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What they say...

…hedges and fences at every turn …lines of beauty achieved by long observation, hard thinking and the craftman's hand in this little world where reason and romanticism come happily together.
Steven Desmond. Country Life.

Desperate Plea! Boxes!

We spend many hours collecting boxes from a number of sources for you to take your plants home in. It is an enormous help therefore if you can provide your own boxes and moreover a sure way of becoming a favourite customer! Many thanks.

Marchants Snowdrops

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Plant Inventory: Ornamental Grasses

intro A-C D-F G-I J-M N-R S-Z <- please click to view grasses
MELICA nutans. The flower spikes of the Mountain Melick are one sided, the individual flowers being glossy and tinged with purple. A good texture plant for light woodland or partial shade.
*M. uniflora f. albida. The Wood Melick creeps about benignly, its spikelets spangled with tiny bead like whitish flowers. Understated and utterly charming.

MISCANTHUS. My conversion to this Genus happened many years ago on a visit to Ernst Pagels’ Nursery in North Germany where he had spent many years selecting seedlings. The result of his work has provided us with some of the finest autumn flowering grasses available today. This also accounts for the large number of German names one battles to get ones tongue around! Flowering at the same time as Pampas Grass, they do not suffer the same unfortunate suburban connotation and are much easier to accommodate in mixed borders. Their beauty lasts long into the winter, as long that is as their bleached stems are able to resist the vagaries of winter’s inclement weather. Flowering on their annual growth, Jan./Feb. heralds the start of the shearing season when they are cut back to 15cm or so before the new season’s growth begins.
*M. sinensis ‘Adagio’. At 1.2m this American selection has proved to be the shortest in our collection and is thus ideal for the smaller garden. Makes a tight, narrow leaved clump and covers itself in silvery buff, thin plumes.
M. s. ‘China’. Like the following, one of the darkest, but just a notch later.
*M. s. ‘Ferne Osten’. An early display of dark purple flowers held well above narrow leaves, continues thereafter over a long season. A great favourite here. 150cm.
M. s. ‘Flamingo’. A cultivar with extremely beautiful pendulous, purplish pink flowers. 180cm. AGM.
M. s. ‘Ghana’. A distinct narrow habit, upright brown flowers and superb reddish, purplebrown autumn colour make this a real winner. 150cm.
M. s. ‘Grosse Fontane’. The 2.5m stems support great arching silvery-buff flower plumes, always a great sight. AGM.
*M. s. ‘Kaskade’. Aptly named, the cascading flowers even when bleached by weather make a notable feature long into the winter months. 180cm. AGM.
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Kleine Fontane’. Drooping flower heads in shimmering pink. This is indeed a very beautiful ‘Small Fountain’. 120cm. AGM
M. s. ‘Malepartus’. The stir this plant caused when it arrived from Germany continues to this day. Dramatic, upright spikes of purple flowers in bold contrast to the broad, arching leaves. The foliage takes on glorious amber/apricot tints in late autumn. 180cm.
M. s. ‘Morning Light’. This justly popular Japanese selection possesses extremely narrow variegated foliage, which to the eye, registers as a pale silver-green. Not normally noted for its flowering display, it remains a peerless accent plant. 150cm. AGM
M. s.‘Professor Richard Hansen’. Another Ernst Pagels selection, with upright foliage and sentinel, silvery flower plumes held on lithe stems well above the leaves. 2.75m
*M. s. ‘Punktchen’. Pale narrow bands develop on the leaves as the seasons progress, eventually becoming distinct punctuations. Very free flowering and highly recommended. 2m.
M. s. ‘Rosi’. A very handsome newcomer from Germany, bolt upright and with a dark, smouldering look about it. Fine autumn colour comes as a bonus. 2m+
M. s. ‘Rotfuchs’. Deep rust-red narrow plumes, fading to a bleached charcoal-purple. 2m+
*M. s. ‘Rotsilber’. A handsome selection, the strict, upright stems terminate in a fantastic display of reddish-purple croziers, equally beautiful when they fade to greysilver. 2.2m+
M. s. ‘Sarabande’. Extremely fine elegant leaves form an erect column, erupting in September in a display of copper-gold plumes. An American selection. 180cm.
M. s. ‘Silberspinne’. The vertical thrust of elegant narrow leaves and upright flower heads of brown-purple make this selection one of the finest. Splendid winter structure. 180cm.
*M. s. ‘Silver Sceptre’. Bolt upright with arguably the finest foliage among Miscanthus of medium height making it a particularly good grass for statement making. Marvellous in flower too. A lucky Marchants seedling. 1.8m
M. s. ‘Yakushima Dwarf’. Extremely productive, casting up masses of golden plumes. Its narrow foliage, compact habit and beautiful shape, lends it to ‘Punctuation’ planting. Classy. 120cm eventually.
M. transmorrisonensis. Virtually evergreen, with upright growth, the slender shuttlecock flowers are copper burnished and particularly beautiful when suspended with golden pollen in early autumn. 2m.

MOLINIA. The following are without exception among the most atmospheric of grasses. Arising from non-invasive clumps, their erect stems bear in summer slender spikes of black-purple or brown/tan flowers. Their transparent nature makes them ideal candidates for the border front, enabling the eye to pass through to vistas beyond. To cap it all, their bright, bleached stems make a strikingly beautiful addition to the late autumn/early winter garden.
Molinia caerulea ssp. arundinacea ‘Bergfreund’. Tiny bead like flowers in silvery brown create a floral mist and are at their most entrancing when suspended with droplets of water after rain. 2m.
M. c. a. ‘Cordoba’. Upright thrusting stems and dense spikelets of purple-brown flowers. Impressive. 2m.
M. c. a. ‘Fontäne’. An appropriate name given the fountain like nature of this plants arching stems. 2m+
Molinia caerulea arundinacea ‘Karl Foerster’. Handsome purple flower infloresence. The perfect choice for a one man show at the border front! 180cm. Highly recommended.
M. c. a. ‘Skyracer’. The pale brown flower heads hover above every customer's head. A catchy name for a very good, very tall grass. 2.5m.
M. c. a. ‘Transparent’. Only a pedant would argue about the differences between this and M. ‘Bergfreund’. They are both highly effective garden plants.
The following forms (ssp. caerulea) require the same cultural conditions as the above but are much shorter in growth.
Molinia caerulea ssp c. ‘Carmarthen’. Presumably discovered in Wales. Forms a soft mound of cream/green variegation. 40cms.
M. c. c. ‘Claerwen’. A choice variegated form with striking upright flower stems in pale cream. Perfect for a vertical statement. 50cm.
*M. c. c. ‘Edith Dudszus’. A useful height at 60cm, the upright stems carry tight heads of black-purple flowers. A great favourite here.
M. c. c. ‘Heidebraut’. As ethereal as the following but at 1.2m just a notch taller.
M. c. c. ‘Moorhexe’. At 1m and with wispy panicles this is a useful intermediary between the short and tall Molinias.

*MUHLENBERGIA rigens. Deer Grass. An uncommon N. American sp. with modest silvery-green foliage and distinct, slender plumes resembling exquisite platinum braid in late summer. 60cm+.

Images at the top of the page are ©Gardens Illustrated / Sharon Pearson