The Punk Rock Garden

Now, the idea for this ‘Rock Garden’ post’ was given to me by a lady called Gill who writes the ‘ontheedgegardening’ blog….. a blog I highly recommend you read.

Since joining Twitter, I had noticed that as well as a lot of people from the horticultural world were on there, many were and still are; very much into their Punk music. Heavy Metal, will always be my first love when it comes to music, along with: Classical, Blues and of course Punk. Punk has influenced many aspects of Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal in particular. Many Punk bands have covered Heavy Metal songs and vice versa. Although, not all Punks have the same respect towards Heavy Metal well, some of them anyway…….

It was when I had written the ‘Thrash Metal Garden’ blog, that the idea was given to me. So I will start with plant that was suggested…..

Saxifraga x urbium (London’s Pride)

A mat forming beauty. This tough little doer that has beautiful white and pink flowers throughout the summer. A perennial that is easy to grow in any soil and will tolerate deep shade. You can dance on this little fella (but not while in flower), or even do the ‘Pogo’ and it will still bounce back.

The Clash – London’s Calling

One of their most well known of all their songs and probably my favourite Clash song of all time. From their album of the same released in 1979.

The Chelsea Flower Show

The Chelsea Flower Show is the most famous flower show in the United Kingdom. Held in the grounds of the ‘Royal Hospital Chelsea’ in London, it has over 150,000 visitors each year.

Now, I have been to Chelsea a couple of times and would certainly love to go again but there are certain things with Chelsea….. that really do annoy me! I was going to go on a massive rant at this point, give it a bit of the old Punk attitude but decided against this….. I’ll save it for another time!

Elvis Costello – (I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea

Released in 1978 from his album ‘This Years Model’, it reached number six in the UK’s charts.

Duranta erecta ‘sheena’s gold’

I know very little about this plant but the golden foliage certainly caught my eye. It is a fast growing plant often used for hedging, it prefers full sun and can grow to over two metres in height.

 Ramones – Sheena is a Punk Rocker

Released in 1977, from the album ‘Rocket to Russia’. The Ramones are one of my most favourite top bands, with this song being one of my all time favourites.

Salix babylonica (Babylon or Weeping Willow)

Native to Northern China. Salix babylonica is a beautiful large deciduous tree that along with Salix alba ‘Vitellina-Tristis’, is a parent of Salix chrysocoma (Weeping Willow), the one we are more familiar with.

The Ruts – Babylon’s Burning

Released in 1979, this was a top ten hit for the English Punk band ‘The Ruts’.

Crassula ovata – Money Plant

Also known as the ‘Lucky Plant’, this is a very popular house plant. Native to South Africa, this wonderful succulent has pretty little white and pink flowers, dead easy to propagate.

Flying Lizards – Money

The Flying Lizards were a – New Wave Punk one hit wonder bands. Their only hit ‘Money’ in 1979, was a cover of a Barret Strong song.

You don’t expect to see this in a Punk blog but it is the best version.

Rosa New Dawn

Rosa ‘new Dawn’ is a large glossy leafed climber, that has stunning double pale pink flowers, that carry a wonderful scent. Can grow to over two-three metres in height.

The Damned – New Rose

Love this song. This was The Damned’s first ever single, released in 1976.

Chlorophytum comosum – Spider Plant

Now everyone knows this plant. When I was a kid, every house I went too had one of these. It is another very popular house plant, that is native to South Africa.

Ramones – Spiderman

Can’t get enough of The Ramones. A great cover of that rubbish cartoon show ‘Spiderman’.

Callistephus chinensis ‘Lazy Daisy’

Yep, well, errm….. it’s only in because it has the word ‘Lazy’ in it. It is a half hardy annual that has purple, pink, crimson and white flowers. That’ll do for this one….bored now!

Sex Pistols – I’m a Lazy Sod

I had to fit a Sex Pistols song in here somewhere, you can’t do any sort of ‘Punk’ blog, without mentioning The Pistols. ‘Lazy Sod’ is from their 1976 bootleg demo album ‘spunk’.


All pictures and videos were nicked off the internet – why? Because…………. I DON’T CARE!!





🙂 🙂 🙂

The ‘Thrash Metal’ Rock Garden

A complete contrast from the last post I wrote. You will not find any peace in this post…. quite the opposite! They’ll be no swearing in this one either, my Mum told me off! I’ll still get in trouble though, she’s a big Cliff Richard fan 😉

This one is for the complete horticultural ‘metal head’. The music is loud, fast, aggressive with lashings of sex, drugs, blood and Satan. You’ll find no Val Doonican or Cliff Richard here (even though I’m sure Cliff is the devil), just extremely loud music.

I am not going to go completely into the origins of thrash metal but the early roots started off in Punk music. Many saying that Johnny Ramone was the original thrash guitarist. Fuse that together with the likes of Motorhead, Venom and the bands from the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) and your getting close to the thrash metal sound; along came ‘The Big Four’ and so on and so on…..

So how am I going to mix this with the plant world? You’ll see. It will not always be by name either, there are a few plants out there that fit quite nicely into the Thrash Metal scene well, I will make them fit anyway.

Hydnellum peckii (Bleeding Mushrooms)

Funny looking fella that is found in North America and in Europe. This mushroom is classed inedible but not toxic, I certainly would not eat the little bugger though! Oops… sorry Mum!

Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding Hearts)

Bleeding hearts, lady in the tub this is one of my all time favourites. A wonderful spring time flowering herbaceous perennial a must in any garden.

