Pershore Garden March 2009
I will try and put this months pictures as a tour round the garden.
By the main gates, and please open these if you visit at the weekend and close them as you leave, is a now mature Magnolia. The flowers are just opening and looking marvellous. I hope that any frosts will be gentle.
One of the treats in the car park ares is this Tree Paeony. I notice that the area around has been cleared to give more room for it. The buds are all over the plants and gradually swelling. I was able to find a few seeds on the ground from last autumn and now stratified by the winter have been planted in a pot.
Saxifraga 'Peach Melba'
As you enter the Lych Gate and on your right is the Tufa area, but on the edge of the limestone chippings and the paving beside the first trough are two plants of Saxifraga 'Peach Melba'. I planted these 4 years ago and they have grown into cushions. One is flowering much better than the other and I was recently told that this cultivar (actually an accidental hybrid) needs more feed than most Saxifrage.
Saxifrage a silver cultivar
This section of the genus flowers much later than the smaller Pophyrions but they provide wonderful architectural highlights in the early summer.
In this photo you can seethat at the darker centre of each rosette is a bud and so I look forward to a good display in a couple of months.
Before progressing further into the Tufa Garden look to your left and at the Mediterranian Bed which gains heat throughout the winter from the wall.
At the moment the Anemone is a bright red beacon and I am pleased to see that it is spreading slowly as evidenced by the buds on either side
Facing the hedge and in one of the large bouldrs of Tufa, are the dark plum leaves of Phyteuma comosum. Visitors, when this is in flower, often ask what it is for its flower and leaf habit hide the fact that it is a Campanula relative.
We will have to wait patiently for flowers. I noticed that the garden has two other plants of this unusual alpine plant.
This little plant is in danger of becoming a weed in the Tufa garden. This may be the variety huetiana and like the other two ia an annual seeding readilly. It just needs a watchful eye kept on it. It is in flower now though I note that one reference book (Kohlein) puts it as flowering in May.
This chance cross between S. oppositifolia and S. Xkochii appeared some years ago and was available for a couple of year. I do not see it on sale now and it has proved to be a difficult plant to grow in some locations. At Pershore it is in a north facing part of the crevice garden and struggling. It hates hot and dry periods in our southern summers and prefers a cooler setting. The star-like flowers with their orange centres are worth the effort.
A close up of the flowers on the crevice garden plant
Primula marginata var. laciniata
Though not a difficult plant, the farina covered leaves can be spoilt by rain when it is grown outside. This variety with the distinct cut edges to the leaves retains some attraction. This is growing in the crevice garden and mingles with a Sempervivum cultivar
Much photographed by me because it has seeded into several locations in the Crevice garden and began flowering last December. It has continued in flower and is now at its best. This species is particularly compact in growth but generous with its flowers.
This British native has naturalised itself in the pathway between the crevice garden and the first scree - though you will need keen eyesight (perhaps on your knees!) to spot it, hence my reluctance to use wedkiller on these paths.
Back into the crevice and you will find Saxifraga porophylla
In the 'Easy Alpines bed' there is a small quiet bulb that does nothing but please. There are several similar under different names but this early bulb is Ornithogalum nanum and makes no fuss with its leaves keeping them clear of the bunch of crisp cool flowers.
This prostrate and quite vigorous dwarf willow was spotted opening its hairy leaf buds. It is under the Cornus contraversa. Later in the year is never quite so spectacular.
I have no idea if the moss or the Sempervivum came first but a lovely example of plants liking each others company. They can be found of the very top of the large central rock. No soil and very little water.
Pulsatilla ex 'Budapest'
The trus 'Budapest' was a stunning plants and I guess long gone, but some viable seed must have been set since we have three plants on the two screes at Pershore, each a slightly different shade of blue. So far we have had no luck with seed, one year it was all sterile and another year it vanished.
Very beautiful plants and worth a special trip to Pershore AGS Garden to view them.
One of Farrer's favoured plants and claimed by some to be the most lovely of alpine flowers. It certainly has great charm with the star shaped flowers each with a golden central boss, but get behind the flowers and see the purplish hue on each petal and see the golden/bronze hairs over the backs of the petals and the stems. Will Ingwersen takes away some of its glory by describing 'carroty leaves' but makes ammends by telling us that 'the outside of the flowers shimmer.....'. A most photogenic plant.
Introduced into the planting many years ago these have now hybridised and seeded to give a wonderful and rich range of colours. I don't think I could ever describe one as being less attractive than another. The trick is to get down low and have the sun behind the flower so that the petals glow. These can be found in many parts of the garden where they have seeded.
This grows on the small scree at the top of the garden facing the woodland area. Its bright green leaves act as a foil for the clear yellow flowers. It has flowered reliably each year I have been in the garden and often so early that it is almost a late autumn flowering plant.
Pulsatilla vulgaris red form
Just one more Pulsatilla and one that has settled very happily in the scree.
Wander through the woodland path and you will see these in the acid woodland.
Trillium sessile f. album
... and the white form.