Sunday, 21 April 2013

.............or is it?

We have had a few sunny days and and a little rain but still have a cold wind. The soil has not warmed up much although it is now at least dry enough to work. The first containerised tulips are forming flowers so here is the last couple of pictures of my spring flowers.
Fritillaria meleagris. - Companion to the likes of celandine and early daffodils. The Snake's-head Fritillary is best naturalised in damp grassland, water meadows being the preferred site where it will reward the grower with blankets of colour in spring. The same applies to the Crown Fritillary, Fritillaria imperialis. A member of the lily family
 (Liliaceae) this is where the first dreaded lily beetle of the season are to be found and crushed. Beware the bulbs are toxic.

Chionodoxa luciliae -  Lucile's Glory-of-the-Snow.
Chionodoxa is a member of the Asparagaceae - sub-family Scilloideae, named from the Greek: chion - snow and doxa - glory. They are early flowering bulbous perennials from the alpine regions of the Eastern Mediterranean generally known as 'Glory-of-the-Snow' which are very closely related to the genus Scilla.

Monty Don was at it again on last week's Gardener's World. When planting alpines he said that although he was using his 'homemade' compost "any peat-free compost will do." No Monty, any general purpose compost will do, I used to grow many alpines and know that some from the limestone areas don't appreciate an acid compost but that isn't the point. We know he is the President of the Soil Association but this blind following of the current trendy doctrine is beneath him. If you don't believe me and want the true facts please go to the Glendoick Garden site for the most reasonably presented argument I have read. This should be mandatory reading for all those of the 'conservationist' persuasion.


  1. Hi Rick, I see you have highlighteed the Fritillaria meleagris today, a plant which I will also be adding my tuppence worth quite soon. My daughter and her family moved to Cheshire three years ago, (Holmes Chapel) Will look to catch up with you again, I only add a new post once each fortnight.

  2. Hi Rick, thanks for the link to the Glendoik Garden site. Really interesting. I'll think again next time I buy some compost.

    1. Hi Nick, Glad you read the information and have an open mind about it. There are so many things which are not factually correct that have now become 'trendy' in the name of 'green' that I think gardeners should be more aware. The RHS magazine this month actually referred to peat-based composts so for them to admit to their very existence must be a step forward.