Slayer – Reign in Blood  

From one of my all time favourite plants to one of my all time favourite thrash metal songs. Released in October 1986 by one of the big four.

Aralia spinosa (Devils Walking Stick)

Plant in full sun to part shade in a well drained but moist soil. Watch out for those thorns, it is a spreader and can grow to 30ft in height. Great autumnal colour.

Pantera – Walk

A great classic song released in 1992. A song about people with bad attitudes taking a long walk.

Fuchsia Alison 

An upright deciduous shrub. Growing to 0.5m in height and roughly the same in spread. I know very little about this one and is only in so I could fit in the following song.

Annihilator – Alison in Hell

Released in 1989. This song is about a girl who thinks she is being terrorized by the boogeyman. She asks her for help but when she is ignored, she goes insane. Supposedly based on true facts.

Brugmansia (Angel’s Trumpet)

A beautiful semi – evergreen perennial with wonderful trumpet like flowers. Great one for outside in the summer, but bring it in before those frosts. All parts of the plant are toxic but unfortunately, not to the Red Spider mite…. they love ’em.

Death Angel (The Band)

Thrash metal band from California, have been around on and off since 1982.

Rosa ‘Peace’

Rosa ‘Peace’ also known as Rosa ‘Madame A. Meilland’. A Hybrid T Rose that flowers between July-October can reach just over a metre in height and has lightly scented yellow flowers.

Megadeth – Peace Sells

Released in November 1986 and it is my all time favourite Megadeth song.

Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot)

It is a beautiful hardy spring flowering herbaceous perennial. It gets its name from the red toxic sap within the roots, I would wear gloves when handling the rhizomes.

Sepultura – Roots Bloody Roots

Is a song released by Sepultura in 1996. Sepultura is a band from Brazil and they have been around since 1984.

Thymus vulgaris (Common Thyme)

A small bushy aromatic dwarf shrub. Everybody either knows this plant or has got a thyme in their garden.

Anthrax – Got The Time

A great catching tune from Anthrax, released in 1990 it has to be one of my favourite of theirs.


Now I wonder if I could persuade my employers that I need one of these lawn mowers shown above.

Lawnmower Deth – Kids in a America

A British thrash metal band from Nottingham, England. They have been around on and off since 1987, often doing cover songs.

Hebe ‘Emerald Green’

Its a dwarf evergreen compact shrub, that has a height and spread of approximately 0.5m. Not very interesting but can be useful in certain areas of the garden. White flowers in the summer.

Skyclad – Emerald 

Folk/Thrash metal, not a combination you would normally expect. Formed in England in 1990 and still going today, Folk/Thrash…. I think it works? Says me trying to fuse Heavy Metal with gardening all the time!


And now to the end song. For those of you who are not into thrash and have lasted the course, this will be a blessed relief. I could of very easily made it more demonic though, by adding some Cl*ff R*****d…. but thankfully, he’s not thrash metal!

The Rock Garden (Plantovision)

For those of you who want to escape the Eurovision song contest….head this way. If you are reading this after the Eurovision has finished…don’t waste your time reading this.

Like Eurovision itself, this is still a load of rubbish, although the music will be a little better….well most of it will be. As with the Eurovision, all the voting to this blog, has already been rigged and the winner will be the one with the most neighbours. Being a Rock blog as most will know know, there will be some added little gems from the horticultural world, just to give it a little extra added interest.

Lilium ‘Stargazer’

A beautiful dark pink with a Lily that has a whiter edge to it’s flower. It can reach an eventual height of approximately 1.5m, loves full sun to partial shade.

Stargazer is from Rainbows 1976 album’ Rising’. This album reached platinum status in the USA….one for the old rocker die hard’s .

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Viette’s Little Suzy’

I never used to like Rudbeckia’s until recently but I have grown to like them. As for this one, it has wonderful yellow flowers, it likes it hot and humid flowering from July so September. Has an eventual height of approximately 0.5m.

Wake up little Susie was a 1957 hit for The Everly Brothers. It is more pop than rock but I had to include it.

Eriobotrya japonica (Louquat)

An evergreen shrub or small tree, that reaches an eventual height of approximately 4-5m and doesn’t mind being pruned. Has dark green leathery leaves and beautiful white fragrant flowers.

Louquat, are a pop/rock band from San Francisco. Not my usual cup of tea but this song is not too bad.

Clematis ‘Gypsy Queen’

A late flowering deep purple Clematis. A vigorous grower that can reach up to 4m in height, this one will be finding it’s way to a wall in Trinity.

Gypsy Queen, is from Uriah Heep’s 1970 debut album ‘Very Eavy…Very Umble. They are still going to this very day.

Vitis coignetiae (Crimson Glory Vine)

One of my favourite climbers. This is a vigorous deciduous climber that can reach up to 12m in height. It has beautiful autumnal foliage and the fruits are edible.

Crimson Glory are a American heavy metal band that formed in 1979 and are still performing today.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis “Yellow Submarine”

New one on me this one. It is a evergreen Hibiscus that can grow up to 2m in height and has wonderful deep yellow flowers, prefers full sun.

The Yellow Submarine, now we should all know this one. A 1968 film and song by The Beatles

Now there was one Eurovision winner I did like, not your usual crap that is forced upon us but something a little more me.

The Classic Rock Garden.

It’s Back and very little has changed.

