Spring flowering Primulas are one of gardens wonders. The ‘denticulata’ flowers are held on firm high stalks up to 12″ above ground. The globular appearance is due to the mass of small florets that group together to form a ball shape.
In early March this white Drumstick Primula Denticulata is full of flowers on stalks that are just breaking free from ground level.
Within a week the stalks will be over 10 inches tall and fully open.
Admired by the neighbors I often split the plants and give examples away.
Pinks are ‘divine flowers’ that can be planted in late April / May or October and produce a continuous supply of flowers suitable for cutting or exhibiting. They are perennials that are at their best for 2-3 summers. Scent, colour and uniformity are just 3 reasons for growing Pinks or other varieties of Dianthus.
Cultivation of Pinks
Pinks are completely trouble free if planted in a sunny position, in free draining soil. (asking for trouble there)
Occasionally water like any other garden plant and dead head after flowering.
Pinks bloom from early spring until the first frosts.
Hardy Pinks don’t mind the cold, so no need to lift them over the cold winter months.
Pinks will be a talking point in winter due to their silver/grey leaves .
Each spring tidy up around the plants and work in a fertilizer like Growmore, dried blood or Superphosphate …
Americans call it ‘Fall’ and the Brits call it ‘Autumn’ but November’s ‘Backend’ can produce a garden Bonanza.
These flowers are still showing their true colours despite all that our English weather has been able to throw at them.
You can tell the leaves know it is fall and the Cyclamen hederifolium know it is autumn and time to flower.
Dollar Princess was a group of Fucshias I received as cuttings. It took awhile for the flowers to arrive but the late profusion is very welcome.
A bit over blown and beginning to loose their colour the Hydrangeas have enjoyed our wet season this year. The reward is going to be a winter windfall of flower.
The Dahlias have also been a stroke of luck, lasting very well without as much deadheading as they should have received.
The annual Lobelia has surprised my with its deep blue colouring that has lasted all through summer. It may be the autumn light but the intensified colouring seems to have strengthened as the seasons moved on.
The best Bergenias have leaves that turn a strong colour in Autumn. These purple leaves look good in the December garden when compared to the ‘Elephant Ear’ green varieties of Bergenia. These plants tend to be lusty and the rampant, leathery leaves may need cutting back to keep the plant in control.
Easy Bergenia Growing
Bergenia ciliata make good ground cover plants 1 -2 foot tall depending on the variety.
Bergenia cordifolia varieties have smaller leaved varieties that appeal to me for this red and purple winter leaf colouring.
Cuttings from the rhizomes are easy to root and plants spread naturally in most conditions including shade.
The lime green varieties may be larger leaved and more robust if you wish to cover large areas.
They flower on stems of pink bells in clusters. Begenia Eroica is said to flower for longer.
Dead head the flowers for a continuation of flowering.
This flower is clear white but the buds are a rose pink.
Bergenia have large succulent stalks and like a dampish shady spot
The rhizomes spread and the plant is useful for covering large difficult areas like scree banks. It is too large to sit well in all but the largest rockeries.
Bergenia varieties including Bressingham White, Baby Doll, Rotblum and Bergenia cordifolia are shade tolerant although better sun means better flowers.
Bergenia has some medicinal properties and uses see
Bowles Mauve is a wallflower Erysimumlinifolium that performs for several years unlike its strongly scented cousins. It is a short lived evergreen perennial that gets a bit leggy if not kept in check. The plant flowers all summer long and it seems as though it is flowering itself to death.
Take regular cuttings which are easy to root and grow on.
It grows 2 feet high and wide in most types of soil preferring alkaline to acid
Also try other Perennial Wallflowers, Bowles Yellow or the shorter ‘Little Lilac Kiss’ from seed
Erysimum perofskianum Gold Shot as its name suggests has golden yellow flowers
Butterflies are attracted to this plant of the brassica family
As a member of the Cruciferae family the flowers grow from stems originating in the centre of the grey leaves and have 4 petals each in the shape of a cross.