Nearly ten years ago, I found a packet of five seeds in a box. I’ve no idea where they came from, but they were labelled lathyrus latifolius, the everlasting pea. According to Wikipedia, it is also known as the perennial peavine, perennial pea, and broad-leaved everlasting-pea. With nothing to lose, I soaked the seeds for 24 hours before […]Read more "I found some seeds"
Sometimes a plant arrives in the garden in just the right place. While the vast majority of unplanned arrivals are weeds, just occasionally something unexpectedly pops up that warrants inclusion, something we hadn’t bargained for, but which is just right. There is a local park at the bottom of my road. Originally a small Victorian […]Read more "Serendipity"
How many plants have black flowers? Not many. On closer examination, many that are claimed to have black flowers actually have blooms that are dark red or deep purple. One such plant is iris chrysographes In late May, stems up to two and a half feet tall suddenly race up between the grey-green foliage of […]Read more "Little Black Number"
At a cursory glance, the hedgerows of eastern South America do not look too dissimilar from those back home. but then a flash of orange makes you aware you are seeing something different – Embothrium lanceolata, the Chilean Firebush Growing in the Andes, this has proved hardier than E. coccineum, a lowland species with broader leaves. But it […]Read more "Firing Up For Summer"
Spring is all about bulbs. Snowdrops, crocus, narcissus, hyacinths, tulips – there are bulbs everywhere you look, responding to the warmth and moisture of spring. But many small woodland perennials are putting on an early display as well, making the most of the light available before the tree canopy takes over. Omphalodes cappadocica is a […]Read more "Cherry and Lilac"
Many bulbs have evolved in hot, dry climates. They wait for spring or autumn rains to begin growth, then flower and set seed before conditions become hostile again. A few, such as our native fritillaria melegaris, enjoy moister growing conditions. Another member of the same family, fritillaria reuteri, revels in wet spots. Here it is, […]Read more "Some like it wet"
While we are waiting for the large tulips to start, many of the smaller species ones are out of bed and flowering already. One of these is Tulipa praestans, a native of Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, where it grows on rocky slopes and screes, and in light woodland. In the garden, it should be given a […]Read more "An excellent tulip"