18 Feb 2015

Wednesday plant ident


Can anyone help me identify this plant?  I went for a wander in the Regency Garden near to my parents' house on the south coast last Sunday.  Gorgeous sunshine, lots of plants waking up and I even saw my first bumble bee buzzing manically from plant to plant!

The garden was a wreck 20 years ago and has been completely transformed by local gardening volunteers to its current Green Flag status.  The planting design is based on which plants would have been used when it was first built in the early 1800's - hence 'Regency Garden'.

There were so many lovely plants there and a wonderful tranquil atmosphere - even a couple of trees that I may be tree following this year (Monkey Puzzle and Tulip tree).  A few years ago I would have been hard pushed to identify many of the plants and shrubs in this garden but I was relieved to find that my memory was up to naming most of the plants last weekend - except this one.  The oval leaves are about 2 inches long on long branching untidy stems. This shrub stood just over a metre high, in an untidy dome shape.  There's no scent on the leaves - I rubbed them as they reminded me of sage or Salvia but surely it's too early in the year for that.  I feel I should know this plant but it escapes me!

I love the look of these little purple flowers (again, the shape is so familiar) so I'd like to fix in my head what this shrub is.  Wild guesses, positive identification and other suggestions gratefully received!

(I'll be back with more photos from this garden but came away from a busy and quite stressful weekend looking after my parents with a three day headache and haven't felt inclined to sit in front of the computer until now.)


16 comments:

  1. Looks like the Teucrium fruticans I used to have in the garden until the frost got to it one year. A lovely, aromatic plant :)

    I hope your headache lifts soon xxx

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    1. Ah, brilliant! Thanks, Michelle. I looked up your suggestions and that's exactly what it is, although all descriptions say that the flowers appear in May. The garden I found it in is very sheltered and rarely has bad weather. What a shame you lost this beautiful plant to frost! I'll have to check on the smell next time I'm there. Thanks also for good wishes, I'm hoping that my headache will have lifted by tomorrow (my day off!). C xxx

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    1. Exactly my thoughts, Sue - and we weren't far off! VP has correctly identified the plant so now I know that it's part of the Lamiaceae family, which also includes mint and salvia (among many others). :-) C x

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  3. Glad to see it's been identified, it looks lovely. Sorry you had a stressful weekend, I hope the three-day headache has lifted now. I shall look forward to seeing more pictures from that garden. How inspiring that it's been transformed from a wreck by volunteers. I haven't heard of Green Flag status before, I am off to investigate. I hope this weekend is a more relaxing one for you. CJ xx

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    1. I should have guessed what sort of weekend I was in for as I travelled on Friday 13th!! There were roadworks along my route, the worst being on the final leg when it took me an hour to travel a distance usually covered in 10 minutes! It was made stressful as I was bringing lunch for my parents and I hate being late! C xx

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  4. Perhaps VP should pop down to the Regency Gardens and take a cutting...

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    1. Ooh, naughty! … Actually, there's many plants in there that I wouldn't mind having a cutting of - perhaps I need to brush up my propagation skills … ;-)

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  5. Glad that VP has solved the mystery Caro. My initial thought when I saw the flower was a perennial lobelia but the foliage wasn't right. The first bumble bee of the year now that's a fine sight. Hope that the headache has evaporated and that you are feeling brighter today.

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    1. Thanks, Anna - yes, headache lifted thanks to lots of lovely sleep last night and I was able to get out into the fresh air to finish planting up a border before the rain started. A better day all round and I'd feel I was entitled to cake now, if only I had some!

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  6. I hope that you've recovered from the headache and stress. At least you got to look round what sounds like an interesting garden. I've not seen any bumble bees yet but some honey bees on my yellow crocuses.
    Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks, Flighty, yes. The garden is a favourite of mine for a visit whenever I go to my parents' house. It's just five minutes walk away and always has something interesting to see. I was surprised by the bumble bee - for me, a real sign that spring is nearly here! Lovely to have honey bees on your crocuses - and the crocuses themselves! I must plant more in the gardens here, so far I have only a few blue ones on my balcony, in pots. Cx

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  7. It looks a lovely little plant, I'm glad it has been identified for you. Hope your headache has cleared now x

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    1. Yes, headache cleared now, Joanne - thank you. Such a nuisance to have suffered as I haven't had headaches for months! It's good to know what the plant is - I'm passionate about plants and like to be able to identify them - amazing I can remember any of them really given the amount of plant names floating round my little brain!

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  8. What a gorgeous little plant, I'm glad to hear the mystery has been solved and that your headache has gone! I was thinking a type of salvia too.Good to hear the bees are out! xxx

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  9. I am glad your plant has been identified, it looks rather lovely.I'm also glad that you're feeling a lot better, the fresh air will certainly do you good as you garden.

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