Yep, another one of those pointless ‘Rock Garden’ posts. One thing I will say, is that in this post there are some beautiful little gems that would look good in anyone’s,  house, garden, conservatory or greenhouse.

Salvia greggii ‘Wild Thing’

A beautiful, coral pink, flowering Salvia with fragrant foliage. It is an upright vigorous Salvia that has an eventual height and spread of approximately 2-3 ft.  Native to West Texas and is sometimes known as the ‘Autumn Sage’, this plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds. This Salvia is definitely on my ‘must buy’ list, that’s if I can get hold of it.

The Troggs ‘Wild Thing’

The Troggs were an English rock band formed in 1964. ‘Wild Thing’ was originally recorded by the American band ‘The Wild Ones’ but it is the cover by The Troggs in 1966, that it is best known for reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July and No. 2 in the UK charts. After the sad death on the 4th February this year of  their lead singer Reg Presley …. I just had to include this song.

Dahlia ‘Boom Boom White’

A soft white ball Dahlia that can reach a height of 3ft, the flowers can get up to 10cm in size and you can also get them in red and in yellow. Not so long ago, I would have had nothing to do with Dahlia’s, but then slowly I started to like some of the single flowered ones and now I am on to some of the more posy looking Dahlia’s.

John Lee Hooker ‘Boom Boom’

John Lee Hooker, born on the 22nd August 1917 and died 21st June 2001. He was a very influential blues singer, his trademark was the ‘Talking blues’ which he developed.  Boom Boom was released in 1962 in the US, then again in 1992 in the UK.

Zamioculcas zamiifolia the ‘ZZ (Top) Plant’

A tropical perennial from east Africa. It is grown as an indoor/greenhouse plant, but it can can be left outside in the warmer months. Grown specifically for its foliage, this plant can grow to 60cm in height. All parts of this plant are poisonous if ingested. For more information on this plant read this article from this interesting website that I found …… The Daily South.

ZZ Top ‘Sharp Dressed Man’

Released in 1983 ‘Sharp Dressed Man’ was a hit from ZZ Tops multi million selling album ‘Elliminator’.

Allium ‘Pinball Wizard’

This one will tolerate most soil conditions, it likes full sun and partial shade and is a beautiful Allium for any border. It can grow to approximately 60 cm in height and it has good sized purple flowers. Good for cut flowers and butterflies and bees love this Allium …. this one is also on my ‘must buy’ list.

The Who ‘Pinball Wizard’

From the Who’s 1969 rock opera album ‘Tommy’. The album tells a story of a deaf, dumb and blind boy. In 1975 ‘Tommy’ was made into a film where Roger Daltrey played the role of Tommy. The album since its release has sold over 20 million copies.

Scadoxus multiflorus (The Fireball Lily)

Native to South Africa, this is a stunning Lily that has beautiful red fragrant flowers from July – September, reaching an approximate height of 60 cm. In the UK, they are often grown in containers and conservatories, they can be planted in the ground but will need protecting from the frost.

 Deep Purple ‘Fireball’

In a previous Rock Garden post I was rather mocking of Deep Purple, this time I will be more respectful towards them. The Fireball album and the song of the same name was released in 1971. It is the song that has the noise of an air conditioning machine at the beginning. John Lord unfortunately passed away on the 16th July 2012 …. another great rock legend we have lost recently.

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Glam Rock’

A multi coloured, flowering, hardy Hydrangea, where the colour will differ slightly depending on the soils ph level. Flowers from July through to September  reaching over 1.2m in height, this is a wonderful shrub that will look good in any border.

Glam Rock

Where do you start with this one? Glam Rock developed in the UK in the early part of the seventies, with such bands like: Sweet, T Rex, Roxy Music, David Bowie, Mud; with bands like: Slade, Mott the Hoople and Roy Woods Wizzard coming a little later. In America the likes of: New York Dolls, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop were beginning to make their mark.

There is one artist that I have to include in this and that is ….. Suzi Quatro.

In the late seventies Glam Rock slowly went into decline only to give way for Glam Metal acts like: WASP, Cinderella, Poison and of course Motley Crue.

Now you won’t find too many horticultural type blogs with the following video in.

The Christmas Rock Garden.

This is really a ‘Rock Garden VI’, but as with all these music compilations … you always get a Christmas edition.

For those of you who have had the misfortune in reading these before, you already know the way it works. If this is your first time, it is just a sad excuse for me to connect songs, bands or singers in some way or another to a particular plant; I do try and add a little information so it’s not a total waste of time …. well sometimes at least.
With it being Christmas, this gives me just yet another excuse to put more crap on the Internet, by the way …. I did find a Wizard connection 😉

Coleus Wizard

We use Coleus Wizard mix every year. Great summer bedding plant, a good gap filler which never fails. This one is not to everyone’s liking and I myself have seen some colour schemes of this, that clearly don’t work … but I will always make sure we make room for some.

Wizzard – ‘I wish it could be Christmas everyday’

One of the most popular Christmas songs and is known by virtually everyone. Released in December 1973, even though very popular, this song never reached it to no 1.

Lettuce Cavalry

It is a Lettuce which is good in salads and sandwiches …. that’s it really. I only put this one in because of the word ‘Cavalry’, it gave me the connection I needed. Oh, it is a red lettuce.

Jona Lewie – Stop the Cavalry

I love this song. Released in 1980 and reached no. 3 in the charts, it was never intended as a Christmas song but as a protest song. It is a anti war song that was kept from going to number 1 because of John Lennons death, when they released two of his songs.

