last updated 30/10/2014

KOLKWITZIA amabilis 'Maradco'  
The "Beauty Bush" is familiar to many of us - the fundamental difference about this one is that it has golden yellow foliage. (So be careful how you site it - normal rules for golden foliage: not too much sun or it will scorch, not enough and it won't have true colour). I have been particularly impressed by the splendid autumn colour - a feature not normally associated with this genus.

KOLKWITZIA amabilis 'Pink Cloud' 
Whoever first nick-named this gorgeous shrub "Beauty Bush" certainly got it right. Easily grown it will make a dense rounded bush to 2m and is covered with pink bell shaped flowers in May-June. Very hardy and versatile. Who says beautiful plants need be difficult to grow?

Originally derived from grafting Cytisus purpureus onto Laburnum anagroides, the resulting small tree is a quite unique mix of the two. Some flowers are typical of the Laburnum, a few are even the Cytisus, but most resemble Laburnum flowers in shape but are orangey pink in colour. Thus you can have all three flower types on the same plant at the same time. It is as well however, not to let it produce too much of the Laburnum type growth as this tends to be the strongest. Much as Laburnum in shape and size.

LAURUS nobilis
The noble Bay tree is a great shrub or tree whenever you need a good-sized evergreen, but if you're a keen cook then it's invaluable (and will need no further introduction!) Perfectly hardy in mild areas, but in colder areas you may need to be thoughtful about where you plant it - avoid known wind channels or areas which waterlog in winter, giving it good drainage and lots of sun. The bigger it gets, the hardier it will become; and once it reaches a reasonable size, in the event of it suffering damage over winter, it will readily sprout again - even from a bare trunk. 2 litre plants this season.

NEW LAURUS nobilis 'Angustifolium'

LIBERTIA peregrinans 'Goldleaf'
Another eclectic addition this year! This one is harder to categorise though. Bred in New Zealand, it is a perennial with sword-like foliage akin to that of Iris in some ways. However, the foliage itself is highly ornamental, having a central stripe to the leaf that is sufficiently dominant that the whole plant appears almost orange. This is topped off by pretty white flowers in early summer. Easily grown in sun or part shade, I think this associates brilliantly with grasses, but I can't wait to try it with Betula ermanii and Cornus sanguinea cultivars. 

LIGUSTRUM lucidum 'Excelsum Superbum' 
Large shrub or even a small tree with glossy green leaves margined cream. Although very shade tolerant, the contrast between the green portions and the cream will be better in
good light. White scented flowers in summer. As it is rapid, evergreen and tough, it is an excellent choice for screening.

LIGUSTRUM lucidum 'Golden Wax' 
The large leathery leaves are glossy green in summer, but this plant really comes into its own in the winter. Low temperatures cause the youngest growth to take on a fabulous burnt gold colour.

LIGUSTRUM lucidum 'Tricolour' 
Similar to 'Excelsum Superbum' (above), but even prettier! The leaves are narrower and more pointed, the young growth is distinctly pinker, developing a broad cream margin. Also suitable for screening, but not quite as dense as a young plant.

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