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A Lakeland Alpine Diary - Holehird Gardens

This entry: June 2014 by Alan Oatway

We aim to grow plants "suited to Lakeland conditions" at Holehird. Just lately, it is becoming less clear what those conditions are! They say you can't grow Roses up here, for example, but this year is proving that rule wrong, with the Rose border looking wonderful right now. I couldn't do it justice withe a photo of the whole border, so I thought I would start with a look at a single plant- as an example of how well they are all doing.

Also doing well right now, on the corner of the Car Park, is a substantial Kalmia - presumably K.latifolia. The bedholder thinks that this is the best she has seen it.

In the same border, the striking flowers of Desfontainia spinosa are attracting attention. These are on a young plant, but one that does grow well in Cumbria, so we will look forward to better displays in years to come.

Of course, we are known for our damp climate, so we grow Primulas and other moisture-loving genera. Every gardening visit for the last few weeks has involved long spells of watering duty to keep them alive! We have been propogating Cardiocrinum giganteum to provide bigger displays - but the dry conditions have seen them flowering on half-size plants. Still worth a look though!

Arisaema also require plenty of moisture during their growing season, and we are using some to extend the season of interest in borders where earlier subjects have finished. Some seed-raised plants are flowering now for the first time, some three years from sowing. The photograph shows Arisaema costatum with the long trailing end of the spadix visible - it reaches the ground.

Nearby, and also serving to extend the season of interest, Dierama grandiflorum "Guinevere" has been planted and is flowering for the first time. The flowers are close to pure white, and it lifts a dark corner.

Watering has kept the Primulas going, although they have possibly not been as floriferous as usual. We are trying some in new locations, and the picture shows P.sikkimensis in front of a small fall on the stream in the Rock Garden. This is a very suitable location for this species, and I will aim to put additional plants there as soon as possible.

Other plants have coped with the season without any help, and the Rock Garden has plenty of stalwart standards such as the Helianthemums providing wonderful summer colour. In the same class, the light yellow Hypericum "Citrinum" also adds a bold splash - and I finish June's entry with a photograph of that - a worthy plant for any Rock Garden with enough room.

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