It has been a very planty day. A planty day is my favorite kind of day. After our trip yesterday there were a lot of new arrivals to log, label, pot up and get to know. Not only was there the grand haul we made at Little Ash and Sampford Shrubs, in our absence a delivery had arrived from Swines Meadow. The happy and healthy plants were beautifully packed in straw and cardboard tubes. The straw was soon utilised in which to nestle our delicate juvenile strawberries. The cardboard tubes put into the “bound to be useful for something” department.
This Cestrum elegans has held onto its flower buds since the autumn and is now finally opening its blooms. It is an arching and vigorous shrub and as you would expect from a Mexican native, is considered tender in this country. It has come through our (admittedly mild) winter with no ill effects. Although the leaves are foul-smelling when crushed, this is balanced by the fragrant scarlet tubular flowers, pollinated by hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. In our garden it will be mainly bees and butterflies, but I live in hope. Like its sibling C. parqui, it is considered a pest in New Zealand and Australia, spreading by both suckers and the birds who enjoy the red berries. It is unlikely it will become a nuisance in our climate, but if you were to have an invasive species you have to admit this is a very pretty one.