Saturday, June 19

I don't trust show gardens.

A while ago we went to the Gardeners' World Live show at the NEC. There, the popular new plant which was growing as a small bedding plant in most of the gardens was sambucus nigra - Black Lace. We were so taken by it that we bought one even though it was quite expensive for a small plant. We planted it in a border in the garden where it grew and grew.

I chopped it down almost to the ground each year but the next season it shot up to an even larger size - also chopping it down seemed to prevent it from producing the lovely pink flowers that I had been promised. Growth rate is described by sellers as average so I wouldn't want to buy something fast growing. When I cut the bush back I took a few cuttings - just to see if I could and it was easy - most rooted and grew. I gave some plants to friends and planted some on the edge of our allotment plot.

This year the one in the garden had to be removed as it grew far too large for its allotted spot but the ones on the plot look fantastic and have attracted all sorts of compliments - everyone wants one!

It is a beautiful plant but the GWL show really misrepresented it. I really have gone off show gardens big time as usually there is no way you can take ideas from them to use in your garden. Things are forced to flower at the same time which wouldn't normally. This produces a beautiful border which you can never achieve using the same plants. Plants are also used or planted in positions that they are unsuitable for as the show garden only has to look good for a few days whereas our gardens hopefully have a much longer life.

Still the Black Lace is a beautiful plant - I just need somewhere in the garden where it can grow now so I can bring a cutting back - another question - if it is so easy to grow from cuttings and grows so quickly why is it expensive to buy?


  1. Well it's certainly much showier than its relative the Elder tree. This pink lacy version is a hot favourite but I can see it's still a bit of whopper. Looks good in the allotment setting - must get one to keep my Elder company. Any probs with blackfly though as is common on the Sambucus?

    thanks for sharing


  2. Hi Laura,
    No problems with blackfly but having said that will probably call all the blackfly in the area to descend on it.

    If you lived near to me I'd let you have a cutting.

  3. AnonymousJune 20, 2010

    This is a beautiful plant.
    I was planning to get Elder plant, but now I think that I will be buying this one. I hope it will be not as expensive as yours.

  4. Hello vrtlarica - I guess by now it will have come down in price but I suppose in the end I did get six plants from the first one and will no doubt get more. Maybe I should sell them!

  5. I would say it's worth the high price tag, it's lovely, especially covered in flowers.

  6. It is a very beautiful plant and I would love to have some but i know it would be too big for my garden...however on the allotment it could possibly go...I'm with you on the expense bit though...I guess it's just how these places make plenty of money!!

  7. Hi Jo - It's just I would have expected the plant to be more difficult to propagate or be a slow grower which tends to be what sets the price usually.

    Tanya - A friend is considering restricting the growth in a container - don't know whether this will work!


Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment - it is great to hear from you and know that there are people out there actually reading what I write! Come back soon.
(By the way any comments just to promote a commercial site, or any comments not directly linked to the theme of my blog, will be deleted)
I am getting quite a lot of spam. It is not published and is just deleted. I have stopped sifting through it and just delete any that ends up in my spam folder in one go so I am sorry if one of your messages is deleted accidentally.
Comments to posts over five days old are all moderated.