Lewisias are pretty plants for a rock garden or alpine trough. They don’t like wet soil or a damp crown. So whilst it grows fine outdoors in the UK it much prefers the protection of an airy greenhouse or alpine house, especially in a damp winter. Taking advantage of the protection from storms Dennis and Ciara is this pretty Lewisia hybrid, growing in a pot in the greenhouse sand plunge. It has pretty pink fringing and pink stigmas. I like the colour combination of pale yellow and pale pink. I call it the Battenburg Cake colour scheme.
Yellow snowdrops – Primrose Warburg and Elizabeth Harrison
More sunny yellow colouring to brighten a stormy weekend, this time in the form of yellow featured snowdrops. Not everyone likes these and whilst they are sought after by many gallanthophiles (snowdrop enthusiasts) some can struggle to establish well in the garden and the impact of the yellow on these tiny white flowers can be lost in the wider garden landscape.
I have these two varieties growing in pots at the moment. Having remained stubbornly closed this last week, they opened up in the relative warmth of Friday so that I could photograph them. I do like the yellow blob of the ovaries and how the yellow markings on the inner sepals are so delicate.
‘Ronald Ginns’ was much admired last week and I’m delighted now to share another sieberi crocus – the three coloured ‘Tricolor’. They have a pretty colour combination best described as Tango orange and Dairy Milk purple, separated by a narrow band of white. These are in a pot and I’m moving them to the shelter of the greenhouse today to stop Storm Dennis knocking them down. A couple of my Ronalds were flattened by Ciara last week.
Also sheltering in the greenhouse is my mini collection of Pelargoniums and a couple of them are taking advantage of the warm weather to put on good growth and even some flowers. This pretty deep coral pink form has unusual serrated leaves and a charming flower.
I keep seeing glorious close-ups of hepaticas on Twitter and so, hankering after one of my own, I bought this one from Ashwood Nurseries. I’m not as wild about it as I though I’d be. Whilst the flowers are exceptionally pretty, they don’t seem to be held on erect stems and so look a bit droopy and sad.
Many Hepaticas are tricky to grow, especially those from Japan and North America, and need the protection of an alpine house. I chose this one as it’s supposed to grow well outdoors as long as it’s in the full shade of a tree canopy by the summer. I’m going to take the plunge and plant it outdoors in my woodland area, where I hope it’ll grow stockier outside in the elements.
Whilst I am really enjoying growing some different snowdrop varieties, I’m also very fond of the basic ones en masse. Just over four years ago my father died and the collective ire of my family rounded on the snowdrops as they dared to grow so perkily despite our grief.
A few weeks later I decided snowdrops were in fact the perfect of antidote to grief and set about planting them in the lawn either side of the drive. They keep coming back and I add more every year. This week a wonderful friend gave me a huge tray of snowdrops that she’d dug up from her garden. What a fabulous gift and the scent in the car as I drove home made my heart want to burst. Planting snowdrops in a lawn is so easy, especially when you buy them ‘in the green’, in active growth. All you need is a sharp spade and my method for planting is explained in this article here.
Here’s a picture of the lacy frilled effect they create. At night, the car headlights make them shine like stars.
This seasonal diary is part of a weekly link-up of garden bloggers from around the world, called Six on Saturday. For more information and links to other blogs crammed with gardening activity, check the blog of host The Propagator.