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!
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.
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.
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’.
Everyone is revelling in the beauty of spring flowers this weekend and some plants in my collection are still only just thinking about opening their buds. Others however, like Muscari adilii , Pseudomuscari coeleste and Pseudomuscari azureum are busily developing their seed capsules which have a beauty all of their own.
Valerie Finnis was a specialist in Alpine Plants and was associated with the Waterperry Horticulture School for Women for over 28 years. The site is now known as Waterperry Gardens a private business which opens the 8 acre garden to the public.
Sometimes it is not about the flowers being fully open.
Sometimes there is just a perfect moment, when the lower flowers are just opening, the buds are still displaying their interesting early colour and the flowers at the top are looking amazing in the low light of a gloomy afternoon.
This year is my first for growing Bellevalias. I am very excited by the flower heads poking their noses through… I am less happy to report that the snails appear to be just as excited by the leaves of Bellevalia longistyla!
Another early flowering variety, Pseudomuscari azureum make me think of ballerinas in tutus.
So the website is beginning to take shape. I’ll be adding to it this year as and when there is something interesting to report.
The page for Pseudomuscari azureum is already online. Please stop by and let me know what you think (constructive criticism is always welcome). And If you like it, please share with your garden friendly friends.
While I have a few new comers in the collection this year, Pseudomuscari coeleste is, once again, the first of my lovelies to open its buds in the bright February sunshine.
This species is a native of Southern Cappadocia, Turkey.
Coeleste in Latin refers to divine, celestial, heavenly bodies.
The flowers begin with a tight conical raceme of blue green buds. These open as pale blue campanulate flowers with darker blue stripes down the centre of each tepal. They remind me of old fashioned striped pyjamas.
As the flowers age they turn a deep lilac blue. They have no discernible scent.
The leaves are a mid green and not much longer than the flower spikes at maturity.
I imagine that anyone looking at the collection of pots outside my back door at this time of year would question my sanity. I appear to have spent no small amount of time amassing and potting plants which, at this point, mostly offer grass like leaves which all look the same. And that’s even if they’ve bothered to poke their noses through their gritty compost yet.
Ah, but while I’m willing to admit Muscari madness, I can not agree that they all look the same.
There is Muscari macrocarpum Golden Fragrance, looking fresh, tall and strong.
There is the somewhat lax and lazy Muscari commutatum alba, lolling about.
For a spot of colour we have Muscari verticillaris with a reddish infusion at the base of the leaves.
Then there is Muscari Mount Hood, each bulb sending up 5 or 6 strong green leaves apparently making a grab for any sunshine they can find.
While Muscari mirum is content to make minimum effort on the foliage front.
To me, of course, they are all interesting and all hold the promise of the best being yet to come.
But then, just as I was ready to go in for a cup of tea I spotted this…
It’s the first year I’ve grown Muscari adilii. I wasn’t sure what to expect. It turns out he’s so excited about flowering he can’t even wait for his leaves to grow.