plants I used to grow in old England (UK)

gdnh(5)June 19, 2012

When I was a child my Dad grew the following in England. I do not know if they are suited to Massachusetts the soil seems a bit alkaline plus it is a lot hotter:

honeysuckle, clematis, camelia, rhododendron, azalea, magnolia, peony, wisteria

thanks a lot for any input

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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Welcome to New England! You can grow all of those here in Massachusetts. Camellias are the trickiest, but folks here grow the hardier ones. The soil can be alkaline but more often is on the acidic side - it depends on your location.

I myself grow most of the plants on your list (haven't tried camellias).


    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 10:02AM
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gdnh - Nice to see you here. I grow all the plants you listed except for camellias (too cold in my part of NH) and wisteria (too easy to get out of control in my rural area.) You can get a soil test done by your state cooperative extension in most states or by mail through Cornell University. Less accurate would be to get an inexpensive pH test kit at a garden center. Most of New England is acidic - if you look around your neighborhood and there are a goodly number of Rhododendrons, azaleas, blueberries, or other heath family plants, you probably don't need to check the soil pH - it's acid.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 10:51AM
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spedigrees z4VT

Welcome to New England, gdnh. There is a reason they call this 'New' England! All of the plants you named are familiar and grow here. Like NHBabs, I think my area of northern NE (Vermont) is too cold for camelias alone on your list, but in MA the climate should be more favorable. I agree that most soil in NE is acidic, but it does depend on the specific location, as Claire said. I hope and expect that the plants you enjoyed across the pond will thrive here. Again, welcome, and we look forward to seeing photos of your garden.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:12AM
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Welcome to New England and to the forum.

Many areas of the UK are really chalky (alkaline), which some of these plants prefer, and most of NE is acidic. Those are generalizations, though, at least one regular here gardens in alkaline soil, so a soil test is really useful.

I grow all of the plants listed except wisteria - too rampant for my small yard. My camellias barely hang on, but I'm still trying - one has survived for a few years but non have thrived (so far!). That may be the one plant on your list that would not survive in zone 5 (I'm in 7, on Cape Cod); a few of the others might need some winter protection.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:17AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Here's a link for Soil Testing by the UMass Extension,

and more than you probably want to know about soils in New England, the FAQ Are all garden soils in New England acidic, with rocks?


    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:43AM
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