Stamp Collectors And Gardeners & A New Hardy, Hybrid Dogwood Tree

Attention All Stamp Collectors And Gardeners (And Particularly Those Of You Who Are Both!); And About A New Hardy, Hybrid Dogwood Tree!
by Art Drysdale
by Art Drysdale


Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. He has reno-vated an old home and has a new garden there. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays.

Art also has his own website at

January 19, 2014

The clematis depicted on the stamps comprise (above, upper row, left to right) Samaritan Jo, a stunning multi-coloured flowering plant; Giselle, a beautiful multi-flowering clematis with six-pointed dusky purple/pink sepals; and Chelsea a very compact plant with French Grey rounded flowers which was launched at the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show to celebrate the show’s 100th anniversary. Lower row, also left to right: Anna Louise a free flowering plant with large violet purple flowers which has been featured on gold medal exhibits at Chelsea many times in the past; Countess of Wessex, a delightful white flower which was launched at the 2012 Flower Show by HRH The Countess of Wessex and admired by Her Majesty The Queen on Raymond Evison's clematis exhibit. Completing the set is Clematis Edda, a compact plant which is to be launched at the 2014 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Below: Raymond Evison in his 2002 Chelsea Flower Show exhibit being interviewed by the U.K. press. Author photo.

The Guernsey Post Office has announced the release of a special stamp issue which celebrates the achievements of Raymond Evison OBE, VMH, a world-renowned authority, breeder and grower of clematis cultivars, who this year (2013) was awarded his 25th Gold medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (stamp issue date 13 November 2013).

Guernsey Post’s 25 Years of Gold issue features five of the clematis that Raymond Evison exhibited at the highly successful 2013 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. In total he exhibited 50 different varieties at the show, all of which were raised in his famous Guernsey nursery, something rarely done - if at all - by any other exhibitor.

Born to a gardening family in 1944, Raymond Evison’s horticultural career began at the age of 15 at Treasures of Tenbury Ltd in Shropshire, England; just eight years later he became managing director. During his time there he developed the garden centre, two small museums and a restaurant – whilst attracting 20,000 visitors annually to visit John Treasure’s famous Burford House Gardens. Drawn by its climate, Raymond moved Clematis production to the island of Guernsey in 1985. A brutal winter had killed a third of his mother stock and he moved to the sunny Channel Islands near France where he set up The Guernsey Clematis Nursery to take advantage of the milder climate and the plethora of empty glasshouses where Guernsey tomatoes once grew. The Guernsey Clematis Nursery Ltd. has proved to be a hugely successful venture, as the nursery produces up to a quarter of the world’s annual requirement of young clematis plants. Raymond, who moved to Guernsey in 1987, has bred and developed more than 100 clematis cultivars and has probably introduced more than anyone else worldwide.

Owner and Managing Director of both his companies, The Guernsey Clematis Nursery Ltd and Raymond J. Evison Ltd, Raymond Evison O.B.E. is a nurseryman and breeder, horticultural exhibitor, horticultural judge, acclaimed lecturer, author and photographer. He is the author of numerous articles on plants, gardening and the genus clematis published in books and leading magazines in Europe and North America; his horticultural photographs are used widely in publications.

Raymond Evison has more than 40 years of experience growing and introducing new clematis to the world's gardeners. One of his greatest loves is to search worldwide for plants either in the wild or in cultivation and he has been responsible for introducing many new Clematis into cultivation for the world's gardening market. He holds an NCCPG (National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens) Collection of Clematis of over 500 species and cultivars.

The nursery now produces five million young plants per year and exports to 20 countries worldwide.

Raymond Evison said: “I am delighted that Guernsey Post has produced this very special set of postage stamps. It is an honour to be celebrated in this way and I am grateful for the huge team effort from our nurseries.”

Dawn Gallienne, head of philatelic at Guernsey Post, said: “Over the years Raymond has enjoyed huge successes at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show and this year he celebrated his 11th consecutive gold medal. We are thrilled to be able to showcase just some of the beautiful clematis which drew the crowds at Chelsea, including three which made their debut at this year’s show – and we’re particularly delighted that Raymond has photo-graphed the stunning images which are depicted on our stamps.” .

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The seed catalogues are starting to arrive, as are the e-mail messages from the various suppliers about new introductions for 2014. Here is what the U.S.-based Wayside Gardens has to say about a brand new flowering dogwood.

“A cross of Cornuis kousa x C. nutallii with pink foliage that darkens along the edges.

“This blushing darling will warm up any landscape with its rosy pink blooms in late spring and burnished red leaves in fall. Find a place for it in the middle of your garden or along a driveway or path, and it will reward you with years of carmine colours! It even produces red-orange ornamental fruit through the summer.

“Rosy Teacups® is extremely floriferous, producing compact, dense heads of floral bracts. The blooms are over 7 cm (3 inches) wide and sport an alluring pink color that burns magenta along the edges. Not only are the flowers larger than average, but there are simply many, many more of them. And the blooms (actually bracts) overlap for an even fuller effect. These are long-lasting, as well, holding on for three weeks or more!

“Like other dogwoods, Rosy Teacups® grows slowly to a mature height and width of six to seven metres (20 to 25 feet). It has a low, dense growth habit, forming a distinctive rounded head slightly wider than it is tall. The foliage is thickly branched and covered in glossy green foliage that turns red in the fall.

“Rosy Teacups® exhibits good pest and disease resistance: no insect or disease problems have been observed during the plant's 15 year history of field testing.

“Rosy Teacups® can be grown in well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. It prefers moist, organically rich, acidic soils and will benefit from a two- to four-inch layer of mulch, which helps keep the roots cool and moist in summer.

“This plant exhibits great cold hardiness in U.S.-zone 6, with no winter die-back. This brand new variety has not yet been tested in other zones, but Wayside Gardens say they suspect it will be quite hardy in zones 5, 7, and 8 as well. Give it full sun in the North and part-shade in the South.”

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