Plant scores

On this page I’m giving a personal scorecard for the  plants I write about. The marks (in a range of +2 to -2) are entirely subjective and merely reflect how well a particular plant does with me and how much I like it. The marks also have to be taken in the context of a large, northern, wet, clay garden with a temperature range of 26C to -15FC  (79F to 5F). A negative score does not mean I don’t recommend the plant – merely that it may bring trouble in its wake. The terms should be self-explanatory on the whole. ‘Reliability’ means the capacity to survive the climate and still perform year on year. ‘Toughness’ means the capacity to survive abuse from e.g. out-of season pruning, digging up, splitting and re-planting etc.

Bog myrtle (myrica gale):

Fragrance (+2) Toughness (+1) Insect repellent (+1) Elegance (+0.5) Likes acid damp soil (+0.5) Can suffer from die-back (-0.5) Hard to propagate (-1) TOTAL 3.5

Geranium pratense ‘striatum’:

Colour (+2) Weed suppressant (+1) Toughness (+1) Easily divided (+1)  Ugly after flowering (-2) TOTAL: 3

Gunnera tinctoria:

Shape/interest (+2), Reliability (+1) Easy to divide – with a spade (+1) Happy with extreme wet & clay (+1)  Can rapidly get out of control (-1) Need to cut back leaves to give nearby plants a chance (-1) TOTAL 1

cranachan 012Inula magnifica:

Size/shape (huge) (+1) Colour (+1) Little maintenance (+2) Seasonality (August) (-1) Untidy (-1) TOTAL 2

Philadelphus ‘Belle étoile’

Fragrance (+2) Colour (+1) Seasonality – July (+1) Reliability (+1) Untidy shrub (-1) Needs pruning at busiest time (-1) TOTAL 3

Primula alpicola var. alba:

Colour (+1) Shape (+1) Self seeding (+1) Fussy about soil (-1.5)  Vulnerable to moles (-1) Late into growth (inhibits weeding) (-1) TOTAL -0.5

Primula aurantiaca:

Colour (+1) , Just about OK with damp clay (+1) Easily divided (+1) Apt to disappear over winter (-1)  Vulnerable to burrowing moles (-1) TOTAL  1

Primula florindae:

Impact (+2) Fragrance (+1) Toughness (+2) Weed supressant (+2) Colour (+1) Seasonality – July (+1) Too liberal in self-seeding (-1) TOTAL 8

Primula ‘Inverewe’:

Colour (+2), toughness (+1), weed suppressant (+1), multiple offshoots (+2), likes clay (+2). Hell to dig up and split (-1). TOTAL: 7

 

P1010538Primula melanantha

Colour (+2) Impact (+1) Can boast about it (+1) Needs a lot of care (-2) Vulnerable to heat/drought (-2) Rots horribly easily in winter (-2) TOTAL: -2

Primula secundiflora:

Colour (+2) Shape (+2)  Impact (+1) Seasonality – May (+1) Mildly fussy about soil (-1), Vulnerable to frost lift & moles (-1) Occasional rot (-1) TOTAL: 3

p inverewe 022Rhodohypoxis ‘Douglas

Colour (+1) Long-lasting flowers (+1) Seasonality (+1) Easily lost (-1) Spreads slowly (-1) TOTAL:  1

  Rosa ‘Ispahan’:

Fragrance (+2) Toughness (+1) Minimal care (+1) Impact (+1) Can grow through shrubs/trees (+1) Goes brown after rain (-2) TOTAL: 4

predator 028Rosa filipes ‘Kiftsgate’

Uncontrollable (-2) Vandal-proof (+1) Flowers (+1) Viciously thorny (-1)  Grows up trees (+1) Easily rooted (+1) TOTAL 1

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