As shrubs, Hypericum tends not to be valued highly by gardeners, perhaps because
of associations with new housing developments and supermarket car parks. Possibly
for this reason the beautiful Hypericum ‘Rowallane’, which holds an RHS Award of
Garden Merit, seems to have fallen out of favour which is a great shame.
It is a splendid shrub, growing to about 2m tall and is very free-flowering being
festooned with saucer-shaped golden blooms from early in the season until late
autumn. The foliage of this upright shrub is a glaucous green and it will often hold its
leaves through most of a mild winter. Its parentage suggests that it could be slightly
tender but it survived -12* in the winter of 2010 although it completely defoliated and
was a little slow to recover the following year.
Leslie Slinger, the owner of the famous Slieve Donard Nursery in Newcastle, Co
Down, spotted it in Rowallane Gardens; it was introduced by the Nursery and listed
in its catalogue in 1940. The original plant still grows at Rowallane and our volunteer-
maintained garden at the Ulster Folk Museum at Cultra, Co Down also has a fine
specimen. It is perfect towards the back of a mixed border where it gives height and
colour for many months of the year.
Text by Maeve Bell