Northumberland Diary Discussion: 21 December 2012
Started by: Susan ReadGo to latest contribution by Susan Read, 06 January 2013, 17:53. Go to bottom of this page.
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Another rummage through the attic for me! John you have stunning pictures from The Rockies. I was there probably early July very many years ago. I drove up every mountain road I could find and at altitude found acres of cushion plants but none in flower.
As for Lamiastrum: it narrows my driveway by about 18 inches every year. The only good thing it did was to smother a lot of celandine (which had started as an AGS group raffle prize under the name of Brazen Hussy)
Thank you Susan. Ah yes! Lesser Celandine! I think we must have similar growing conditions. This was public enemy number about three here for many years (I have so many public enemies, but vetch, Vicia sepium, has to take pride of place in any vote). Celandine grew very much in the same sort of place as is now dominated by the Lamiastrum, in enormously thick wodges at least 20 cm deep, which choked out any other woodlander I was trying to grow there. I think the problem was that I hadn't realised to start with that the bulbils can survive composting (I have the tetraploid, bulbiliferous form), so I spread it all over the garden. Since then I have discovered that there is a week in the year, usually about mid-April, when I can just rip it up like a carpet, leaving virtually no bits behind. It all now goes into the 'green waste' Council bin for public composting, and so is probably now giving someone else a headache. Several assiduous campaigns have virtually eliminated it now. I don't know if 'Brazen Hussy' is as bad, but I won't have any celandine anywhere near the garden now! Hopefully I can do the same for 'Yellow Archangel'. And it is such a lovely name! So much for the 'Heavenly Host'!
We've had 'Brazen Hussy' in the garden for years without it becoming a real pest and that combination of almost black leaf and brilliant yellow flower is like nothing else. It was discovered by Christopher Lloyd and who else would have coined such a name! There was a display of celandines at Vincent Square some years ago and in my Plantfinder 80 varieties are listed - this might cause nightmares! So far none have been given an AGM!! Perhaps our relatively dry climate prevents them becoming too much of a pest in the garden?
On another note - I wonder if anyone has grown any of those lovely American Mertensias? Very many are listed in the Alplains seedlist and almost all are extremely attractive. Many other borages that I have grown have been relatively shy to germinate, but they are a fascinating family.
John and Tim, Brazen Hussy was only bronze leafed so perhaps it was not the real thing. The problem with raffle prizes is that you cannot get your money back and of course people are so generous with anything which multiplies easily. I find it impossible to get all the bulbils out because the ground here is heavy. Lamiastrum is actually looking quite attractive now, though that is not something you can rip out without damage to oneself. Picture shows it this week (in case some innocents do not know it)...and Oh yes, the runners do root, contrary to a certain author's work.
I found some of the slides taken in the Rockies in my youth but so far not the note book. Clouds gathered most mornings with storms in the afternoon. The usual apologies for poor digital copies... the following is Mt Evans at over 14,000 ft. showing the thunder clouds but sadly no flowers to photograph.
Trail Ridge road in the National Park was equally unrewarding as far as plants were concerned, At lower altitudes Anaphalis margaritacea was common along with a red castilleja. As far as I know it is the only N. American Anaphalis and I was not to see that species again until I went to the Himalayas.
A blue gentian, G. ?calycosa and in one of the lakes along Bear Lake trail, Nuphar polysepalum