img_0007This stunning herbaceous perennials is a close relative of the well known ‘Red Hot Poker’ but this species flowers much later, in England it would normally flower from July into August but here in France it reliably flowers twice each year once in June/July and again during October. This particular plant has only been established for 3 years and had over 15 flower spikes on it in June, now in early October it is starting to produced a second flush of flowers with many more buds to come.

This is not a plant for a small space, measuring up to a metre and a half tall and spreading to over a metre wide it likes a bit of room, preferably in a sunny spot in neutral to acid loam or sandy soil and makes a fantastic plant for late summer/early autumn colour in a large herbaceous border.

Cut back the faded flower spikes immediately after the first flowering to get a second flush. The foliage is semi- evergreen and needs a bit of a tidy up in mid to late autumn by cutting back dying or damaged or straggly leaves and again in early spring after any winter damage.

We have young  plants for sale at La Petite Pépinière – come along and see our selection of perennials. Open Saturdays 10-4 until end of October – at other times by prior appointment – you can message us on Facebook or email: lejardincreatif87@gmail.com

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From early summer many trees start to develop strange looking warty structures from their leaves and buds. These odd looking growths are homes to the developing larvae of a range of insects including wasps, mites and flies. Many gardeners are worried when they spot these galls often in abundance covering their trees. While a heavy infestation can reduce the trees efficiency to photosynthesise it is worth remembering that trees are part of a complex ecosystem that supports and interacts with many different species. Oak trees can support hundreds of different insect species and this is a natural process.

In most cases the female insect lays her eggs under the epidermis of the developing leaf using her ovipositor. The larvae hatch out and cause the strange growths that surround them, keeping them safe from predators and with a supply of energy and nutrients.

The aptly named ‘Robin’s Pincushon’ is caused by a tiny wasp that is commonly seen on rose plants, creating a large fluffy structure around the larvae. The larvae will continue to feed on the host plant throughout the winter before pupating and emerging as an adult in the spring.

IMG_0150Oaks support many gall forming insects including the common ‘Oak Apple’ which is caused by another species of wasp. The smaller ‘spangle galls’ can be seen on the underside of the leaves are created by a tiny gall wasp larvae which falls to the ground within the gal in the autumn and continues to complete its lifecycle within the leaf litter on the ground.

IMG_0153Sycamores also support a range of insect species including the spiky red ‘nail gall’ and many tiny species of gall mite.

Next time you are out in the garden or going for a walk in the countryside have a look and see how many types of gall you can see and be amazed by the complexity of nature!

 

img_0007This stunning herbaceous perennials is a close relative of the well known ‘Red Hot Poker’ but this species flowers much later, in England it would normally flower from July into August but here in France it reliably flowers twice each year once in June/July and again during October. This particular plant has only been established for 3 years and had over 15 flower spikes on it in June, now in early October it is starting to produced a second flush of flowers with many more buds to come.

This is not a plant for a small space, measuring up to a metre and a half tall and spreading to over a metre wide it likes a bit of room, preferably in a sunny spot in neutral to acid loam or sandy soil and makes a fantastic plant for late summer/early autumn colour in a large herbaceous border.

Cut back the faded flower spikes immediately after the first flowering to get a second flush. The foliage is semi- evergreen and needs a bit of a tidy up in mid to late autumn by cutting back dying or damaged or straggly leaves and again in early spring after any winter damage.

We have young  plants for sale at La Petite Pépinière – come along and see our selection of perennials. Open Saturdays 10-4 until end of October – at other times by prior appointment – you can message us or email: lejardincreatif87@gmail.com