Good and Bad Buys

I wanted to note my plant successes and failures but also I just wanted to document what plants I've bought as I decided to have a clear-out of all those plant labels I accumulated. This takes up less room.

Spring 2016

Narcissus Green Eyes

totally pathetic, no flowers from a pack of 10 except 2 that started rotting before blooming properly

narcissus green eyes

an update Summer 2015, Spring 2016

I bought 3 sea holly from the garden centre in the "wildflower" range and 1 of the 3 did not bloom - didn't even get a flower stem. Another 2 plants purchased the previous year did not bloom and I think 1 of them died. Although I like eryngium very much I'm finding it a temperamental plant - and I resorted to buying plants as I've had failures with seeds.

sea holly

still nothing from a May sowing of Sarah Raven's Monarda Bergamo and Echium Blue Bedder

about 3 seedlings from 2 packets of Mr Fothergill's Delphinium Magic Fountains

no lavender seedlings from Suffolk Herbs but 3 or 4 of the Rosemary

Spring 2015 

This spring I have planted 4 different sweet peas, Viola Chicky Chicks, Scabious Blue Cushion, Delphinium Magic Fountains Midnight and Sunflower Taiyo all from Mr Fothergills, also calendula although I can't find the seed packet right now so not sure which supplier, from Suffolk Herbs Lavender Vera and Rosemary and from Sarah Raven (Johnsons) Monarda Bergamo and Echium Blue Bedder.

I went through my seed packets and a few were successful:

I got plants from Suffolk Herbs Hyssop seeds but the slugs destoyed them, Johnsons Sunflower seeds produced flowering plants, I had great flowers from Thompson and Morgan Scabiosa Oxford Blue seeds, I had good results from Johnsons Love in a Mist Persian Jewels seeds, great results from Mr Fothergills Echinops seeds, cats enjoyed the cat grass produced by Mr Fothergills cat grass seeds,  flowers from Thompson and Morgan Antirrhinum, ok results from Sarah Raven's Cornflower Polka Dot seeds, although they didn't match the photo on the pack - the case with so many seeds.

I am shocked so many did not produce any seedlings, let alone full size plants.

Did not germinate:

Thompson and Mogan Eryngium, Primula Auricula, Agastache Astello Indigo, Catmint

Mr Fothergills Eryngium, Iris Chrysographes, Aconitum Nappelus, Bergamot

Suffolk Herbs Bergamot, Nepeta Cataria

Disappointing results from various brands of red poppy seeds which I was looking forward to using as acknowledgment of the start of the First World War.

Taylors Tete-a-tete daffodil bulbs

I bought a pack of 25 of these (Sept 2014) and when I got them home, 5 bulbs were empty husks of brown papery bulbs. I took the pack back to the garden centre and they said, take another pack. When I got it home, another 5 of the 25 bulbs were empty. Not very impressed. I emailed the company and got this ridiculous response:

"Dear Julie

I was sorry to hear that you were disappointed with your purchase. Whilst we do everything we can to ensure that all the bulbs we pack are sound it is not always possible to detect low levels of disease without destroying the bulb in the process. We are after all dealing with a live plant and on occassion there may well be a low level of disease present that can only be detected by cutting the bulb in half. Very often the problem will not progress and once the bulb is planted antagonistic fungi in the soil will enable the bulb to recover. In other cases if the bulbs are not stored correctly after planting the problem increases with the result you experienced.

We inspect all the bulbs we pack as they are delivered from the grower and again as they are packed but as yet there is no method of seeing what is happening inside the bulb without doing serious damage to it.

