Pershore Garden March 2009 / 2
To the left of the Alpine house are two 'Ballast Beds'. Originally these were Bulb frames but they have now been filled with builders ballast (a mix of all grades from sand to 20mm shingle).
The glass covers have gradually been reduced as spring growth begins to let in some moisture and now only a couple of panes remain. This Helichrysum has formed and begun to extend its buds already though the 'everlasting' flowers do not open until the summer.
Draba species ZZ
Collected by Zdenek Zvolanek this unusual Draba has settled in at last and is much better that the one that has seeded all over the Androsace bed. Each slightly hairy leaf is incurved to give this unusual effect.
A more familiar member of the family and always a treat in early spring when the cushions become bright green and the yellow flowers appear on thread like stems.
Draba rigida is in the foreground and has no flowers for some reason. At the back is Arenaria tetraquetra var. granatensis.
Though not intended for bulbs, I could not resist planting this small member of the genus Fritillaria. The dry winter under the glass has suited it well. It is one of the plants given to the Pershore Garden from the late Tony Colmer's collection
Androsace muscoidea 'Schachts Variety'
Just beginning to open its flowers, the remaining buds showing pink, this form of Androsace muscoidea is popular among growers of Androsace. The Androsace bed is the rear of the two ballast beds and much experimenting is still going on to see which species are happy there.
I raised the seeds of this from a collection in the Elburz Mountains. With the protection in the winter from rain there was no reason not to plant this out. Two plants have grown, survived the winter and flowered. May be some of the other species will take to this location. The genus Dionysia is almost a bridge between Androsace and Primula.
Winter protection is not required for this plant but it has now settled and flowers early in this protected environment. Surplus Androsace Group seed that was spare was sprinkled into this bed.