Sunday, April 10

A planting opportunity

One main area of interest in the garden at the moment is the larger of our two pebble gardens.
 Being raised to eye level means that we can observe this bed at close quarters.
It's the time of year when we can assess which plants have survived and which have disappeared without trace.

The hepatica planted just in front of the large white label is a surprise survivor. I planted it with little hope that it would overwinter but although we have only some rather straggly flowers it is still there.
Quite a few bulbs have sent up shoots. It's a case of waiting to see what is there as most have been forgotten. I know some shoots belong to a diminutive narcissus called Minnow. The rest will reveal their identity in time.
I was sure that I planted more than just two bulbs of narcissus Bulbocodium but only two flowers have appeared.
I really like them and so must plant more.

One plant that is far two vigorous for this area is cyclamen hederifolium so as any self sown plants appear I weed them out. Some sneakily develop quite large tubers before being spotted. I hate to throw good plants away and so these are planted in troughs where they can grow without causing too much of a problem.
The cyclamen flowers in some of the photos above are cyclamen coum which I planted in the hope that these will be less invasive. They have flowered all through winter.

As the area has matured there is an added bonus of moss growing on stones and a mini tree stump.
The tree stump is what remains of a dwarf conifer that once grew there. The moss has turned it into an attractive feature.
Of course there are gaps - some are to create space to allow for plants maturing but others mark the spot of a plant's demise.
The gap above used to be home to a mossy saxifrage which came to the end of it's allotted time and now provides us with a planting opportunity. We'll be on the lookout for a plant that takes our fancy within the next few weeks.

28 comments:

  1. A gap in the garden is always an opportunity for you, Sue! I have lost my Coreopsis again (2 years in a row). It was supposed to be hardy, but evidently isn't. I think sometimes Garden Centres tell you want they think you want to hear, rather than the whole truth!

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    1. I once bought a collection of coreopsis and none lasted for a second year. I saw them described as short loved perennials but I found them to perform more like annuals

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  2. I always giggle when I see other gardeners losing their bulbs over winter. Makes me feel better knowing that I'm not the only one that plants lots of bulbs and ends up with only 2 or 3 flowers. I'm not sure if it's because more and more stores sell bulbs that can't survive winter or I just have little bulb stealing gnomes in the garden. :D

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    1. Our winter was very mild, Leanan so I blame the gnomes.

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  3. I love that Narcissus bulbocodium. I had one pop up unexpectedly two months ago and the rest were just about to bloom this month when, as so often happens here, something had the flowers for lunch.

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    1. Did they end up as Ptolemy's lunch. Jessica?

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  4. I love this, and each year there will be surprises as you say, as you look for what has survived and things forgotten. I love how moss covers things and turns even the most unexciting breeze block into something special.

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    1. The moss really adds character, Deborah - this year we have even had moss growing on top of the soil on the plot as it has been so wet.

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  5. I too love a new planting opportunity, enjoy yours! Yes, its sad to have losses but great to get surprises like your hepatica (I lost one of these many moons ago) I've been hoping for cyclamen coum to spread here but it's very slow for now (I've lost some). Loving that narcissus Bulbocodium! I must add that to my expanding 'plants to look out for' list later. I bet the bees love it. I might guess that you've some alliums seeded in here? I love the anticipation of the new growth too. This is a great time for the garden isn't it :-)

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    1. I'm relying on coum being less prolific than hederifolium, Shirley. The little narcissus has been flowering for ages - we definitely need more. I may start them in small pots this year and plant them out when they flower.

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  6. It's a shame to lose a plant, but then again--yay--you get to choose another, and that's always fun .

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    1. It's the best way to look at it, Sue

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  7. A girl after my own heart. I love, moss, tree stumps, stone, gravel and alpines.
    Is that a lithodora I see?

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    1. Lithodora - Heavenly Blue was it's name when I bought it, Roger but a plant I had earlier went under a different name - Lithospermum diffusa Heavenly Blue and so by now it has probably changed its name again. I bet you can give me a clever answer as to why it was renamed

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  8. It is a most attractive rock garden Sue.
    It break my heart to read about your cyclamens! Here it seems they have to be cossetted so much to simply survive. I only wish they would self seed as they do at! your place

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    1. The hederifoliums are on the verge of being a nuisance plant here, Alain. I wish I could send you some.

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  9. Planting opportunities are always fun. I hope you have some successful shopping trips xx

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  10. I love the shape of these narcissuses, so unusual. Although I also discovered a new specimen (I don't know its name as I bought a sack full of bulbs) which has a lot of tiny flowers growing from one stem-so cute.
    Isn't it hard to have a working allotment and also doing gardening at home? I'm very impressed!

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    1. We are both retired and enjoy it, Aga so it doesn't seem hard.

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  11. That Narcissus bulbocodium is a real beauty Sue, and the moss certainly adds to the overall effect. i look forward to what you choose for the gaps.

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    1. I look forward to seeing what I end up with, Janet,

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  12. Such a lovely flowers! Everything is coming back to life over there now! ;)

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  13. Your picture of the narcissus bulbocodium has reminded me what a lovely flower it is I must buy some in the autumn to go in the alpine boxes.

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    1. They really are lovely, Brian we need more.

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  14. What a delightful pebble garden, all the plants look lovely. I love alpines and would be spoilt for choice selecting one or two for your gaps....will enjoy seeing what you come up with. Some lovely plants here.xxx

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    1. Last garden centre visit there wasn't anything caught my eye, Dina. I am hoping for netter luck next time.

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