Bareroot perennials

We’re accustomed to going to garden centres and buying our plants already potted up and flourishing, rather than looking at pots of bare earth.  Pots of bare earth tend not to sell well.

However, with half an eye on climate change, there’s something of a move back to the Old Ways.  I’m talking about buying bareroot perennials.  It’s the way a lot of perennials used to be sold, often wrapped in damp newspaper.  Sure, garden centres, and even supermarkets, still offer a few bareroot perennials, in plastic bags with peat or wood shavings to keep them moist.  But, they’re a limited range – usually plants with big fleshy roots like peonies.

One of our gardeners put a toe in the water with a supplier she hadn’t used before – Farmer Gracy.  We all know the feeling.  You open the plastic bag, and all you can see is a handful of dry, dusty compost.  Is there even a plant in there?

Fear not.  Farmer Gracy didn’t disappoint.  After following the instructions (YES.  Follow the instructions), this is what happened.

Astrantia ‘Roma’

Julie's Astrantia Roma from Farmer Gracy A


I’m sure we’ll see some more pictures when they flower, but they’re looking good for now.

Tuesday Treats

Doesn’t time fly when you’re locked up, sorry, self-isolating.  But it’s Tuesday again, and time for me to torture the gardening groups.  Strange to think, if it weren’t for this corona virus, this would be our first week of term.  We would probably be looking at the Garden in April, we would have a real Nature Table, and I would be asking for volunteers to research and give a brief presentation on a Vegetable of the Week.

Anyway, it is what it is, so here is our virtual nature table.  Tell me what you think these are.

Edited to add : This is Pulmonaria ‘Diana Clare’ AGM, a very good form of lungwort that develops all-silver leaves as the season progresses.  The RHS does not ascribe it to a particular species, presumably because it has hybrid origins.

Glynis;s Pulmonaria Diane Clare A


Edited to add:  This is Pulmonaria rubra ‘Redstart’, after the bird of that name.  It’s one of the earliest pulmonarias, and can flower as early as midwinter.  The flowers do not change colour, remaining coral-red.

Hugh's Pulmonaria Redstart A


Edited to add:  Brunera macrophylla ‘Mr Morse’ (PBR), reportedly a cross between B. ‘Inspector Morse’ and B. ‘Betty Bowring’.  It’s unusual for it’s white flowers.

Glynis's Brunnera macrophylla Mr Morse A


Edited to add: Dodecatheon.  While nameless, I think it must be D. meadia f. album AGM, common name the white American cowslip, or Shooting Stars.  Plus a rather fetching metal chicken sculpture.

Glynis's Dodecatheon meadia f alba A


Edited to add: Podophyllum versipelle ‘Spotty Dotty’ AGM (PBR)

Glynis's Podophyllum versipelle Spotty Dotty A


Edited to add: Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’

Hugh's Euphorbia griffithii A


Edited to add: Centaurea montana, the perennial cornflower.  The cultivar name is uncertain. but it looks like ‘Purpurea.  ‘Amethyst Dream’ may be the same plant, with PBR applied to it.

Nat's Centaurea montana A


Edited to add:  Knautia macedonica, the Macedonian scabious.

Nat's Knautia macedonica A


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