Yours sincerely

J W Walkers

Quality Manager"


Plant total failures

Hydrangea from Clifton Nursery

Blueberry from Clifton Nursery

Verbena Bonariensis from Hopley Plants

3 out of 5 Iris from Wisley never grew or bloomed: Superstition, Persian Berry and either Best Bet or Mystique (not sure which plant I have (see Purple Flowers)

9 out of 10 Whittali tulips from Wisley

Liatris spicata: never came back the next year

alpine Gentiana Blue Silk: never came back the next year

alpine Delphinium Blue Butterfly: never came back the next year

alpine Viola Molly Sanderson: never came back the next year

Veronica spicata Red Fox (from Aylett Nursery I think): never came back the next year, so disappointing as I love Veronica

Geranium Ann Folkard: never came back the next year

Echinacea "Fatal Attraction" and "Green Jewel" from Phoenix Perennial Plants: never came back the next year

alpine Dianthus Brilliant Star: never came back the next year

water plants: water spearmint, typha minima, ranunculus flammula, cotula coronopifolia: none came back the next year

erigeron from Crocus: never came back the next year

Clematis Victor Hugo from Crocus: never came back the next year

Geranium Rozanne - has not come back this year and after no flowers last year I am appalled this was named plant of th centenary, why?

Poor performers

Wisteria floribunda "Honbeni" - has never bloomed in 7 or 8 years

Veronica Royal Candles (I love it! one of my favourite plants.  After a poor second year it seems to have revived in the 3rd year) and now it hasn't come back at all this year so I bought another one.

Nepeta from came damaged but grew for a couple years did not come back this year (2013) so bought a new one from Boma

Plants still growing some better than others

Pickerel Hyacinth from B+Q,  good buy, performing well

Bulrush (typha angustifolia) from B+Q good buy, performing well

Stachys byzantia Boma (good buy, performing well)

Iris Sugar Blues and either Best Bet or Mystique (not sure which plant I have (see Purple Flowers)

Roses: Young Lycidas, Brother Cadfael, Indian Summer (hybrid tea rose) from Clifton Nurseries

Eryngium Jos Eijking - not performing very well

Syringa Vulgaris Katherine Havemeyer - didn't bloom first few years, then had only 2 flowers, then I pruned it and bloomed well the next year and bloomed well again this year

Cirsium rivulare Atropurpureum - great, blooms twice during the spring/summer/autumn, still had flowers towards the end of the year, - update few years later - they are totally gone

Cynara cardunculus Scolymus - grew great the first couple years, now going downhill, did not look at all good last year.

Ceanothus: Puget Blue, Italian Skies, Skylark and another (must find the label): all doing well

Goat Willow (pussy willow) from Buckingham Nurseries - doing well

Veronica Royal Candles just bought from Camden Garden Centre 6-2013

Veronica Ulster Blue Dwarf just bought from Camden Garden Centre 6-2013

Trachelospermum (star jasmine) this was by the front railings and passers-by pulled off every flower last year so I moved it and it is not looking good. I don't know if it will ever recover.


Salvia Mystic Spires - this was fantastic the first year, still bloomed the next year then it died. I don't actually  know if it's an annual or perennial so I can't say it's a "failure" until I find out.


Landlife Wildflowers - ok seeds, some grew, some didn't


Bloms outdoor bulbs 2009

Tulip Paul Scheerer

Tulip Rococo - good

Tulip Silver Parrot - good

Tulip Rai - no resemblence to the photo!

Living Colour outdoor bulbs 2009

Ranunculus Aviv Orange - nice

Ranunculus Aviv Rose - hardly had any in bloom

Professor Rontgen - good, loved them

Allium Hair - 1 bloom ? (out of 20 bulbs)

Tulip Carnival de Nice hard to say as I planted them too much in shade

Allium Christophi - can't even remember them so weren't very memorable and I didn't take any pics

Living Colour outdoor bulbs 2011

Ranunculus Aviv Orange

Parkers 2011

Tulip Silver Parrot

Tulip Professor Rontgen

Peter Nyssen 2011

Narcissus Tete-a-Tete

Ranunculus Aviv Rose

Tulip Estella Rynveld

Tulip Orange Favourite


Vitax Slug Off - I really like this but when I tried to buy more it proved impossible to find again