Friday, 31 July 2009

(a late) Thursdays favourite plant

Melianthus major (aka honey bush)

picture via gardeners world

Now I'm afraid to say I bought a small one of these last year in late summer but I failed to protect it early enough from the frost and snow, thus I was found guilty of accidental plant-slaughter. I almost bought one yesterday at Hill House Nursery on my way back from the Totnes show, but decided that as they were quite small they might not establish enough before it gets cold. Also and in a rare moment of restraint I thought that I have enough plants waiting for homes in the garden that a melianthus would just get caught up in the backlog (although it didn't stop me buying a Japanese anemone.)

These half hardy plants are mainly grown for their lush foliage which is a glaucus (bluey-grey) colour, with a sort of waxy texture that holds water droplets like sparkles. It also has a curious smell to it which reminds me of my grandads shed, It smells like fishermens friends (cough sweets) and pipe tobacco. They do also flower and produce huge amounts of nectar (hence honey bush). But for me I'm interested in the foliage that will look stunning with dark flowers and my new dark grass (that's siting waiting to be planted.) So I think I'll wait until next spring until I get one.
You can find more info about them here, here and here

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