Clematis cirrhosa ‘Jingle Bells’

A beautiful evergreen half hardy to hardy Clematis. With wonderful creamy white flowers from December to February, that likes full sun to partial shade, reaching approximately 3.5m in height.

Bobby Helms – Jingle Bells Rock

Originally released in 1957 by Bobby Helms, but this version I had to include, even though I’m sure it was done very much tongue in cheek.

And another rock version…………..

Poinsettias – The Christmas plant

For many this is the most popular Christmas plant. You have likely been given this or received this plant, or more than likely … both. Native to Mexico, where many years ago the Aztecs used them for medicinal and for dyes making.

Slade – Merry Christmas Everybody

Released in December 1973 and was the Christmas UK no. 1 that year, the reason why Wizzard did not get the top spot that year. If Poinsettias  are the most popular plants at Christmas, this is most definitely the most popular song.

We all say we hate it, but as soon as it comes on at a party or a disco, nearly everyone will get up too sing and dance to it … that number increases the later it comes on.

Tracey Thorn – Tinsel and Lights

I couldn’t find anything that I could connect this song with but I had to get it in somewhere. Great song, found it by chance one day whilst I was messing around on Youtube.

Mistletoe – Viscum album

Partially parasitic that grows on woody trees and shrubs. All parts are poisonous to humans if ingested, known throughout history for its medicinal and magical properties.

Cl*ff R*****d – Mistletoe and Wine

Cl*ff R*****d …. what a …………!!!

Sorry had to heavily censor the previous paragraph, as they say for … legal reasons. The following video has a slight twist to it though.

Holly and The Ivy

Ilex aaquifolium

Hedera helix

No need to say anything about these, as we all know the connection they have with Christmas and both are very commonly known plants.

Now, the following version of this song I found when putting this together, never heard of him before but I’m sure you will like this.


There’s no plant connection with the following video’s, well …. I didn’t even try, I just couldn’t leave these two off a Christmas Rock blog.

Last one………

Merry Christmas



Happy New Year

The Rock Garden V

Well I was having withdrawal symptoms … it has been at least eight weeks since the last Rock Garden.

Plus, I was having a little encouragement at work to do yet another Rock Garden …. not that I need any encouragement…

and there is plenty of Sex Plants and Rock ‘n’ Roll in this one as well.

Coreopsis grandiflora ‘Jethro Tull’

It has fluted (stands on one leg), golden yellow flowers and it has a dwarf habit reaching to about 40cm’s in height. I know very little about this Coreopsis, as I only found out about it this week, but as it is named after Jethro Tull … we will be definitely getting one.

The Band….

Real oldies these ones are, formed in 1968 and still going to this very day. Their music is a mixture of, rock, folk, blues, electronic, jazz and heavy metal. They are one of the worlds best selling music artists, with over 60 million albums sold worldwide.

Heracleum mantegazzianum (Giant Hogweed)

A true giant this one, usually growing two-three metres in height but can reach up to five metres in high. The sap of the Giant Hogweed, causes burning and severe skin inflammations when exposed to ultraviolet light, (the scars can last for many years). Even a small amount of sap in the eyes can cause, temporary or even permanent blindness.

The Song…..

Genesis …. next!

Not a favourite of mine, I have only included the song because of the plant, personally, I would rather listen to (P)Rick Astley than this!!

Erythroxylum catuaba (The love Plant)

The Tupi Indians in Brazil first discovered the aphrodisiac properties of Erythroxylum catuaba (Catuaba). The Northern Amazon Indians use catuaba to treat sexual impotence and for boosting diminished desire, it has also been marketed as a ‘Super Sex Drink’. Is also often used as a general tonic and helps with nervousness and poor memory.

A small, vigorous-growing tree that can get to a height of four metres with yellow and orange flowers and it grows in the northern part of Brazil.

The Song/Album….

Lovehunter, is the second studio album released in 1979 by ‘Whitesnake’.  ‘Lovehunter’s’  controversial artwork was created by fantasy artist Chris Archilleos, it features a naked lady straddling a giant snake. Not their most successful album, but ‘Lovehunter, is one of my all time favourite Whitesnake songs … and not just because of the album cover. 

Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Rex’ (T. Rex)

A wonderful architectural hardy exotic plant, that can grow over five metres in height and have an eventual spread of over three metres. We have one at work (soon to be two), it has over wintered in the garden for the last two years. With leaves reaching three feet in size, this is a must buy plant for most gardens, but may need some winter protection in some colder parts of the country.

Marc Bolan and T. Rex… 

On the 16th September of this year it was the 35th anniversary of Marc Bolan’s death, on the 30th September 2012 it would have been his 65th birthday. Killed in a car crash at the age of only 29, a tragic loss at such a young age, Marc Bolan’s music is still heard regularly on radio and television to this very day.

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’

Echinacea ‘White Swan’ is a compact perennial of upright growth, with solitary, white flower-heads with dull yellow centre. A great clump forming herbaceous perennial, with an eventual height of one metre.

Ride a white Swan.

One of my all time favourites, released in October 1970.

Vanda coerulea (Blue Vanda)

An epiphytic orchid (grows above the ground, using other plants or objects for support), this Vanda is responsible for the many blue and purples seen in many cultivated Vanda orchids.

The Song…

From White Stripes 2005 album ‘Get Behind me Satan‘, Blue Orchid was voted one of the scariest music videos of all time.

