Tuesday, 4 June 2013

More spring gems. Big blues.

Spring, however late, is the time for the garden to go mad, so I am going to do a few more posts than normal to cover what is happening. After cheating a bit with my tulips post................ you buy the bulbs, you stick them in, they grow, you take pictures! Here are few more of the plants, which I typically grow, that are in flower now.

Meconopsis grandis
Meconopsis 'Kingsbarns'
Meconopsis 'Lingholm'
The meconopsis, in particular Meconopsis betonicifolia, is the iconic Himalayan flower used as a symbol by many nurseries and institutions, the blue colour is matched by very few in the plant kingdom. Many meconopsis are notoriously difficult and do better in the North and Scotland in the cooler conditions. They like rich, moist but well drained soil, and as  many of them have hairy leaves which hold moisture, they often succumb to our wet dreary winters which is a problem common to many alpines. On another point the nomenclature is driving me round the bend. All these plants, with the exception of 'Lingholm', are grown from seed cold-sown in the autumn or spring, so there is never absolute certainty that they are what it says on the packet and although I am reasonably sure these are correct, I am not a botanist. Some of the perennial clump formers like 'Lingholm' can be divided after flowering although I have never tried this.

Aquilegia alpina
Another of my loves, aquilegias, which I will devote a full post to shortly but couldn't resist showing this lovely diminutive form. Grown from seed that has produced about twenty different plants, I think this is the closest to type.

Anemone baldensis

Another diminutive plant, this is the sole result of a sowing, it don't look much but ain't it pretty! Petals go from a pale buttery yellow to white when fully open.

Chaerophyllum hirsutum roseum
A classic border perennial which adds colour to the early spring (or not-so-early this year) herbaceous border which makes it invaluable. Grown from seed, cold sown early spring. An outstanding and easy to grow umbellifer. 

A brace of trilliums:

Trillium grandiflorum
I bought this plant as another species but I am pretty sure that this identification is correct. Imagine whole areas of woodland just carpeted with this in its native USA, it must be a sight to behold.

Trillium erecta
Rescued from a too dry spot in my "woodland" area and grown on in the mini tunnel last year, the colour is stunning. I do have two lots of trillium seedlings currently growing on in the tunnel...................patience required.

Monty Don referred to his peat-free compost again on Friday .......Aaaaaaagh!


  1. Hi Rick, we seem to have a bit of a theme going on as my next post is highlighting Meconopsis, great pictures of yours. I had a post some time ago when I was showing the Trilliums in our garden. Grandiflorum!! I have the very one which you show. Someone said to me*** it looks very different from my Grandiflorum. I did a little research and found the one which we both have is actually (Trillium Albidum)

  2. Thanks Alistair, I have never been entirely happy that my identification is correct. I bought it as Trillium luteum, the first clue that all was not well would be when it had white flowers! It is interesting that we seem to be following the same path but plants such as the Meconopsis, Trilliums and Asiatic Primulas, which thrive well in Scotland, are my speciality.