North Wales Diary Discussion: May 2014
Started by: /diaries/NorthWales/Go to latest contribution by Margaret Young, 20 June 2014, 11:59. Go to bottom of this page.
John, I couldn't agree more with your singing the praises of easy plants. They are truly the backbone of a successful garden. The new and challenging always call to us but we risk a garden full of plant labels without plants or struggling examples of 'Gems of the Genus'. Another bonus of these plants is during times of neglect or when we are called away from the garden. Who comes to our aid then but the tried and true.
What I find so interesting is how gardens can often succeed so well with certain plants and differ with others. The rhodanthemum is a brilliant plant in our garden too, but Daphne arbuscula although it seems to grow well just doesn't flower freely, unless it's grown in pots in the alpine house. I've always assumed this is because the garden is not warm enough but I can't imagine N. Wales is warmer than N. Kent? Maybe again it is a need for heat stored in the rock work around the plant? Certainly something that it needs and I haven't discovered yet to encourage good flowering. More and more the idea of a crevice garden beckons. We have the same problem with Gentiana acaulis (which is a bit renowned for this despite comments that there are free and shy flowering forms). And plants like Silene acaulis are notorious for hardly flowering in cultivation, whilst Dryas octopetala from precisely the same places flowers well.
Hello Ken and Tim, Thanks for yhour responses, which are much appreciated. It has always fascinated/infuriated me that I find some plants easy to grow and/or flower that others find difficult, and vice versa. N. Wales certainly isn't warmer than Kent, quite the reverse! I think the constant moisture in the soil may be a ggod thing for daphnes and they certainly get that here, and especially in my crevice gardens.
The differences in plants which will or won't "do" even in neighbouring gardens is something else which interests me greatly - nothing like nature to keep us guessing.
Micro-climates are all very well but sometimes one is inclined to think the plants are just teasing us!