By HPS NE Group Chairman Heather Russell – from her garden in Bolam, Northumberland.
Lunaria ‘Corfu Blue’, a very attractive blue and new to me last year, has proved to be perennial (so far) and although cut back, has grown to form very attractive mounds of small blue flowers.
Last year, after a little rest, they flowered again in late summer. I hope those of you who took seed at the October meeting have some robust seedlings ready to go.
Smyrnium perfoliatum is lighting up shady areas of the garden with glowing yellow-green leaves and flowers, mixing delightfully with dark and white Geranium phaeum. It has taken years to establish regular flowering colonies, owing to a 4yr cycle, but thickets of new seedlings show my mistake in leaving them ALL to seed. I have it looking good in a vase with narcissus, Smilacina racemosa and blue Camassia – perfumed too!
A more recent sowing of Smyrnium rotundifolium seed, sent by a kind garden visitor, is proving taller and chunkier with large round leaves, slightly less yellow but still very attractive and I think, quicker to flower. Both light up ‘woodsy’ plantings.
About a year ago, Joan Barber kindly gave me a tiny rooted rosette of Sempervivum ‘Blue Time’, and it has amazed me by growing to resemble a giant water lily 11” wide. I expect that it will throw out lots of babies this season, and then the whole process will have to start again.
Thank you to all kind gardening friends who generously share their plants.
My ‘Dream Garden’ is all about lush young grasses this month, promising clumps of perennials, and Tulipa sprengeri scattered through. There are a few weed seedlings, of course, including a few from Deschampsia cepitosa ‘Goldtau’, which for the moment I am removing with my Japanese hand hoe. However, in order to save my old back, I am moving towards using a long handled hoe after forswearing them years ago because of collateral damage inflicted.
I want one with a nifty little head that I can wield between the plants. Can anyone recommend a favourite?