The Gift Horse

I was lucky enough to receive an email the other day asking me if I would like to test some plants; well it seemed churlish to refuse.  A couple of emails later and I received three plants from .   I was aware of plantify, but to my knowledge I don't think I have ever bought from them.  I wandered around their website for a bit to find out more about them and they are rather interesting.  They offer a free garden design tool, there is a section on inspirational gardens plus an online plant shop which is sourced from British nurseries.  Supporting our British nurseries is something I think is very important so they had already gained approval points.

So, to the plants.  Another good point is that I was offered of choice of plants, this was a great relief.  If I had been asked to test some plants that I was less certain I could grow because they were difficult or more condition-sensitive, then I would have been not so confident to go ahead with this.

The plants arrived a few days after I had given my choices.  I was pleased to receive:

Now with mailorder packaging is really important, I received one large box with three interior boxes.   These are fairly easy to extract from the larger box and the plants are held securely within them.  I liked the boxes.
This is Anemone x hybrida 'Robustissima'.  I admit to a little eyebrow raise at the thought of 'Robustissima', I am wondering whether it might be quite a spreader.  This does not trouble me, I am very fond of Anemones and I will control it if necessary.  I was very pleased as I was able to split the plant into three when planting it out, three plants for the price of one (had I have paid for it) always makes me happy.

The website has good information about siting, soil type required etc.  I liked the way the information is laid out, but if I do have a criticism it is that when searching through the plant index they need to have a 'next page' button at the bottom of the page, not just one at the top (I scroll down lists and get irritated by having to go back to the top of the page to go to the next one).

Anyway, there it is, planted out in the front garden small side border.  I like the foliage colour, it is quite bright and the leaves are a good shape.  Of course the flowers are good too, but having good foliage makes it a good all-round plant.
Next was Geranium 'Tanya Rendall'
What a beautiful plant!  I grow a few geraniums and I like this one for its wonderful dark pink small flowers and the dark foliage.
This has been placed in the back garden on the edge of the pond border.

Finally, Aster x frikartii 'Monch':
This is quite a large flowered aster compared to the others that I have.  The aster was very interesting to Chesney, he likes to be involved in garden projects.
I like the colour of this aster a lot.
This has also been placed in the pond border, but it is mid-border.
The aster is filling a gap created by thinning out a rather thuggish (but beautiful) Helianthus Lemon Queen.  I like that it seems to shine with colour from its position, it also complements the darker aster which is to the front of the border.

All the plants seem healthy and now they have been planted out for a week I can also say that they seem to be doing well.  Of course the real test is how they get through the winter and how they perform next year, so I shall report on their progress.
The added bonus, Chesney liked the box too.


  1. What is it with cats and empty boxes (cat traps)? :) Lovely looking plants, looking forward to seeing how they get on in the next few months.

  2. It's the cute factor, they cannot afford to miss any opportunity that might get them featured on the lid of a chocolate box

  3. Oh I have had that email too and am awaiting plants. I am most impressed that you have planted yours out already.
    I think I asked for the same Aster!!!

  4. Wish I could find someone interested in sending me some free plants to test. With the climate here on the shores of Lake Michigan in USA, I am sure it would be a good test garden area. They all looked pretty good in your photos. Jack


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