Cosmos ‘Pied Piper’

Beautiful red fluted shell like petals, this one metre tall annual is great for cut flowers, a wonderful addition for the summer border.

The Song…

The Pillows are a alternative rock band from Japan. The song Pied Piper was released in June 2008, from their album entitled ‘Pied Piper’

And one more just for luck…

The Rock Garden IV

I know… we’ve been here before!

The fourth instalment of what I think could be one of many more … lets be honest! This one is a mixture of suggestions from other gardeners, plants that I had forgotten … and also just searching the web for idea’s.

Whilst ploughing through the internet looking for plants with the same name as a rock band/song, or some other connection; I found some of my all time favourites … result!

Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Ace of Spades’

Double pin cushion flowers that are as close to black as you can get. Slightly fragrant, it can flower from July through to October.

Classed as a tender perennial/hardy annual it is a plant we have not grown for a few years … time for a come back I think.

Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Ace of Spades’

The Band/song…

“We want to be the band that if we moved in next door to you, your lawn would die” ~ Lemmy …… I would still love to have them as my neighbours … I’m used to pests damaging my lawns … they can always be fixed.

Motorhead, formed in 1975 by god himself… Lemmy.

Lemmy Kilminster was previously in Hawkwind before being kicked out in 1975, after he was arrested for possession of drugs in Canada; he then went on to form Motorhead … and the rest is history.

Ace of Spades‘, was released as a single on the 27th October 1980 from the album called … ‘Ace of Spades‘.

The song is recognised as the definitive metal anthem amongst metal fans … and along with their song ‘Overkill‘ they are both in my top 10 all time favourites songs.

Iris ‘Fade to Black’

A tall bearded Iris that can get to a height of over 46″ and has very dark purple flowers. Likes full sun and can get up to nine blooms per stalk.

Iris ‘Fade to Black’

The song…

From Metallica’s 1984 ‘Ride the Lightning‘ album, it was released as a single on the 30th September 1984. The song has been voted by Guitar World readers as having the 24th best guitar solo ever.

The song starts off slowly and then gradually becomes heavier as it goes on, again this song is one of my all time Metallica’s favourites.

Colocasia esculenta ‘Diamond Head’

This variety has purple-blacked leaves which are slightly glossy on red stems. Can bear small yellow flowers in a hot summer. For the exotic feel, it can be planted in the borders in the summer, but would I would bring them back to the glasshouse in the winter.

Colocasia esculenta ‘Diamond Head’

The band…

Formed in 1976, Diamond Head are one of the leading members of the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal). Many heavy metal bands of today have said they were heavily influenced by Diamond Head.

Metallica have covered several of their songs including a cover of ‘Am I Evil‘; which has to to go down as one of the best cover songs of all time. As for the original, ‘Am I Evil‘ is again one of my all time favourite songs.

Melaleuca quinquenervia (paper bark tea tree or The Punk Tree)

Melaleuca quinquenervia is native to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Eastern Australia. It has naturalised itself in the Everglades, Florida where it is considered a pest.

A small to medium fast growing tree that does very well in poorly drained area’s.

Melaleuca quinquenervia

The Genre…

Punk is said to have started in 1974, with the New York Dolls and The Ramones being the fore runners of Punk music.

Punk then developed over the next two years and in 1976, bands like The Sex Pistols and The Clash hit the stage. The Sex Pistols being one of the most notorious bands of all time, giving us great classics like ‘God Save the Queen‘ and ‘Anarchy in the UK‘.


Wisteria sinensis ‘Caroline’

A beautiful climber, which is found growing wild up trees and cliffs in Western China.

It has beautiful lilac blue scented flowers in May/June. Great plant for training on a trellis or through established trees and shrubs.

Wisteria sinensis ‘Caroline’

The song…

Caroline‘ by Status Quo. Now this one is in my top three songs, and it is probably the first song that I heard, got me listening to heavy rock/metal music.

From their 1973 ‘Hello‘ album, ‘Caroline‘ was released on the 31st August 1973 reaching no. 5 in the UK charts.


Wildflower meadows provide a home for many colourful wildflowers and is a natural home for butterflies, bees and many other insects.

In recent years we have unfortunately lost many of our wildflower meadows, they can never be recreated fully, but with time and a little hard graft … the wildflower patch can be grown from scratch.

We are fortunate to have a large wildflower area at work, but I am also looking at increasing the wildflowers in other area’s in the garden.

Wildflower meadow

The song…

Wildflower‘ by The Cult, from their 1987 album ‘Electric‘. The powerful opening guitar riff to this song will stick in your head for hours, this track was the most successful single to be released from ‘Electric‘.

Ipomoea (Morning Glory)

Can grow up to twenty feet in one year … not bad for an annual. You get this in a variety of colours and has been a favourite amongst gardeners for many years.

Now, this plant can infuriate me more than most other plants … why? When it flowers it can be spectacular; but more often than not … it has not given us the flowers we expected! We have replaced it more with Cobea scandens, a much better plant and it is scented as well.

Ipomoea ‘Heavenly Blue’

The song…

From the 1995 Oasis album …  ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory’. Can’t say too much about this one, I like their music but … I have never been a big fan of theirs.

Veronica spicata ‘Foxy Lady’

The first bi-colour Veronica, it has a compact habit growing to a height of 30cm, with fuchsia-pink and white striped flowers, it flowers from June/July right through to October.

