Three very different plants in terms of size and style for our seventh update on what’s up and coming for the new season.
Returning to our lists after a brief absence is Colocasia Diamond Head: this is a real black beauty which will stop those who see it in their tracks. The difference between this one and the more usually seen Black Magic is in the fact that the leaves have a crinkled effect and are beautifully glossy – so shiny, indeed, that we have seen them described as like an oil slick! The leaves are matt initially but suddenly develop their gloss as they mature – it’s a lovely transition to behold. If kept indoors in winter at 10 degrees plus, the leaves will remain. If it’s much colder, the plant will go dormant. Keep it only lightly watered in winter in any case.
Delosperma Jewel of the Desert Peridot is a little stunner, with the emphasis not just on the little, though this is a low growing fleshy leaved plant that will carpet a dry spot and brighten it up all summer with its vibrant sunshine yellow flowers that shade inwards to white with yellow anthers. And yes, it is hardy in a sunny spot with well drained soil. The really long varietal name comes about because it is one of the Jewel of Desert series, so those three words appear in the name of every plant in the series. We know there are good commercial reasons for this kind of thing, but we still really dislike the practice. Somehow it turns plants into a commodity, which doesn’t seem right!
A new and definitely rather special delphinium which doesn’t get too tall and won’t flop, Highlander Moonlight has the usual elegant spires of flower in mid-summer, but the flowers themselves are frilly doubles in lilac blue around apple green centres. Highly desirable. Nice name too, we think. It will do well given plenty of sunshine and moist but well drained soil. Getting to around 3 feet, it shouldn’t need staking, which is a real plus point about this series. This is the plant which persuaded us to grow another delphinium: we haven’t done so in recent years for various reasons.