Last night was the third night of big storms- a huge electrical show in the sky, and Tostat lit up like Las Vegas. This morning, a dark and sombre tone to the light, and continuing rumblings. So much so that Molly the dog literally turned tail and ran back into the garden first thing. The rain is very welcome, but like the whole weather scene this year, too much, too big, and utterly unpredictable.
In the last post, I was raving about Eucomis ‘Sparkling Burgundy’, and here in the foreground pot, you can see ‘Eucomis autumnalis’, which is the baby cousin and my first shot at Eucomis. I think that I need to repot all those bulbs for next year, as whilst the decorative drooping is pretty, it really means it’s a bit crowded in there. Such a good plant- self-seeds and produces babies, and you can also grow the seed on- though it takes a few years to make a flowering plant. I keep both Eucomis in pots, they like winter dry and some shelter, and then they handle sun and pot-soaking every 2 days- unless we are in a heatwave when it would be daily.
Just coming out now, and continuing for 2-3 months, is Kalimeris incisa ‘Madiva’, a plant that is only in its second full year, but is proving to be a real trooper. Just 1m high, it is really tough and shrugs off wind and rain, as well as hot sun. It spreads steadily but not greedily, and is a delicate pale mauve colour- it looks fantastic next to the Monarda fistulosa, which has gone nuts this year with the rain and is taller than me. This plant keeps going right till the late autumn- flowering when rain allows, and remaining upright and impressive. From seed it is really easy, and these clumps are now 3 years old, so I will be dividing them later on.
When the early or late light hits the Monarda, there is almost an electric quality to the mauve flowerheads.
At least, I think that this is ‘Crepuscule’. Apricot to start with, golden cream and yellow later, and a deep, drinkable scent- I love it. Not mine, in the sense that I inherited it, and it is a gawky thing, but with all the rain, it is trying for a second show.
In this strange weather, I am taken with seed production. Clearing out my seed collection, and seeing if there is any life left, but also growing some new plants that I want to try. I adored this plant last summer in Herefordshire, and bumped into it again in Gloucestershire at Berrys Farm Garden, open for the NGS. ‘Trifolium ochroleucron’ is stunning. A big shapely clump of 1m or so, with these super-charged giant cream clover heads. The good news is that all the seed has germinated in less than 5 days. Now, I just have to not kill them over the winter.
More riskily, I am trying this- Alogyne hakeifolia. Tiny pic, thank you Australianseed.com, and also ‘Gardening with Angus’ for more information. I saw this in Spain, and fell badly. So, why not? All gardening is about love and passion really. I am in a mauve phase.