Veronica spicata ‘Foxy Lady’

The song…

Released on the 12th May 1967, from their ‘Are You Experienced‘ album; this is one of Jimi Hendrix most well known songs.

And there is another version of this song that always brings a smile to my face …

Alstroemeria ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’

A hardy Alstroemeria that grows well in sun or shade. Flowers from June right through until late October, with its striking orange/red flowers and creaming variegated leaves … this is a truly stunning plant.

Alstroemeria ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’

The song…

Now I could of gone with the genre of Rock ‘n’ Roll … but thought I could do a whole post on this alone.

Instead I have gone with the song by Led Zeppelin called ‘Rock n Roll‘ Why? Well this is ‘The Rock Garden IV‘ and the song ‘Rock n Roll’ was on ‘Led Zeppelin IV’… except this is crap … and ‘Led Zeppelin IV’ is the greatest album of all time.

‘Led Zeppelin IV‘ was released on the 8th November 1971, ‘Rock n Roll‘ was released as a single on the  21st February 1972.

Cannabis sativa

You grow this plant and you will … GET YOUR COLLAR FELT!

Cannabis is one of the most complex plants with over four hundred compounds identified. Recent research has even suggested that cannabis affects different parts of the central nervous system in different ways in the same person.

Medical experts say it can cause psychological problems and smoking it can lead to diseases like lung cancer.

Cannabis sativa

The band/song…

Hawkwind formed in 1969 they are the fore runners of space rock. They have had numerous line up changes in their long history, with Dave Brock being the only member of the group to have been constant throughout the bands history.

Now the link with the above plant … do I really need to explain that one?

The Doors … The End

The Rock Garden lll

The Rock Garden lll, the last one… or is it?

I was planning on giving it a little longer between the second and third but having seen a amazing Hemerocallis during the week on Twitter… I just had to do the third one.

With it also being named after a man that came from my part of the world and for a while, he was part of one of the biggest rock bands of all time… it had to be done.

Hemerocallis ‘Syd Barrett’

A beautiful looking Daylily with Violet and cream coloured flower, named after one of the all time legends of rock… sorry not the best photo I could find.

The man himself….

Born on the 6th January 1946 in Cambridge, England. He first met Roger Waters at primary school and David Gilmour when he was a teenager. After a time at the Cambridge School of Art, Syd moved to London to attend Camberwell Art College and that is where he finally hooked up with Roger Waters. In the summer of 1965, Barrett and Waters formed Pink Floyd, originally known as The Tea Set.

They signed to EMI in 1967 and then released the ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’. But, Syd became heavily involved with pyschedelic drugs and his behaviour became more erratic, and he parted company with the band in March 1968. After he left Pink Floyd he had very little success and on the 7th July 2006, Syd died of Pancreatic cancer at Addenbrooke’s hospital, Cambridge. Syd Barrett was the pioneer of Pysechedelic and Space rock…

Pink Floyd ‘Astronomy Domine’ with Inspector Clouseau

Hippeastrum ‘Pink Floyd’

A beautiful pink flowering Hippeastrum which can last for up to six weeks between January and June depending on the conditions.

The band…

A lot of thanks goes to the man above, Syd Barrett…. no not the other!

Pink Floyd the fore runners of pyschedelic and progressive rock, famous for their philosophical lyrics and elaborate live shows. They have produced some of the biggest selling records of all time, ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ in 1973 and ‘The Wall’ in 1979.

Pink Floyd- Another Brick In The Wall

Hemerocallis ‘Primal Scream

Reaching nearly 3ft in height and with a beautiful tangerine orange mid/late flower, this is a truly stunning Daylily.

The band….

This only just made into the in the blog. Why? Primal Scream in my eyes are more pop than rock, I struggle to put them in the same  category as the other bands I have mentioned in these rock blogs. Primal Scream… more like ‘Gentle Whisper’!

Primal Scream- Rocks

Rosa ‘Freddie Mercury’

A glossy leafed Rose with soft yellow apricot flowers, reaching a height of only 90cm this makes it a good Rose for containers as well as the garden. A great Rose for all Freddie Mercury fans.

The performer…

The greatest performer of them all! No-one has ever come close or ever will. Lead singer of the rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury was famous for his flamboyant stage persona and powerful vocals. Sadly Freddie Mercury died on the 24th November 1991… but his music will live on forever.

Queen- Who Wants To Live Forever

Queen- Don’t Stop Me Now

Ophrys apifera var trollii (Wasp Orchid)

A variant of the Ophrys apifera (Bee Orchid). This, as it is with all Orchids is a true stunner, as with the Bee Orchid the flower mimics the insect it is trying to attract.

David Attenborough can explain this more sensibly than myself….

Wild orchid

WASP- Blackie Lawless…

Legends of shock rock/metal, it is said W.A.S.P stood for ‘We Are Sexual Perverts’ or ‘We Are Sexual Prophets’ (or you could make your own up, I have); some have suggested the real meaning is ‘We Are Satans People. Always surrounded by controversey and their single Animal (F**k Like a Beast) released in 1984, was removed from their debut album self titled WASP. Famously on stage, Blackie Lawless once had a flame throwing cod piece explode on him the wrong way…. burning only his legs?! Probably best I stop here on this one… otherwise I will over step the mark- I suppose it saved him waxing for awhile!

W.A.S.P- Wild Child

Polygonatum biflorum nanum ‘Prince Charming’

It has wonderful blue-green leaves on arching stems and clusters of creamy-white, bell type flowers in late spring. slow to establish with an eventual height of 25-30cm, good for any woodland planting scheme.

