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Half Hardy and Summer Patio

Bring a taste of the exotic to your garden with half-hardy plants. If you can provide some winter protection it is amazing how many more interesting and plants you can grow, to the envy of your friends and family. You can grow these plants in pots and enjoy them in the garden between June and September when there is no risk of frost (UK). All they need is a greenhouse, porch or conservatory over winter kept above freezing.

Many plants will relish a spell outdoors, the local birds can get at any pests, and the sun and wind helps to strengthen the plants. September is a good time to start thinking about bringing plants undercover, as the nights will be rapidly getting longer and colder, and excess moisture can build up. Some plants will be happy tucked up against the house wall, with a bit of fleece to hand for very cold nights. 

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Agapetes 'Ludgvan Cross'

Agapetes 'Ludgvan Cross'£7.00

An evergreen shrub with masses of small lantern-shaped pink flowers with intricate red markings. Good for frost free gardens in the UK.

Callistemon 'Perth Pink'

Callistemon 'Perth Pink'£7.50


Evergreen shrub from Australia with bright pink bottlebrush flowers in spring and autumn. For a sheltered, frost free garden or a cool conservatory.

Campanula isophylla 'Variegata'

Campanula isophylla 'Variegata'£5.00

Italian Bellflower

A tender perennial with variegated leaves & pale blue flowers in summer. Grow in a greenhouse or similar all year, or pop into a hanging basket for the summer.

Chlidanthus fragrans

Chlidanthus fragrans£7.50

A tender bulbous plant with very scented, yellow trumpet flowers from June to July. Hardy in mild gardens, in cold areas grow in pots.

Cissus striata

Cissus striata£6.50

Ivy of Uruguay

A slightly tender evergreen climber with palmate leaves and red stems. Small green flowers in summer are followed by ornamental black berries. Ideal for covering a wall in a conservatory or a sheltered spot outdoors. Can also be used as a trailing houseplant if kept in a smallish pot

Dodonaea viscosa 'Purpurea'

Dodonaea viscosa 'Purpurea'£7.00

Evergreen shrub from New Zealand with very attractive red-purple foliage. For fertile, well drained soil in sun to part shade. Drought and pollution tolerant. Small flowers may be folowed by papery seed pods. Good for coastal and frost free gardens.

Furcraea longaeva

Furcraea longaeva£6.50

Giant Furcraea

Related to the Agave, and with a similar habit (though less spiny!), this much sought after plant grows for several (many) years before producing a giant flower spike up to 40 foot tall.

Lycianthes (Solanum) rantonnetii 'Album'

Lycianthes (Solanum) rantonnetii 'Album'£6.50

The rare white form of S. rantonettii. Makes an arching shrub, needing support against a wall, for a cool conservatory or sheltered city garden. Long flowering. Can be pruned hard in spring.

Metrosideros robusta aureovariegata

Metrosideros robusta aureovariegata£7.50

Tender evergreen shrub from New Zealand with yellow and green variegated leaves bright red long-stamened flowers in summer, similar to the Bottlebrush. Needs a very warm sheltered garden or move under glass for winter

Mitraria coccinea 'Clark's Form'

Mitraria coccinea 'Clark's Form'£6.50

Mitre flower

(Or 'Lago Puyehue'?) A larger flowered form of this half hardy, semi trailing evergreen shrub. In late spring and early summer it produces long orange-red tubular flowers.

Pelargonium 'Clorinda'

Pelargonium 'Clorinda'£6.50

A vigorous, scented leaved, scrambling variety with bright pink, flowers from spring-autumn. Makes a great specimen for a pot getting to around 1m high in a couple of seasons

Pogonatherum (Eulalia) paniceum

Pogonatherum (Eulalia) paniceum£7.50

An attractive grass forming neat mops of evergreen bamboo-like leaves which will arch gently over the side of a pot. Best kept frost free, though it may take a light frost. Will not tolerate drying out.

Prostanthera rotundifolia

Prostanthera rotundifolia£8.50  -  £20.00

Tender evergreen shrub with mint scented leaves and masses of purple flowers in May to June. In flower now, best collected from the nursery

Solanum laciniatum

Solanum laciniatum£5.00

Poroporo, Kangaroo Apple

Large, tender evergreen shrub with mauve flowers to 5cm (2in) across throughout summer, sometimes followed by orange fruit. Prune back in spring and feed during summer.

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