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GREEN Man

PUBLISHED: 17:44 02 September 2009 | UPDATED: 17:13 16 August 2010

Well, Well dear readers - September is upon us. Jeepers how the year has horticulturally rattled past! But what a stonking few months, from the awesome gardening weather to the bedazzling flower power in the World Garden to the ever supportive visitors c

Well, Well dear readers - September is upon us. Jeepers how the year has horticulturally rattled past! But what a stonking few months, from the awesome gardening weather to the bedazzling flower power in the World Garden to the ever supportive visitors coming to visit Lullingstone. It's been fabulous. Something else that also been fabulous are the passionflowers this year. In the new Cloud Garden structure, which now houses some 600 different types of warm temperate zone goodies we have all three passionflowers that we planted in April in flower. The Colombian Passiflora mollissima otherwise known as the Banana Passionflower because of its edible oblong yellow fruits resembling a banana - has started to florally show-off its arousingly sensual pink bits. But there's more coz the awesome Passiflora quadrangularis or Giant Granadilla again from Tropical South America is coming into flower. This particular species has the largest fruit of any passionflower - it can grow up to 1 foot long! Lastly in the Cloud Garden we have Passiflora 'Anastasia' - which is a man made hybrid between Passiflora caerulea 'Constance Elliott' x Passiflora gritensis - is dangling itself from the metal beams in true style - See Photo. Gosh these Page 3 stunners do keep you up at night! All of the above however are frost tender at Lullingstone. The ONLY Passionflower to survive Lullingstone's cold Kentish microclimate is good old Passiflora caerulea from Brazil. The drop dead gorgeous delight is also flowering but outside on in the World Garden against our South Facing Wall. It's deliciously blue to whitish, delicately scented flowers are inspiring. Passiflora caerulea isn't difficult to grow provided it has a sunny position in a not too chalky well drained fertile soil. Many of you readers may find that you're able to grow more than 1 variety outside especially in built up areas like parts of South East London & Coastal areas of the UK. All passionfruits are edible and it's a curious site in late summer seeing in people's gardens - Passiflora caerulea plastered in deep orange oblong fruits - Most strange but totally mouth-wateringly edible! Aside from the jungley growth, cracking flowers and edible fruits - Passionflowers have yet another asset and that's their wacky wavy spidery tendrils trying to attach themselves to the nearest support. Gosh, Jeeper's Creepers Neepers readers I'm overheating, I had better end this article, I'm typing like I've fallen in a vat of concentrated coffee and swallowed the lot. No more talk of Passionflowers - They excite me tooooooo much! If you're looking for more info on these addictive plants look no further than the National Collection Holder -John Vanderplank in Somerset. Tel: (01934) 838895 or johnvanderplank@yahoo.co.uk And one last thing to remind all you gardening fans is that this Sunday, September 6, we have our annual Plant Heritage (NCCPG) Plant Fair at Lullingstone Castle from 11am - 5pm. Too miss is - Is horticultural sacrilege!

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