Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Regrets and delights



Many plants we have put in the garden have happily flourished, but we have also experienced failures.
One of my big regrets is being unable to grow the Meconopsis betonicifolia - Himalayan blue poppy. A large proportion of the species are monocarpic and as such are notoriously difficult to maintain in cultivation. Monocarpic plants are those that flower, set seeds and die.
courtesy Ram-Man and Chanticleer Garden via wikipedia
On the other hand Meconopsis cambrica - Welsh poppy arrived in the garden, uninvited, where it flourishes.
The Welsh poppy is of course a weed, but a welcome one. Can you imagine the Himalayan blue growing alongside the Welsh poppy - they would make the perfect marriage.











 Some plants in the garden at the moment
Euphorbia - fireglow
Polygonatum - solomon's seal
white, pink and blue bells
May blossom on the Hawthorn hedge
Matteuccia - ostrich or shuttlecock fern
Asplenium nidus - bird's nest fern
Lilac blossom
Clematis Montana - freda
Hardy geranium phaeum - mourning widow

36 comments:

  1. Dear Rosemary
    Very beautiful photos. First time I see these types of poppies. Here thrives only the red poppy, you can see the whole country red fields. Unfortunately blooms only a few days. The rest of your flowers are beautiful.
    Have a wonderful day
    Olympia

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    1. Dear Olympia - The blue Meconopsis would not flourish in Greece. It likes a moist dappled situation and not too hot, rather like the mountains where it comes from. Yes, we too have the red poppies, which do look lovely in the fields.
      Thank you for visiting.

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  2. Plants die. I have learned that. You have so much more knowledge than me and these are beautiful May flowers.

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    1. Dear Olive - so pleased that you enjoyed these May flowers. I am wondering whether to try and plant a blue Meconopsis beside the yellow. My thinking is that if the yellow are happy there then may be the blue would be too. The difficulty is tracking one down.

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  3. Lovely, lovely flower photos!

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    1. So pleased that you enjoyed seeing them.

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  4. You may not have the Himalayan blue, but there is no shortage of beautiful blooms in your garden! Gorgeous photos :-)

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    1. Dear Nat - it is typical isn't, wanting what we cannot have. I may give it one more try and hope for the best. Glad you enjoyed seeing the other blooms.

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  5. Hello Rosemary:
    We too struggled with Meconopsis betonicifolia for several years before, finally, admitting defeat and giving up on it, desirable as it may be, completely. Meconopsis cambrica, on the other hand, presented no difficulty whatsoever. Like you, we rather welcomed it and were quite happy to allow it to seed in the gravel walks and odd places although never in the borders.

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance - If you could not grow it, well then, I think that I too must admit defeat. I may be tempted to have one more try if I can track one down. Never say never. I think that our soil gets too dry and doesn't retain the moisture. My Meconopsis cambrica thrives under the hedge where hardly anything else does so it adds a little highlight.

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  6. My goodness, Rosemary, even your weeds are exotic!!

    Too bad the Himalayan poppy didn't work out, but it was a noble experiemtn. Do you peruse a lot of seed catalogs or do you go to garden shops?

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    1. Most of my unusual plants come from specialist plant fairs, but some from garden centres. I have some bulbs coming up at the moment that I sent off for from a lily specialist. Over here, we have a thing called the National Garden Scheme (NGS). People with especially lovely or historic gardens, open them under the scheme for charity, and often have a plant stall or invite other growers to bring some of theirs to sell. Some I have been given by friends, and some just arrive from nowhere like a magical surprise.

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    2. That sounds wonderful. It reminds me that there are some historic estates in this country - like Mount Vernon and Monticello - that sell what I guess you might call heritage plants.

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    3. Mount Vernon and Monticello would both be lovely gardens to visit.

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  7. Dear Rosemary,
    It would be a sight to see a large swathe of Meconopsis betonicifolia growing naturally and happily in a garden. I have only seen specimens in pots.
    I believe that is part of the charm of such plants that we covet and nuture in unatural environments. If they were far easier to grow they may loose their allure.
    I know very litle about this plants precise requirements.
    Does it prefer an ericaceous soil?
    I wonder would seed scattered in a wider suitable area potentially yield more luck than trying to grow one plant?
    Paul

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    1. Dear Paul - I have seen swathes of them growing in a Scottish National Trust garden in Perthshire, and they looked stunning. It doesn't seem to have a soil preference. I have seen them in a local garden growing in abundance on a dappled damp bank in the valley. I think I am probably too dry as I live high up. You are probably right about scattering seeds. I am thinking of doing that in the same spot as the welsh poppies, hoping they like the same environment.

