A Lakeland Alpine Diary - Holehird Gardens
This entry: July 2013 by Alan Oatway
I've begun with a photograph featuring Paradisea liliastrum, St. Bruno's Lily, which seems to flower more densely than in the wild. It certainly lifted this area at the beginning of the month, when one of the later candelabra primulas, the yellow P. prolifera, was flowering alongside. To the right if both, there is a glimse of Rhododendron viscosum, and a close-up follows: I just wish I could share the perfume with you!
The rhododendron has struggled for a number of years, and has recently been moved a short distance. Its former home is where the primula is flourishing - an area of bedrock not far below the surface being the reason for the latter's success, as well as the Rhodo's unhappiness. Also nearby, a solitary plant of P.Inverewe is being nurtured; our fingers are crossed that is is healthy and will bulk up. It is such a glorious colour that it would be a shame if the cultivar was lost - and a shame not to share it with you now.
Still in the early part of the month, lilies begin to make their impact, and although many of them are too large for most rock gardens, space needs to be found! Coming early - but not as early as usual this year - is Lilium martagon.
The next one I seem to have planted in the wrong place! It is far too tall for its current position, so it may be on the move - but it may be that the newly purchased bulbs are over-performing, or not completely true. It is the Japanese species L. leichtlinii, a favourite of mine as it usually restrains itself to under a metre in height, and I have found it pretty reliable. It makes a colourful splash towards the end of the month when there are fewer of the smaller alpines to see.
I cannot leave Lilies until I have spared space for the other star performer, Wilson's fabulous L.regale. The only drawback of this Lily is that the heads of bloom are sometimes so heavy that they are difficult to support, but that is a small hardship compared with their sight and scent. Every gardener should have these!
There are also some smaller subjects that have been performing well this month, and I will conclude with a look at three. Hypericum buckleyi is planted on the Rock Garden, and also in the beds edging the Walled Garden lawns. I show a plant from the Rock Garden, where I also took the photograph that follows of a seed raised Aquilegia. The final picture shows Convolvulus sabatius, enjoying life alongside the water feature in the Tufa House.
Its been a great month up here: we did hit 30 (once), but mostly its just been sunny and warm - perfect growing, gardening and garden-visiting weather. Long may it continue!!