From the Blousey to the Refined

I imagine, as many of you do, that now is the time to take stock of what has worked and what hasn’t. We as gardeners are a picky lot and anything not coming up to standards generally has to go. For me this year it has to be Lupins which I hadn’t grown for many many years. I grew them as a result of free seed on a magazine but although they were lovely healthy plants I found them too big and ungainly and they left an enormous gap when I cut them down after flowering. Not that a gap is ever a problem to fill. I think I would like something a little less blousey and more choice. Another large plant was Sweet Rocket ,Hesperis Matronalis, I won’t stop growing this as it flowers so prolifically and the perfume is delightful but I just need to find a better place for it as it grows so tall. There lies the problem…. Where !

The Hemerocallis were dreadful this year, not so much with the dreaded gall midge but more with the lack of flowers. If anyone has a solution that might help I would be grateful. The roses have and still are fantastic. I moved about a dozen or more last year, fed and mulched them and they have repayed me in bunches.

Plants that I have enjoyed this year are the Roscoea, I now have 6 different plants which started flowering here at the beginning of May and some are still in flower today. Also we were able to sell three different ones this year.

Roscoea purpurea

Roscoea Purpurea. A tall long flowering type.

Roscoea Auriculata

Roscoea Auriculata still in flower today.

Roscoea Beesiana 3

A variable type this is Roscoea Beesiana, can appear pure cream. This is my favourite at the moment as they look more like orchids than the others.

Roscoea Brown Turkey 2

Roscoea Brown Peacock, the under sides of the leaves and stems are brown.

Roscoea Gurhka Red Stem

Roscoea Gurkha Red Stem. A very unusual colour for Roscoea.

Some of my other favourites at this time of year are the Eucomis and Codonopsis

Codonopsis Tangshen

Codonopsis Tangshen bears small 2 to 3 cm long flowers, year after year this plant has bulked up well, although because the flowers are not showy, I still keep it in a large pot so I can view it closely.

Cod' Tangshen

And this is the best bit…the seed pods are stunning. I just wish I could preserve them and make some jewellery from them….

Eucomis Bicolor 1

These two pictures are of Eucomis Bicolor…they couldn’t be more different in habit. The top one I grew from seed back in 2003, it is always tall, up to a metre, with lovely plain green long leaves.

Eucomis Bicolor 2

This one is more chunky with spotted undersides of the leaves, which are also shorter and more rounded. But supposedly the same specie.

Eucomis Freckles 3

Ecomis Freckles has only been in the garden for three years but has already formed a healthy colony, looking great as an understory to Anemone Pamina and the diminutive flowers of Anomatheca laxa. All my Eucomis stay outside in the ground, coming up year after year.

Dicentra Scandens

And as a finale I always look forward to the beautiful clusters of the climber Dicentra Scandens. Being up in the air you get to appreciate the detail more. Then if you are lucky you may get the fat seed pods….

Dicentra Seeds

Sadly I didn’t this year but this is what I got last year, lots of drupes, they ripened and I gave loads of seed away.

So whether it’s big and blousey or small and dainty we will never be quite happy with our lot until we have achieved perfection ….Ā  and we all know when that will be !!!






Filed under Taking Stock

10 responses to “From the Blousey to the Refined

  1. I don’t know the Eucomis at all, but they look very interesting plants. Do they take dry soil? My garden has been scorched this year and looks very disappointing. I sowed various cosmos in patches to transfer into the borders but it has been too hot to move them and they are flowering in choked groups. Luckily I cut my pots down to a minimum this year. Amelia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Morning Amelia, thanks for your comment. The Eucomis should be fine where you are. They need ‘a well drained sunny position and frost free’. Having said all that, in reality in my garden they are grown in the dampest and driest parts of my garden. Some are in full sun but many have quite a lot of shade. So it shows you cannot always rely on the books. They have also come through several really bad frosts over the last few years. If you do consider growing them, plant them deep 10-15 cms on grit. They really are stunning plants. Sue šŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Those roscoeas are wonderful! Especially love the cream/purple one. So lovely. šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had to smile at some your plants being too tall after my ongong tree lily experience! And I took out my sweet rocket as it was too tall where it was but perhaps I would appreciate it more if it was somewhere else…? I enjoyed seeing your eucomis and am amazed that they are thriving in the ground – mine are still newish, but I never even considered not putting them in pots so that’s something to think about. I love your Freckles!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So exotic to my eye and beautiful. You are right and I too am going to need to be rearranging some of the plants

    Liked by 1 person

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