Someone asked me recently if I had bought any plants at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show last month and I replied I had bought only a few, including a heather and a conifer. He thought I was joking.
I wasn't. I really bought a heather and a conifer (and yes only a few plants, ran out of time to pick up some more). And very nice ones too.
Heather and conifer for an exotic gardening enthusiast? Of course! and why not? Exotic gardening is a broad and relative term (mainly depending where you are in the world, an exotic plant to some may not be to another) and covers all sorts of plants, not just your stereotypical cannas and bananas associated with the humid tropics, nor agaves with the deserts.
And that includes heathers and conifers, especially if they originate from another part of the world, and a plus point too if they look unusual.
So what heather and conifer did I buy?
The heather is Erica cerinthoides, the Fire Heath and is a native plant of South Africa. I got a couple of small plants from the sales table of Trewidden Nursery, of which they also had a bigger plant on display at their gold medal winning floral stand. I was instantly attracted to the intense, almost fluorescent orange colour of the flowers, as well as its beautiful and tactile foliage. Loved everything about it really so I thought it's worth a try. I was meaning to plant them in one of the raised beds but I'm not sure if I ought to now. The spot I was intending on putting it is not ready yet and its getting quite late in the season to possibly plant it. I may have to wait till next year.
|Sciadopitys verticillata - the photo doesn't do it justice and have found it difficult to take photos of, with our camera anyway|