It’s time for Tuesday Treats again, but before I lay out this week’s Nature Table, I just want to make sure that my groups have seen the weather forecast for this week. At the weekend, it’s forecast that a cold blast from the North will bring bitter winds, frost and maybe even wintry showers. Beware your tender plants, especially if you’ve planted them outside already.
Okay, here’s the Nature Table. As ever, identities will be divulged after Friday, but do let me know what you think, either by leaving a comment, or, for members of the gardening groups, send me an email if you don’t want to comment.
These are from my own garden, so you can blame me.
1 The big green clump
Edited to add: This is Acanthus, grown from a packet of mixed Acanthus seed. It’s A. mollis, growing in pebbles over concrete. Don’t ask me how.
2 The blue-flowered plants
Edited to add: Buglossoides purpurocaerulea. ‘Of course it is,’ you say. The common name is Creeping Gromwell. I’m not sure that’s any better. You can see a myriad buds waiting to open to that wonderful blue.
3 The flower
Edited to add: This is not an Easter cactus, as some have suggested (wrong shape flower), even though it was flowering on 7 April. This is the Christmas cactus, Schlumbergera. There are two main groups, the Truncata group, flowering in November and with more pointed teeth on the pads, and the Buckleyi group, flowering at Christmas, and with more rounded teeth on the pads. The Truncata group, particularly, can often be persuaded to flower again around Easter. You can see the pointy teeth.
4 The yellow-flowered plant
Edited to add: Euphorbia polychroma, a lovely domed plant that is a cushion of yellow in spring.
5 The white flowers. Also, if you can see them well enough, what do you think is unusual about them?
Edited to add: These are white hyacinths, but they are Multiflora hyacinths, not seen as often as they should be. They have looser flower spikes than normal hyacinths, but can have up to seven flowering stems per bulb. These did not disappoint. The fragrance is impossible to describe – not the slightly cloying scent some hyacinths have, but a wonderful strong, sweet scent. These are ‘White Festival’ AGM.
6 The white flowers
Edited to add: Yes, these are white English bluebells, Hyacinthoides non-scripta. They are under an apple tree, and I never knew they were there until this year.
So, what do you think?
Edited to add: Well done to everyone who had a go at these. I find it’s much harder to do a virtual Nature Table than a real one.