The song…

Prince Charming was a song written and performed by Adam Ant and released in November 1981. It is a song about not being afraid of what people may say an think of you… following your heart and being yourself.

Adam Ant was part of the New wave/post punk era, between 1976 and 1982 with Adam and the Ants then going solo after 1982.

Adam Ant- Prince Charming

Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy)

A climber or shrub found in North America and their is also a variant called Toxicodendron radicans ssp negundo (Eastern Poison Ivy) found in Europe. Can cause mild gastric problems if swallowed, it’s the Urushiol found within in the sap that causes itching and can give you a nasty rash which can last for weeks.

The song…

Poison Ivy is a song by the Los Angeles based band Faster Pussycat, from their 1989 gold selling album ‘Wake me when it’s over’. Their self titled debut album is one of my all time favourite album’s but for me- Poison Ivy is their best song of all time.

Faster Pussycat- Poison Ivy

I thin k we will go with a little Bohemian Rhapsody…. Good Call!

Waynes World- Bohemian Rhapsody


Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Rock Garden ll

Sorry, but it had to be done!

There is one thing can I promise, it will not turn into one of those Smash Hits 550th CD type thing. The music will be better for a start, plus I’m likely to get bored after awhile… well after the third blog anyway. If this is your first visit you will be thinking ‘what is this bloody idiot on about’… check out the first Rock Garden blog, all is explained there.

I did also get a couple of comments from the first Rock Garden, that some found it useful… they must of confused it with someone else’s post. And I did get many suggestions of plants that I had not put in, so this did encourage me to do a second one…. not that I needed any encouragement.

Hebe ‘High Voltage’

This one is a new one on me, but I will certainly be introducing it into the gardens at Trinity. I was told about this Hebe through Twitter after writing the first Rock Garden, by Neil Alcock from Seiont Nurseries, North Wales where the plant originates from. It has been described as a beautiful fully hardy Hebe that has pale lilac and white flowers in the summer.  Along with it’s bronzy colourisation and being parented by the beautiful Hebe ‘Nicola’s Blush’ this is a must have shrub.

Photo supplied by Neil Alcock.

The album…

Released on the 14th May 1976, this was their first internationally released album that comprised of songs from their first two Australian albums…. High Voltage, Feb 17th 1975 and TNT, Dec 1st 1975.

For many this would have been the first time that Angus Young’s trademark school boy uniform would have been seen. The song High voltage is still used in their set to this day.

AC/DC High Voltage

Tiarella ‘Iron Butterfly’

An attractive herbaceous perennial, that can be grown in partial to full shade. Has creamy white flowers from May to July, with deep lobed leaves that has a dark blotch in the centre. Prefers free draining soil and can reach up to  approximately 30cm in height. A great ground covering plant often grown in large numbers.

The band…

Even older than Deep Purple. Formed in 1966 in San Diego they were signed to ATCO records in 1967, which they then went on to release their first album aptly named album Heavy. And in July 1968 they released the In A Gadda Da Vida album, which has to date sold well over 30 million copies. In A Gadda Da Vida stayed in the charts for 140 weeks , with 81 weeks in the top ten. A great track but it does bang on a bit… over 17 minutes long.

Iron Butterfly- In A Gadda Da Vida

Chamaedorea ‘Metallica’- Metal Palm Tree

Chamaedorea metallica, the Metal Palm Tree… need I say more. Origin, North and Central America and the West Indies. Used as a house plant in this country, I am not a fan of house plants and I only chose to put this in, just because it has the word Metallica in the name.

The band…

I’ve already done this one in the last Rock Garden post. But along with Status Quo, Motorhead, Ozzy and the Ramones, Metallica have to be up there with my all time favourites bands. And the Black album being one of my all time favourite albums….

Metallica- Enter Sandman


Nearly every garden has a Rose in it. A very large genus this one, so I thought I would cheat on this and just share a few photos that I have taken recently.

Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses)

Plenty to choose from here with the word Rose in. But I had to start with the biggest dummy thrower of them all… Axl. He has single handedly upset whole audiences, other band members, other bands and caused riots at his concerts with his antics. But, he has to go down as one of the biggest names in rock history. Axl has a very distinct or even unique rock voice and is a true great rock performer.

Gun N’ Roses formed in Los Angeles in 1985, their debut album Appetite for Destruction was released in 1987. To date it has sold over 28 million copies world wide and it is the biggest selling debut album in US history. I was very lucky to see Guns N’ Roses at the Monsters of Rock festival, Donnington in 1988 and again at Wembley Stadium, in 1992 when they were in their prime.

Sweet Child O’ Mine

But I could have gone with this one as well….

Every Rose Has It’s Thorn

or this….

New Rose

Hebe Heartbreaker

Here’s another Hebe!

It is an upright, evergreen shrub, which can grow to about 75 cm high and wide in approx 4 years. It has spear-shaped leaves that are grey green with a cream margin, up to 4 cm long, and turn deep red in winter. It has mauve flowers in the summer on older plants, but this plant can be shy of flowering.

The song….

One of Led Zeppelin’s biggest hits from the album Led Zepplin ll. Released in October 69, it was their first album to go to number 1 in the UK and the US. Many music writers had cited this album as the blue print to Heavy Metal.

