Saturday, 21 June 2014

Meconopsis paniculata 'Ghunsa group'

 This is very much my pride and joy this year but as it was grown from seed I can't 100% guarantee that it is the real deal but it certainly seems to tick all the boxes. The golden haired foliage is very striking and although we have had a very wet Winter this plant survived despite its hairiness and susceptibility to rot to produce a wonderfully robust flower spike. 

Young plants.
Planted out in June 2013

This is in October, the silvery sheen is caused by water droplets and the rosette if beginning to flatten out for the Winter.

Mid-May 2014 and the leaves are lifting up and opening out to uncover the flower spike.

A week later and the spike is well on the way.

End of May and the first flowers are showing.

Close up of the head of the spike showing the wonderful hairy leaves.

Taken tonight, being a Meconopsis it flowers from top to bottom, maybe if all the flowers came out at once it would be more attractive but to me it is beautiful and gives a real sense of achievement.

I have grown Meconopsis regia which is very similar but definitely not the same so until someone tells me different I am truly pleased with my Meconopsis paniculata 'Ghunsa group'. Its little brother is also flowering at the moment but is sat in a pot and is not as robust.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Iris for shadier damp conditions.

These sino-siberian Iris are in flower now and, although they are not as striking as the more showy types, they do not require the type of sunny position that their cousins revel in.They are generally happy in a damp but well-drained soil in sun or part shade.

Iris chrysographes 'Black Gold'

Iris sibirica

Iris sino-siberian
 (sibirica x chrysographes)
Another species from the far north of America, Europe and Asia which is more attractive still is Iris setosa, unfortunately I have no pictures of these as the plants I have are only young.

Iris foetidissima, (Welsh Gladwyn Iris)

Iris foetidissima - Seed-heads
The Welsh Gladwyn Iris is the only Iris that will grow in dry shade although it does better in slightly less-harsh conditions. The flowers are rather insignificant although there are stronger colour forms. The main reason these are grown is for their striking seed heads which unfortunately my picture does not do justice to. Mine were covered this year but I forgot to take some photo's! The seed heads last right through to the Spring.
For anyone growing in shady conditions like mine, I would thoroughly recommend these lesser known Iris to add both a bit of colour and architectural foliage.