Welcoming some new friends

Like any gardener, and as a collector of plants, it is always good to see old friends return for another year of flowering. But more exciting still is the joy of making new acquaintances.

Muscari Touch of Snow (main picture) was picked up from a garden centre just before we had to stop being out and about.

But more usually my purchases come in the form of bulbs or seeds requiring patience (or lots of patience) and of course a sense of anticipation.

Two sets of bulbs have repaid the waiting this week.

Muscari atillae

This spring, new friends include the tiny Muscari atillae (above) and the deep dark Muscari commutatum (below).

Muscari commutatum

It may be a grey day but…

The wind was cold, the sky was grey, but one woman in the east was standing in her garden smiling…

Muscari racemosum

Lovely to see this old favourite back again. Muscari racemosum looking unusual among the blues and purples and smelling gorgeous.

Pseudomuscari chalusicum

New to me this year, I hope Pseudomuscari chalusicum goes from strength to strength.

Muscari armeniacum Touch of Snow

And finally the result of a trip to the garden centre last week, now showing off about the reason for its name, Muscari armeniacum Touch of Snow.

Here’s looking at you…

This evening, while checking my photos, I noticed Muscari armeniacum Esther apparently looking back at me! I often see something new when I review a days photos. But I don’t think I’ve ever spotted one of my collection staring back at the camera before!

Muscari armeniacum Esther – 7th Mar 2020

Back to buds

A lovely sunny day in the garden. Sadly I was mostly in doors painting the living room. But there is always time to do a bit of plant appreciation… Today I am loving the early buds and flowers.

Pseudomuscari coeleste

So it took most of last year and two house moves, but my little collection of bulbs is finally settled in to a permanent new home and is now getting on with the business of being beautiful.

Pseudomuscari coeleste once again is the first to open a bud in the February sunshine.

Lots of green leaves and a few spots of colour as the usual early suspects begin to stretch.

It’s good to see some colour in some leaves too.

Muscari parviflorum is giving a tiny bold display of red flushed leaves which I have not noticed in previous years.

It’s also really exciting to see seedlings from last year putting on more growth in the greenhouse.

I’ve been very impressed with the germination and development of a number of seeds that I purchased from Plant World Seeds including these Pseudomuscari chalusicum.

Looking forward to the next few months… and looking out for any local snails!

Deb A 🙂

Wonderful, marvellous, amazing…

Muscari Mirum – 23 May 2019

… surprising and awesome.

Well this is how the Latin word ‘mirum’ is defined on the pages of Wiktionary

Muscari mirum is a pretty little plant and I suspect by its colouring is more closely related to its Leopoldia relatives than its name suggests.

Along with one of those relatives, Leopoldia neumannii, it is bringing to an end the flowering season for my little collection this year.

Leopoldia neumannii- 23 May 2019

I have loved both meeting new species and welcoming old friends. So while the bulbs might be heading for dormancy, I am not. The obsession continues!

For me it’s time to hit the books, do my research, learn more and order the seeds and bulbs of some of the many wonderful, marvellous, amazing, surprising and awesome plants that I have yet to meet.

Leopoldia loveliness

So the Muscari have all turned to seed and the Bellevalia have lost their colour and are lying about limply, pretending to fend off the slugs.

Just when you think it’s all over, the Leopoldia put it a lovely late spring production number.

Leopoldia neumannii – 18 May 2019

Previously I have only grown Leopoldia comosa and to be honest have been quite underwhelmed by its insistence on developing lots of leaves but not coming back in to flower.

However, for various reasons I find myself with several of it’s relatives this year and have been charmed by them.

Some are quite bonkers with their mad little heads of sterile flowers. But while they all appear to run on a theme of pink and purple, yellow and brown, they have distinct personalities which I’ve warmed to in the last few weeks. I hope they won’t be shy about returning next year.

Leopoldia weissii – 18 May 2019

For more on Leopoldia weissii

please follow the link. The rest of the Leopoldia section of the website is ‘in production’ at this time 🙂

Bellevalia?

I think I have this beauty mislabelled as Bellevalia speciosa.

The unopened buds are very pink, the apex of the raceme is quite pointed and the leaves are wider than those of the other bulbs I have in the pot.

Bellevalia – 8 May 2019

But then again may be it is the other bulbs that I have wrongly labelled!!! Further research may be required, but whatever it is, it is gorgeous.

Note to self

Note to self… Bellevalia’s need a lot more slug and snail protection than Muscari!

I imagine with their larger stems and thicker leaves the plants look like gourmet meals to the local Gastropoda. The little creatures certainly enjoyed dining in the dark last night. Of the two stems which were developing nicely yesterday, only one remains standing.

Amazingly, despite having half its stem nibbled away, Bellevalia fominii is still putting on a lovely display. Meanwhile, the snail has been ‘relocated’.

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