woody shrub

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Plant of the Day

Friday 9 September 2016

A great late summer flowering compact shrub is Caryopteris × clandonensis ‘Heavenly Blue’ (bluebeard). The arching branches have toothed, grey-green leaves and clusters of small dark blue flowers in the leaf axils in late summer and early autumn. It thrives on a moderately fertile, light, well-drained soil in full sun.

Happy Graduation Day to all our landscape architecture, landscape and garden design and horticulture students who graduate today - you have worked so hard and are such a credit to Writtle University College and the professions in which you now work. I am a very proud teacher today!

Jill Raggett

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Dracaena reflexa var. angustifolia is in the family Asparagaceae. Commonly known as pleomele, it is native to Madagascar and other islands in the Indian Ocean. Pleomele is a woody shrub that can grow over 10 feet tall and is commonly found growing in jungle understories in its native habitat. Outside of its native range, pleomele is found around the world as a very common house plant. Frequently sold as D. marginata, this species has red-edged leaves and a tolerance for indoor cultivation making it an ideal and attractive plant for use inside the home. Pleomele also frequently ranks highly in NASA clean air studies, meaning this species has the ability to filter toxins from the surrounding air.

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Plant of the Day

Friday 17 June 2016

Rosa rubiginosa (eglantine rose) forming an informal division at Sissinghurst Garden, Kent. This vigorous arching deciduous shrub has prickly stems bearing wonderful apple-scented foliage, and single light pink flowers in summer, followed by red fruits in the autumn. I particularly like this rose when it rains and the air smells of cooked apples.

Jill Raggett

4

Plant of the Day

Saturday 19 December 2015

The amazing fruits and seeds of Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Lennei Alba’ (saucer magnolia). This large deciduous shrub has a spreading habit and is grown for its large, white, fragrant, cup-shaped flowers which appear on bare stems in spring. However, at this time of year the fruit look as dramatic as the flowers all those months ago!

'Thank you’ to Marks Hall Arboretum, Essex, for opening just for the Writtle College students of garden and landscape design for our annual festive season visit - it was great as usual.

Jill Raggett

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Plant of the Day

Thursday 29 October 2015

A dazzling array of autumn colours on foliage of Cotinus ‘Flame’ (smokewood, smoke bush). This large deciduous shrub has green leaves noted for their spectacular display in the autumn. Cotinus cultivars are frequently grown for their purple foliage and feathery inflorescences that when backlit look like smoke. A tolerant shrub growing in in sun or partial shade in well-drained soil.

Jill Raggett

4

Plant of the Day

Saturday 21 May 2016

The highly scented flowers of Viburnum × carlcephalum (fragrant snowball) attract the attention of garden visitors. This large deciduous shrub has broadly oval leaves which will provide autumn colour by turning red. The large rounded trusses of pink buds open in late spring to sweetly fragrant, white flowers.

Jill Raggett

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Plant of the Day

Sunday 19 June 2016

Philadelphus coronarius ‘Variegatus’ (variegated mock orange) is best in a woodland garden or shady situation which prevents strong sunshine from scorching the variegated foliage. This medium-sized deciduous shrub will brighten a dark spot - here the variegated leaves resembled a foaming waterfall between the green leaved shrubs whilst the flowers scented the air.

Jill Raggett

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Plant of the Day

Thursday 25 February 2016

The students and I had a warm welcome at Provender Nurseries, Kent, U.K., where Liz Hughes gave us a fascinating tour of this wholesale supplier of plants and how they work with landscape and garden designers. New to me was Magnolia ‘Jade Lamp’ (magnolia) which had goblet shaped flower buds that then opened to cup-shaped white flowers. The outside base of the new flower is tinged with green. Sadly this cultivar will not suit my garden as it needs some protection from strong winds and an acidic soil, but I look forward to seeing it growing in someone else’s garden soon!

Jill Raggett

Julodis viridipes

…an unusually marked species of metallic wood boring beetle (Buprestidae) which is native to Africa, where it is endemic to the country of South Africa. J. viridipes is known to reach a length of 22-36 mm (0.8-1.4 in) and sports a blue base coloration with tufts of yellow setae arising  along its body, its legs are a green color giving its species name of viridipes. J. viridipes is often seen in association with and feeds on the woody shrub Didelta spinosa. 

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Coleoptera-Polyphaga-Buprestoidea-Buprestidae-Julodis-J. viridipes

Image: Hectonichus