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October 2018



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In my garden: wintergreens

No, not curly kale or purple sprouting, delicious as they are, but those useful hardy perennials which keep their leaves in the winter. Here’s a few of mine. First up, Epimedium ‘Fröhnleiten’. How fresh and shiny does it look?


A lot of people hate bergenias, or 'Elephant’s Ears’ but they are very useful for awkward, shady corners. This one is Bergenia ‘Harzkristall’.


A new plant for me, which I bought at one of our Plant Heritage sales last year. It’s a species geum, Geum bulgaricum and has very pale yellow flowers. These leaves are a bonus and I’m looking forward to its first flowering in my garden.


This heuchera looks a little sad but I think it counts.


Tiarellas are closely related. Here’s Tiarella ‘Iron Butterfly’.
In spring it will have spikes of tiny fluffy pale pink flowers. Last year, it gave me a repeat performance in autumn, which was very welcome.


What would we do without pulmonarias? Here’s the common variety which we used to call ‘Soldiers and Sailors’ because you get pink and blue flowers on the same plant. Look, buds! Elsewhere in the garden some are already in flower. I used to have a lot of different varieties, some with silvery leaves which look particularly good. But I’m fond of the old spotted ones.


This last one is cheating. It’s Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’, usually grown as an annual. This is one of several self-sown seedlings which are surviving winter so far. If they live, they’ll make much stronger plants next summer than new plants sown in spring.


All these photos were taken in the garden this morning. It’s sunny! For now.


Smashing pictures of the new growth in your garden. I went out to the patio this morning (sunny here too) and noticed more new buds on the geraniums and all my mints are coming through. The daffs are coming along as well and I'm sure there's signs of grape hyacynths! I can't see the hydrangeas surviving if we get a cold snap, though.
Thanks! It's like spring here today. But isn't the legend that a fine Candlemas means a lot of winter to come? Brr.
I said hydrangeas and I meant geraniums, d'oh.

Punxsutawney Phil has predicted today that there will be 6 more weeks of winter!
Heucheras always look a bit sad at this time of year but yours looks ready to spring into glorious growth.

Some gardener (can't remember who) once said that lamium maculatum looked like "a herd of elephants behaving badly under a blanket" - which is what my bergenias look like!
Poor bergenias! I tried to introduce that lamium on my bank, which is under the hedge and wild except for some bulbs. It didn't take, although it was rampant in my old garden