Well you could have been a little bit braver last week. Just one of you had a go at (correctly) guessing just one of the plants. Well done Anna. Here, for the rest of you, are the answers:
1. Hedera helix ‘Congesta’: upright form of ivy that grows like a shrub, to about 60cm high. Forms a very neat bush of dark green arrowhead-shaped leaves – but it’s quite hard to get hold of.
2. Hedera helix ‘Parsley Crested’, which used to be called H. h. ‘Cristata’, just to be annoying (that’s the name I knew it by). Lovely crinkly-edged margins to the leaves, and grows to about 2m.
3. Hedera colchica ‘Sulphur Heart’, which again went by another name once upon a time: this was H. c. ‘Paddy’s Pride’. This is a young shoot: the mature leaves are about 8″ long plus and big, floppy, ungainly things.
4. As Anna correctly guessed, this is Chimonanthus praecox – aka wintersweet.
5. And the last ivy: Hedera helix ‘Oro di Bogliasco’, an eye-catching if not eye-boggling combination of red stem, and yellow-and-green leaves. It’s got a neat habit but it’s a bit … erm… bright.
On to this week’s, and we got away from the twigs-on-desktops vibe and actually got outside for once. They aren’t quite so difficult this time, either, so I’m not giving you a clue apart from the last one which I hadn’t even heard of before, let alone grown. As a general clue: just remember all these plants are flowering now.
(clue: it’s evergreen, it has those little yellow flowers all winter, and it’s a neat little shrub about 2ft tall. )