lemon scent. It seems to grow best in half shade.
This intriguing little clematis will scramble through a shrub to a height of about 6 or 8 foot. It's fleshy pitcher-shaped flowers are an unusual dusky colour. It requires no special attentions and seems to prefer to be pruned hard in the spring.
This superb herbaceous climber was brought back from Mexico by John D'Arcy, James Compton and Martyn Rix and seems hardy here. The exotic white trumpets are 3-4" long and produced in great profusion in late summer. A stunning sight for a hot dry spot, it can reach 20' in a season
An evergreen shrub 6-10' high. Bright yellow semi-double flowers from March to May. It grows best in a sunny sheltered spot but seems to survive fairly cold temperatures.
A wonderful evergreen climber for a large, sunny, warm wall. This year these rather insignificant flowers were already open in late April and fill the area with an exotic and delicious scent more reminiscent of the Mediterranean than Kidderminster!
Flowering here for the first time this deciduous shrub grows against a sunny east wall and seems perfectly hardy. If it flowers for as long as other Desmodiums it should perform for many weeks!
A useful august flowering shrub for a lime-free soil. It has a superb scent and has enjoyed the wet season here.
A curious and beautiful climber with scented flowers in late summer. It likes to grow on a warm sunny wall and will not survive a cold winter- but it was undeterred by -9 degrees C last winter.
This large chinese shrub is sweetly scented and flowers in February and March.
It seems best grown in a sunny sheltered spot and has survived for the last severn years here against a warm wall.
A bushy shrub up to 10' high and best grown against a sunny wall. It survived last winter in Kidderminster but has not yet been tested by a really nippy one!
The white-blue pea like flowers last for some time and the leaves can be made into a refreshing drink!(Known in Peru as the Jesuit's tea tree!)
VITEX AGNUS-CASTUS LATIFOLIA
This aromatic plant - the Chaste tree - loves a hot summer and is already flowering profusely this year.
It likes to grow against a sunny wall, and seems to prefer a well drained soil.
An attractive evergreen tree which has grown to 15' here against a fairly sheltered east wall.
It produces these lovely white floweRs every February. It has survived for at least 25 years here and lived through some quite nippy winters, it deserves to be more widely grown!
A delightful and very hardy shrub from Manchuria.
It's spiny stems are covered in tiny yellow flowers in mid March.
An evergreen shrub from New South Wales, best grown as a wall shrub here and even then probably quite tender. It has survived some of the last few winters here and has been flowering well against a sheltered south facing wall near Kidderminster for some weeks.
ALBIZZIA JULIBRISSIN 'ROSEA'
A splendid tree here grown against the house wall.
It has probably reached 20' and flowers every year in July and August
BUDDLEIA COLVILEI 'KEWENSIS''
A staggering sight in a good year. My plant is at least 15' high. It needs sun and shelter but has survived the two cold winters of 2010 and 2011
This climber is semi-evergreen and should be hardy on a sunny wall.
I tend to lose this plant in a very cold winter but it is worth replacing as it grows at a terrific rate. It is evergreen and the flowers are sweetly scented.
CLEMATIS CIRRHOSA 'FRECKLES'
No garden should be without some winter flowering climbers and this is one of the best. An evergreen climber, it flowers almost continually (in a good year) from the autumn right through the winter. It even has bursts of seasonal amnesia during the summer. The flowers are cream coloured, the size of an apricot and so heavily blotched with maroon spots inside that it appears deep pink. They can be damaged in very severe weather – but quickly reappear during the next mild spell.
A vigorous grower it accepts harsh pruning when it gets out of control without a murmur
This is a neat, restrained evergreen climber without the ‘bad legs’ or irritating vigour of Clematis armandii.
The creamy flowers are fragrant.
I don’t think it likes to be too dry at the roots.
Clematis napaulensis is a delightful climber and has flowered here happily for the last 12 years. It aesivates in June (sheds it's leaves and goes dormant).It comes into leaf again in the autumn and the fresh new foliage shows off the lovely cream flowers and purple stems.
A robust species clematis with poise and elegance. It does not have the temperament, or perhaps vulgarity, of an over-bred hybrid. From mid-summer onwards the delicate blue flowers dance on short stalks, even in the slightest breeze. The blooms are shaped like Victorian lampshades with the inside being slightly darker than the outside giving a magical effect. It is easy to prune - cut it hard to the ground in February, mulch with a hearty dose of manure. and leave it alone. It is ideal to clothe a pergola or to disguise the drabness of a once-flowering rose.
This climber is definitely under grown. So many people require a neat evergreen climber that flowers, is fragrant, and doesn’t have vicious thorns of a Pyracantha. It can be kept in trim easily and is the perfect answer for the tidy gardener who likes a plant to know its place and stick to it. The flowers come in very early spring, smelling slightly of honey. In the autumn the foliage can take on a reddish tinge, the new growth is yellowish green but always has a lustrous sheen.
This easy summer flowering climber seems to have a mistaken reputation for tenderness. It is at its best on a sunny wall and can be cut hard back during the winter. It begins to flower in late June or early July, producing panicles of white flowers with a hint of pink.
The flowers have a curious and evocative scent. Each time I sniff I am strongly reminded of the smell of a child’s swimming bag, opened after spending a couple of days under the bed, – of damp towels and soggy rubber.
This Genista makes a semi-transparent evergreen tree producing masses of yellow, extremely fragrant flowers borne on the thin twigs, which bear very few leaves, in July and August.
A leguminous shrub from California with magenta flowers in early summer.
It is short, quite neat, likes the sun and should be more widely grown.
Itea ilicifolia is a ‘lax grower’ rather than a pure climber. It doesn’t ask for a prime South or West wall to lean against but lolls, happily, against a shady wall that has plenty of light. If you secure it occasionally to supporting wires it will quietly impress you with its glossy foliage and bronzy new growth. In August it takes centre stage and throws out long, scented green catkin flowers that carry on well into the autumn. It has all the attributes, without the gloom, of a Garrya elliptica.
This hardy shrub will not bowl you over - but it does have quiet charm.
It is easily grown but seemingly by very few people.It is the plant I am most often asked about here when it is in flower. Many horticultural boffins are defeated by it!
Evergreen climber or lax shrub for a fairly sheltered wall. It has slightly scented yellow flowers almost 12 moths of the year.
It never makes a staggering impact - but is never out of flower.
This elegant evergreen shrub seems hardy here. Scented white flowers emerge from velvety brown buds in spring.It dislikes too much lime
The flowers of Oelmeria cerasiformis are scented of almonds. This easily grown suckering shrub flowers at the end of February. I tis perfectly hardy and does not require full sun.