Led Zeppelin- Heartbreaker

Byblis (The Rainbow plant)

Native to Western Australia, it is a small genus of carnivorous plants. They get their common name because of the attractive appearance their leaves give of in bright sunshine, due to the mucilage substance that is secreted through hairs on the leaf. Any insect that is not strong enough to escape, is then slowly enveloped by the mucilage and then digested by the plant. This is a true Metal plant!

Rainbow the band…

Yet another golden oldie. Formed in 1975 and just like Deep Purple, they had countless line up changes, finally disbanding in 1997. There was many a rumour going around after 97 about a re-union, but with deaths of Cozy Powell in1998 and Ronnie James Dio in 2010 this now seems very unlikely, even though there is more than enough past living members to form a band. But I hope this re-union does not happen, it will be just seen as a boost to their pensions.

Rainbow: Since you Been Gone

Oh, I can’t leave these songs out… you have my apologies!

Tiny Tim

showing my real colours now…

Really scraping the bottom of the barrel now!

The Rock Garden

No Alpine’s or waterfalls here, but maybe a little smoke on the water, just looking at plants that have a similar theme. So I thought I would start with music, Heavy Metal/Rock music to be precise and for those of you who follow me on Twitter, this will be of no surprise.

Yes, I know I maybe a Head Gardener, but there has been many a time I have brought a plant just because it’s a name of a song a band, or there is some other connection with music…. sad isn’t it! As long you have the right place for the plant I can’t see there is a real problem. But there maybe a few plant snobs out there would say, this is not the way to plan a garden, and they are probably right!

So what’s the best one to start with… well there is only one you can really start with and that is…………

Panicum virgiatum  ‘Heavy Metal’ 

A truly wonderful plant. It has taken me a few years to persuade some of the gardeners to include this in our borders. Panicum virgatum ‘Dallas Blues’ is another great plant we have recently added to our gardens and I must admit, it is a better plant than Heavy Metal.

The music……..

Where and when Heavy Metal music started is slightly unclear, some say it was with the Rolling Stones, others say with the release of The Kinks song, You Really Got Me. But for the majority of Heavy Metals fans it was in the late sixties with the introduction of bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest.

Penstemon barbatus ‘Iron Maiden’

The name itself, makes you think it will be tough and hardy. I lost all the ones I grew within a year, either I was doing something wrong or it is a complete wimp! Good for cut flowers, that’s if you don’t kill it of beforehand!

As for the band……….

They have to be the most successful band to emerge from the NWOBHM (New wave of British Heavy Metal) genre, which started in the mid 1970’s. And they are still going strong to this very day. Famous for their large stage productions and their mascot, Eddie and also in 1982 they hit a lot of controversy with the release of the Number of the Beast album. In many American states, the album was  publicly burned by many religious groups, with reports of people running away from the fires saying the smoke was possessed by the devil.

Petunia Plush ‘Deep Purple’

Not much to say about this one….. it’s a Petunia and it is purple. Sorry can’t get excited about Petunia’s. But every plant has it’s place, with this one  preferably the bin!

The band…….

One of the original Heavy Metal bands formed in 1968 and still performing today. This band has had more line up changes than any other band in history, with what must be now an average of over 90, their main stage prop being a Zimmer frame and Sanatogen being there drug of choice. But listening their music still gives me a buzz.

Phormiun ‘Back in Black’

A small Phormium with dark purple/black leaves, can be grown in sun or partial shade. Another new one for me, we planted our first one this year at Trinity.

The album……..

For many rock fans, it is the ultimate Heavy Metal album of all time. This was the first album to be released by AC/DC after Bon Scott’s death in February 1980. The band very nearly disbanded, but hired Brian Johnson soon afterwards and the album Back in Black was released on the 25th July 1980.

Polemonium reptans ‘Stairway to Heaven’

A low mound forming plant with a creamy white variegated leaf that turns pink when the weather is cooler. This plant I have yet to grow, but I already have several areas in mind where I would like to plant it……..well every garden has to have a stairway to heaven somewhere.

The song……..

Very little you need to say about this one apart from listen and enjoy……..

Begonia metallica

Begonia metallica is a bushy evergreen perennial, it can grow to approx 1 metre  in height. They have large dark metallic-green leaves, red veins and has small pale pink flowers in the autumn.


The band….

Formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, they have gone on to be one of the biggest metal/thrash metal bands in history. Still going strong to this day, and recently was part of the Big Four tour alongside Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax.

Too many favourites, had to have more than one link…….

Lathyrus odoratus ‘Brian Clough’

A slightly scented Sweet Pea that has coral pink flowers and can reach over 6 ft tall.

Alright, so Brian Clough has nothing to do with music, and to be honest his views on Heavy Metal would have been interesting to say the least. But the man was a total legend, I had to include him somewhere…….

Oh, I nearly forgot…………….

One year on…..

It’s now over a year ago since I started these Rock Garden blogs….and they seem to be very popular. All done as a bit of fun, but many have said how informative they find them (whilst drunk that is) and a good way of remembering plant names.  So you may get a few more of them in the future…sorry!

The added extra….

If I had known about this plant a year ago, it certainly would have made it into the blog, first time round.

Sansevieria ‘Twisted Sister’

A short and twisted plant that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. It is a plant that thrives on neglect.

The Band…..

Twisted Sister are a Glam Heavy Metal band from New York. Formed in 1972 and still going strong today, they are the kings of cheesy metal; along with their charismatic front….. Dee Snider.  I absolutely love this band 🙂

One more for luck…..