Six on Saturday – Of Petticoats and Dragons

16/03/2019

Well, one week on and it is still howling a gale. I’ve decided that I primarily don’t like wind because the continuous noise makes me very restless. The dog and I have had some close encounters with flying small branches and the alleyways are littered with broken wreckage from shedding trees, but on balance most trees and fences have survived this round of storms and winds around here.

Anyhow, it’s Saturday and I am joining gardeners round the globe in sharing six garden-based things with The Propagator. It’s worth taking a look and a punt!

1) Hoop Petticoat Daffodils – Narcissus bulbocodium

Looking at a lady’s underwear is obviously not to be done in the normal course of things, but with hoop petticoat daffodils it is hard to stop yourself! This is the first time I’ve tried growing these pretty bulbs and I’ve planted them in a trough with Iris ‘Clairette’, cyclamen and purple violas. Sadly the cyclamen have rotted off, the violas were eaten flat by the rabbits/deer and the irises are fading fast, but the small clumps of the narcissus are looking more alluring every day. I picked a pale yellow variety called ‘Arctic Bells’, which I think makes them look very delicate.

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Narcissus bulbocodium

2) Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’

Originally purchased at Beth Chatto’s nurseries, I’ve spread this Persicaria to a number of locations (and people), because I love it and it turns out to root exceptionally easily from cuttings kept in a simple vase of water for 2-3 weeks. It has just starting to emerge from its winter retreat to ground and this new growth is when its leaf markings are most pronounced. (I can even take a stab at guessing its name arose from the pattern of exhaled fire-like jets along the main vein). Plus, I’ve just spotted another beautifully patterned persicaria example in the catalogues called ‘Purple Fantasy‘. I can feel it calling to me even now …

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Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’

3) Primula Season

At this time of year when the garden is rapidly filling with more and more domes of primrose and primula blooms, it is lovely to spot some new crosses. Especially so when they turn out like this:

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Primula – Self-designed self-seed!

with eye-catching panicles of rimmed ketchup red flowers

4) A Sloe Snow Fall

Our back hedge is of a farm stock-proof style and includes a mixture of hawthorn, damson, elder and sloe. With all those thorns and spikes I could do without having to prune it each year, but it blends with the rest of the countryside. It certainly looks wonderful as it light up with flurries of snowy white flowers, one genus at a time. The sloes are the first to open and have started to do this in the last couple of days. Set against the shrub’s dark bark they are a blizzard of sparkling snow white flakes.

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Blackthorn (sloe) blossom 15/03/2019

5) Meadow development

Every autumn I plant some new bulbs in the rough meadow area, to see what works and will naturalise. Over time I’ve added wads of Snakes Head fritillaries, Gladiolus byzantinus, Camassias, Crocuses and Star of Bethlehem etc. Not all of them have done so well. Over the last two years I’ve been trying wild daffodils. Happily they appear to be fairly deer resistant and seem to like the area. And although I will have to wait for them to bulk up to make a truly glorious show, they are making a pretty nice picture at the moment.

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Wild daffs coming up in the wild patch

6) Daisy, daisy

Isn’t it interesting that even daisies struggle to grow if they are not in the best place? I grew these Bellis perennis ‘Flore Pleno’ from seed about four years ago and while the plants have looked healthy there have been very few flowers. Fast forward to March this year and they are finally putting on a cute show … Curiously, they are growing about 2m away from where they started.

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Bellis perennis ‘Flore Pleno’ in all its button-like glory

Well that’s my six. Have a great weekend!

 

About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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15 Responses to Six on Saturday – Of Petticoats and Dragons

  1. shoreacres says:

    Your hoop petticoat daffodils raised memories of our net petticoats, starched and standing on their own on the basement floor to dry. It really was a different world back in the 1950s!

    • I had considered doing a side by side comparison picture for the post and I found a wonderful photo of a girl with metal barrel hoops duct-taped to each other and to a sash round her waist! It’s lovely to hear you have your own story about them too. Thanks.

  2. Chloris says:

    I adore hoop petticoat narcissus. Arctic Bells is new to me, certainly one for next year. I would love a meadow of snakes head fritillary but pheasants always bite their heads off. Cute little daisy.

  3. fredgardener says:

    Good idea to plant bulbs in the meadow. I will do it next autumn…
    I also grow Persicaria but the ‘Purple Fantasy’ specie as you said and the first leaves have appeared. Maybe in a next Six….

    • I will look forward to seeing your persicaria when you post then! What I really want is a meadow of camassias (like at Great Dixter), but in spite of several re-stockings they are one of the bulbs that don’t seem to be particularly happy here.

  4. I am tired of the wind too! Love your sloe snow fall. Beautiful in spring and warming in winter, what a perfect plant!!

  5. Jim Stephens says:

    There were a number of pans of hoop petticoat daffs in the show at Rosemoor yesterday. They really are exquisite. Now your picture too; my resistance is crumbling.

  6. Christina says:

    The slow blossom looks exactly like the root stock which had grown up from an apricot tree. The long viscous thorns seem identical. I wonder if it is really is used here as rootstock. It seems odd but possible.

  7. cavershamjj says:

    Oh gopd I’m glad you like red dragon, I bought some as bare roots last autumn. They are just poking through now. Also good that they strike well from cuttings. Handy!

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