This blog reviews the latest products, plants and innovations in gardening. It also provides a link for my many gardening friends who are members of the GardenMessenger and Seedmessenger Yahoo groups and their sub-groups that I moderate.

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Location: Australia

I am a semi-retired UK botanical garden curator and former international horticultural consultant, who has worked extensively in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Australia. I spend part of the year in Australia and part in Europe, mainly due to family and work commitments. I earn my living from writing and editing Internet copy, articles and books. I have written over fifty books on gardening and have been translated into twenty-four different languages. I am a former UK Garden Writer of the Year and a previous Quill & Trowel Award Winner from the Garden Writer’s Association of America. I am interested in developing gardening communities on the Internet and I manage the popular GardenMessenger Yahoo group, along with its various sub-groups like PondMessenger and SeedMessenger. I also edit International Water Gardener and its associated regional web-sites.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Plant of the Month - Kniphofia

Kniphofia 'Shining Sceptre'

Kniphofia, or Red-Hot-Poker, have been designated as Plant of the Month for August by the Dutch nursery industry. Kniphofias are bold, handsome natives of Madagascar and tropical South Africa. They have thick, almost succulent evergreen leaf blades, which are of interest even when the dense cylindrical flower spikes are absent, although in cold districts the leaves are often tied together to protect the crowns and are then covered with straw. Numerous hybrids have been derived from species such as Kniphofia praecox, K. uvaria, and K. triangularis and all make a great contribution to the summer garden. Their blossoms vary in colour from pale yellow, through a range of yellow shades and oranges to red, some being bicoloured with red and yellow flower spikes. Kniphofias requires a warm and sunny spot in the border and a very well-drained humus-rich soil. A range of cultivars have been selected and recommended by the Dutch nursery industry as being amongst the most representative of the genus and the most reliable. These are illustrated on the News pages of the GardenMessenger web-site click here.

Happy Gardening



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