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  8. I bow before nature and your beautiful photographs and your wonderful plants! You are of course correct it would be a beautiful marriage of the Himalayan blue and the Welsh poppy. But then you are already so blessed with what there is... I have a garden too but it is a very special one. On the roof of a refectory. It has nearly no soil and nothing but a little grass is growing. I have all the plants in pots and that is just not the same - there is also no seeding. I always envy people who have gardens like you. Who knows maybe in my next life... Thanks for sharing all this beauty! Christa

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    1. Dear Christa - we have not always had a big garden or the time to take care of it. I know how much pleasure people get from growing things whether it be a small plot or as you do in pots on the your refectory roof. I am sure that you get lots of satisfaction from the flowers you grow. Many people here without gardens, can get an allotment for a very small rental, I do not know whether that applies in Switzerland. Thanks for your comment, take care♥

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  9. Rosemary, sometimes I have to smile. Why? I think I am a little bit the same is you are. I did buy this meconopsis so many times but it does not won't to grow in my garden neigther. But the blue of this flower is almost heavenly. But your yellow poppy is also gorgeous.
    Have a nice evening, and thanks for sharing all this beauty of your garden.
    greatings marijke

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    1. Dear Marijke - I think that we both share quite a lot of similarities with our choice of plants. When I see a meconopsis I am immediately attracted to it, and think, one more time. I have been reading up about using seeds instead of plants, and it is really quite complicated, requiring you to keep the seeds in the fridge for 3 weeks before sowing. Once they start growing the instructions get even more complicated!

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  10. You have so many beautiful flowers in bloom! I didn't think the bird's nest fern would grow in your cooler climate. The Himalayan Blue Poppy looks stunning, no wonder you would like to have them growing also. Beautiful photos Rosemary!

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    1. Dear Karen - the bird's nest fern comes into the conservatory for the winter.

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  11. What a stunning blue poppy. I learn with your posts as we go along Rosemary. I never knew that a blue poppy excisted. I am going to read up about it later.!
    the welsh poppy would be a welcome for anyone .. its lovely
    Your garden must look fantastic now.
    thank you for sharing these wonderful photos you took of them.
    Happy Thursday
    val

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    1. Dear Val - I think that blue poppy is one of those flowers that once seen never forgotten. Each week some flowers depart for another year, but luckily new ones come along to replace them.
      Thanks for your love comments Val♥

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  12. It's so great to see from your lovely garden, Rosemary.
    All those beautiful flowers.
    My favorite is the the blue poppy.
    Thanks for sharing. Just what I needed to see on another rainy day here.
    Mette

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    1. Dear Mette- Hoping that your weather improves soon. For a change we have a bright sunny day, but it is still chilly. H says the weather is coming up from the Arctic and it feels like it too.
      Yes, that blue poppy is beautiful. All poppies are lovely with their delicate tissue like petals, but in blue it is especially lovely. I can imagine that it would probably grow quite well in Norway.

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  13. Dear Rosemary, So many lovely flowers and so many beautiful photographs. Loved this post. I have seeds of the blue Meconopsis but have been putting off trying to germinate them. Now, after reading your post, I'm even more hesitant in giving them a try.

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    1. Dear Gina - do give them a try, you will probably be one of the lucky ones. Read the instructions carefully. As I mentioned you need to keep them in the fridge for 3 weeks before sowing. If you did succeed imagine how wonderful that would be. Dappled shade and moist ground are also a prerequisite. Good Luck♥

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  14. Thankyou so much for your recent comment over on News From Italy, I think your garden is also looking wonderful. It is lovely to compare with other gardens around the world.

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    1. Thank you for your visit and comment - do hope that your computer problems are now resolved.
      Yes, it is interesting to see the different gardens from around the world, and notice the different choices we make for the plants we chose.

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  15. I am relieved to see some plants in your garden that are, for once, the same as those in my own humble patch - I have all of them except Solomon's Seal! Usually I cannot match the beautiful blooms you photograph so well and share with us.

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    1. Dear Nilly - I am sure that your garden is very pretty, all flowers have their merits even the humble little welsh poppy. I only have a little point and shoot camera, nothing special, so thanks for your kind comment. I just use the ordinary macro facility to get the close ups.

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  16. Gorgeous blue poppy !!! Love the yellow one too, and your Clematis Montana is a real beauty.

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    1. Yes, you are right, the blue poppy is gorgeous. Glad you enjoyed seeing the other flowers too. Thank you♥

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  17. Although it is true, that Himalayan poppy is just amazing, you do have a lot of beautiful plants in your garden. I've also experienced a lot of failures in the garden due to heavy wet clay soil. During the years, I've come to know which plants work and which don't. And I grow a lot of plants in containers.
    Bye,
    Marian

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    1. Dear Marian - thanks for your visit. What you say is true. I was looking through a box full of all the flower labels I have kept following planting in the garden, and so many of them have not thrived. However, we do now know what is happy to reside with us.

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