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Mystery plants

Hello everyone,  

This is my first post on the forum but I have been lurking for a while, learning lots from all you knowledgeable folk!

Anyway, I recently bought a house with a very large, but neglected garden.  Being a novice gardener, I'm having to lean fast on the job! Lots of existing plants have been saved but I'm not sure what some of them are.  I would be really grateful for some help!  




 They're both really easy to grow and seem virulent so I'm worried they're weeds!! 



  • Woops, left one off!  This is a very tall, hard stem with deep purple flowers on it.  There's loads of them growing in really poor soil down the side of our drive and a small clump of them in an old pot we uncovered in an old flower bed.  


    You can see them sticking up from the pot on the left-hand side of this picture


    You can see them (well most of them) on the right hand side of this pic.  



     Apologies for not having a better picture - didn't think this one through back in the summer! 


    Thanks in advance 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 81,408

    No. 1 Is one of the silver leafed lamium maculatums, probably 'roseum' (little pink flowers in summer, loved by the bees) - a pretty spreading plant used as groundcover in shady places.  Just what I need for the dry shade under my trees.  (note the hint of envy in my voice) image Definitely not a weed - it does spread easily when it's happy, but it's easy to keep under control - just dig some up, pop in pots and give to your friends image

    The second is a snapdragon or antirrhinum - a pretty plant often used for summer bedding but it will self sow if happy.  It's the flower that children (and some adults image) love to squeeze gently at the sides to make it open and close (hence the name Snap Dragon).  It's a really useful nectar plant for Bumble bees - honey bees and smaller insects cannot open the flower as they're not heavy enough - and Bumble bees had a tough summer in last year's wet weather, so hopefully your little Snap Dragon flowers will bloom this year for them image

    As for the third - I'm afraid the picture's not clear enough for me to identify it - don't know if others have any ideas?

    It looks as if that garden was planted by someone who loved gardening - you lucky thing image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619
    Could the third one be loosestrife? (lythrun salicaria)
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,787

    Or possibly Linaria purpurea.

    I see possibilities there, a couple of well grown tree paeonies, they'll be good when their moment comes.

  • Thanks everyone! I did type a full reply on my phone this morning but for some reason none of the text has shown up above, grrr image

    Dovefromabove - the lamium maculatums was grown from a cutting I took from a local park.  Last year was my first attempt at cuttings and this was the only one that's really flourished.  Safe to say I won't be repopulating my garden from my cuttings this year at least!  If it's something you'd like, I can get another cutting going for you later on in the year? 

    Antirrhinum (had to double check the spelling there!) was something I always thought was an annual, like Marigolds or Petunias.  I'd bought some in bulk for pots on a south-facing patio and whilst the Marigolds and Petunias are long gone, the Antirrinums are still flourishing.  Is this normal?  Can I plant them out in the main garden?  

    Figrat and Nutcutlet - not sure which of your two suggestions is correct.  I'm leaning towards Lythrun Salicaria but the plant I have flowers on one spike only, for the whole of the summer, and then dies back to a woody stem in the autumn.  Does that sound about right?  I'll post some better pics of that one when it flowers. Apologies for the poor quality of the pics of it above.  

    Thanks for your help everyone! 

  • Forgot to say, the tree peonies (sp?!) are lovely.  There's three in total, one is really big.  I pruned them very nervously last year, but seems to have been okay because the buds are swelling beautifully.  We missed them flowering last year as we didn't move in until June, so looking forward to it.  

    I also set myself a challenge of propagating some more tree peonies from seed.  They've been in a warm, dark place in some damp vermiculite for about 3 months now and much to my joy, some of them are starting to develop roots! Fingers crossed! image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,787

    Hi again, It's hard to tell colour from the photo. The lythrum would be a really nice bright pink/purple. The linaria not so bright and more of a blue purple usually but just to confuse, they also come in pink, though not so bright.

    Tree paeonies are good from seed and you do get variations and crosses. They often do roots the first year and top growth the next. I'd get them planted up and moved out of heat as soon as seems reasonable and just leave them in pots through the summer and you'll see shoots next year.

  • Thanks nutcutlet! I think the lythrun / linaria question is going to have to wait until they flower again.  I'll be back to pick the forum's brains on this plant in the summer! image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 81,408

    ShropshireLass - I'd love a cutting of the lamium sometime later in the year - how kind, thank you image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Dove - a cutting from the lamium I took last year is speading happily in a large pot on my south-facing windowsill.  I don't know much about cuttings etc. but can I take one now?  If so, I'll get it started for you whilst I have some space on the sill - can't wait for a greenhouse! 

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