Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'
Low-growing soot-black, strappy spiders - with year round presence - topped by delicate spikes of mauve that berry to black - dramatises autumn-flowering smoke-blue crocus, cyclamen or lemon violas
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: June to August
- Hardiness: fully hardy
This small, easy to grow, clump-forming evergreen perennial has strappy, inky purple, grass-like leaves. In summer, small spikes of bell-shaped, pale mauve flowers appear, followed by spherical, dark blue fruit. This unusual plant looks fantastic with other grasses, especially if grouped in tubs or planted into gravel, and it provides a brilliant contrast with silvery plants in sun, or bright green ferns in shade.
- Garden care: Top-dress plants in autumn with leaf mould.
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Q:Plant advice for 2 new beds please
Hello, I need some help to decide which plants to put into two new areas please:- 1: A semi-circle flash bed at the front of the house, size approx 2m x 0.80m and 0.80m deep. I thought about the 3 following options for a small tree/bush in the middle:- a) Magnolia soulangeana, but I was worried about the size that it could grow to and possible problems with roots etc . Will it stay small if the size of the container is used to restrict it? b) Witch Hazel (Hamamelis intermediana 'Diane'). Will it spread too much? I think this is very pretty. c) Corylus avellana 'contorta' Then I also need to think about ground cover plants to help suppress weeds. I am only interested in fully hardy, easy to look after plants, could be with some flowers or coloured leaves. 2:- A thin path between neighbours (approx 2m x 0.40). My idea is to plant bamboo. I would love a modern thin run of bamboo with ground cover. My worry is which bamboos to use. I love the yellow, like Phyllostychys aureocaulis (Golden Grove) but not sure if it is strong enough as it could be exposed to some wind. I bought from you a couple of years ago the Phyllostychys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis' which I planted in pots but it died this year. I see on your website some other bamboos but I don't like them as much as their canes seems less exposed and have a lot more foliage. But possibly these would be a better alternative... ...? For the ground cover I as thinking of Ophiopogen nigrescen. Do you think these plants will be suitable, or have you any other suggestions? Thank you for your help, GaliaAsked on 2/15/2010 by e moran
A:Hello Galia, All of the taller shrubs you mentioned for the semi-circular bed will get quite large, but their growth will be restricted (both in height and spread) if they are kept in a pot where their roots are restricted. For groundcover you could opt for any of the following:- Bergenia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.bergenia/ Helleborus http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.helleborus/ Heuchera http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.heuchera/ Epimedium http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.epimedium/ Geranium http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.geranium/ Erica http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.erica/ As for the bamboos, even the most well behaved one (Fargesia murieliae) will spread to around 1.5m across so you should keep this in mind when planting it in such a confined space. Perhaps a better option would be one of our hedging plants, which can be cut back hard against the wall. Taxus http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/trees/hedging/conifer/bigger-trees/best-in-very-large-gardens-parks/taxus-baccata-/classid.6230/ or Ligustrum http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/hedging/ligustrum-ovalifolium-/classid.4093/ would be good options. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 2/16/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk