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May 2019



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Flower of the week: Melittis melissophyllum ‘Royal Velvet Distinction’


What to choose this week, when the garden is burgeoning and the whole countryside greening up? There’s blossom on the single apple tree and aquilegias flowering everywhere. Cow Parsley and bluebells in the hedgerows, Stitchwort, Herb Robert and Speedwell in the wilder parts of my garden. This azalea is ready to burst into its fluorescent glory. I have little vases of Lily of the Valley in the house.

I’ve picked a fairly humble but uncommon plant: Melittis melissophyllum, also known as Bastard Balm. I saw a solitary and rather straggly specimen at the garden centre last year and snapped it up because you hardly ever see it. I was thrilled that it came to life again this spring and made a sturdy little plant. It’s what Christopher Lloyd would have called a rather weedy plant; no structure, no knock ‘em dead flowers but it happens to be exactly the kind of plant I like.


This Geranium renardii makes it because I was able to take a nice pic.


You can read about its history here. The link also takes you to the story of Mr J’s Peony, which has five flowers this year, so is coming along nicely. Next, the plant which would have been flower of the week if I could have taken a decent photo of it. I love, love, love, Lamium orvala. Such an unusual, subtle pink and such velvety petals. The trouble is, as you can see from the photos, that the flowers are almost covered by the leaves.



Today, it's dark, damp and windy but the flowers remind me that it is Maytime.


Lovely, and you paint a pretty scene :) Your geraniums are further on than mine. I've just got leaves at the moment. The potted ones are doing better though.

It's windy and cold and I've put the heat on!
Thank you! Yesterday everything looked lovely, so fresh and green. Poured with rain all morning (we needed it) and my heating has been coming on, too!
I could do with getting out of winter clothes.
Thank you! I'm keen on uncommon plants.


Lovely plants and flowers. I know the geraniums and lamiums, but the melittis is new to me. Thanks again for sharing.

Re: Flowers

Some good plants should be better known. I'm happy to spread the word!