Midland Diary Discussion: 28 March 2011
Started by: Diane Clement
Midland Diary no 40 - A plant in the wrong placeGo to latest contribution by Alan Jones, 14 April 2011, 19:00. Go to bottom of this page.
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If the definition of a weed is "A plant in the wrong place", then our garden is full of weeds at the moment. However, just because they have sown themselves doesn't mean they are not attractive. Click here for Diary Entry no 40
Diane, this is a diary entry which really speaks to me of Spring. Is there any flower more lovely in the British Isles at this time of year than the primrose?
Your pictures are so charming that I am almost diverted from my feelings of envy that you have such an overabundance of these wonderful plants - almost!
One would make a wish for all our gardens that all 'weeds' were as lovely and desireable.
It is funny how sometimes one's own 'weeds' are someone elses' treasure.... in our garden our worst weed is Tropaeolum speciosum ! I would willingly swap it for your native gems!
A weed of the first order Diane, lovely!
Here I have Primula veris, cowslip, which seeds around gently in lawn and paving cracks but not as rampageously as your primroses.
I think that with Saxifraga these are probably the plants which gave most of us our first interest which developed into our love of alpines.
Will, Otto and I are sitting in the hotel internet Cafe in KL and looking at your primulas! I'm sure they'd look very out of place here!
Looking forward to seeing you and others at the ALpines Conference.
Please pass on our regards to others (can't log onto SRGC Forum for some reason) and tell them we're on the way! I hope some of these wonderful spring flowers are still in bloom when we visit your garden - don't peak too soon!!!
Hello Folks, good to hear you are on your way. Hope the journey goes well for you all.
I suspect that if you are usually always signed in on the SRGC Forum then the system will not recognise your attempt from elsewhere, considering you to be already logged in.
See you soon... and don't worry, I think Diane and the rest of us will have lots for you to see !
Glad to hear you're on your way. The garden is looking good, plenty of spring flowers at the moment, Sanguinaria just about to open, erythroniums and trilliums also looking good. Enjoy the pre conference tour, and I look forward to meeting you again at the Conference.
Count your blessings---having a garden in which Primula vulgaris finds itself ideally suited. No effort on your part in this, just nature taking its course, bringing beauty into your life on an industrial scale at no cost to yourself. My garden is a reasonable size by city standards and I am at the stage, virtually, when I am planting plants on top of plants. I have perhaps at least 1,000 Erythronium ?White Beauty? and a similar number of Erythronium Pagoda out at the moment: they are everywhere, back and front. I donate them to the sales table, or as prizes, to raise money for the local group. They have been proliferating here, in Liverpool, for 28 years or so, originally gifts to me from my friend, Dr.Paul Christian. But if these are weeds, then I say, ?Please give me more?? In other words, let?s be grateful for what we receive. Alpine gardening is not easy at the best of times. I also can say the same of an autumn flowering colchicum, growing everywhere, but started from two bulbs many years ago. The foliage during the summer is grotesque but the flowers in the autumn are mind-blowing. I have mini forests of Allium, huge numbers of Chionodoxa, which seed and sprout-up through my cushions; Corydalis lutea, an absolute menace for seeding around, but provides a lot of colour; Viola laboradorica, from an AGS seed exchange may years ago, has gone through the garden, but never fails to stir my heart. Yes, I have trouble with Hellebores, too; it is very laborious pulling out the seedlings but it is something we must endure if we truly love them. The one plant I have eliminated over the years is Arisarum proboscideum. It kept popping-up everywhere, so I relocated it to the local woods, where it is thriving and gives pleasure to children.
Some 30 or so years ago, I popped into Jack Drake?s famous Aviemore alpine nursery, where, about ten years before that, I was enchanted by what I saw and started a lifelong love affair with alpines. Anyway, Jack was away that day, leaving a student in charge. He was busy digging out Crocus tommasinianus. He said: ?You can have some if you like. They?ll be the only plants you ever get free from this nursery?? An offer I could not refuse. They have now seeded everywhere in my garden. I remove them by the bucket load each year and relocate them in the adjacent woods, where they make a great show in the spring. However much I remove them, I cannot keep-up with their increase. Weeds? Well, I have to admit they are on the cusp of being so; but, in truth, I cannot resist their beauty, especially as three distinct colour forms have emerged. Yet they do cause me a lot of grief. The foliage after flowering covers all plants in the immediate vicinity, but this is the price that has to be paid for beauty. Unlike Anthemis tinctorum kelwayi. I regret the day I bought this monster from an AGS plant stall. Its seed inundated my herbaceous border like a plague. I had to rip the border to pieces over a period of days to try and get of it, but it is still coming-up. And I?m still picking it out. No redeeming features at all. Just a weed.