Somewhere in the dark there’s you

We think of bulbs as flowering in the spring, but there are some that have adapted to bloom after the heat of summer but before winter steps in. As August slips into September, the first of them are putting in appearance, but this time I am highlighting one for dry shade, that most difficult of conditions to deal with.

Strictly speaking, cyclamen hederifolium grows from a corm, not a bulb, but the effect is the same. You plant a dry storage organ, more in hope than expectation, and several weeks if not months later, when you had forgotten all about it, flowers suddenly appear as if by magic. Pale pink flowers light up this area in my garden under a shrub where they receive no rain and very little light. In the background are the darker flowers of a variety named ‘Red Sky’ that I added last autumn which I hope will self sow.

Cyclamen hederifolium - 2015

In another part of the garden, I planted the white form, C. h. forma albiflorum, well away from the pink ones. These have increased well and the white gene has been passed to all the offspring so far.

Cyclamen hederifolium 'Album' (2) - 2015

Although these little beauties thrive on neglect, they appreciate a top dressing of pine needles if you get hold of some. In the garden of a friend, they carpet the ground under conifers, growing like weeds.

Just like the Abba song from which this blog title is taken, these are little Super Troopers.

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