We visited our holiday-let flat in Broadstairs, Kent, this weekend. It is a tiny, subterranean garden with little light, which has to look after itself for most of the year. I was dreading the marks of the beast, but was pleasantly surprised. The Cyclamen coum were still going, joined by a very healthy white Aquilega and the soon-to-be-rampant Galium odoratum.
This Ivy is one I grew from cuttings as I really loved the foliage. When it is under control, it makes fine patterns on the wall. When it is out of control…
This container is proving very hard to grow things in. It is bright, but shady, exposed to sea and wind, dry because rarely watered and in a rain shadow. Two Anemanthele lessoniana have just died here and been replaced by Carex morrowii. Let’s see, but I fear for them.
Back home, I was very excited to see the return of my seedling Smyrnium perfoliatum. This is year two from seed, proof that they are in the right place. Apparently, they will put on a bit of foliage this year, disappear in the Summer and then come back again to flower next year. I have wanted them for about ten years, since seeing them at Beth Chatto’s woodland garden. In a few years time, if all goes well, I will be pulling them out like weeds.
Vinca gets a bad press, and rightly so. The whole tribe of them are bullying, smothering, ground covering invaders. However, if you want a wilder look and ground covered then they are great. This one, Vinca major oxyloba, is especially pretty and not especially invasive. I took this as a cutting from a St Ives’ garden about five years ago and it is only lightly spreading now. I’ll be keeping an eye on it mind, I know it’s cousins.
The annual fuss about Molly, begins. Like a beautiful cripple, she rises from the earth in purple contorted splendour. Soon she will put on her neat green foliage, before the all-too-brief flower show lasting about three or four days. Paeony mlokosewitschii, is a diva, is high maintenance, but is worth it.