Carpeting the soil under this Quercus robur (oak) tree are the long-lived tuberous perennial Cyclamen coum (eastern cyclamen) with Galanthus nivalis (snowdrop). The shocking pink flowered Cyclamen have gradually self-sown and naturalised, providing a winter and early spring display. The rounded leaves sometimes have silver markings on the upper surface which provide another display value for the winter garden.
Wet spring day on the balcony. The heuchera continues to be the most abundant plant I’ve ever kept, a pot of self-sown viola seeds I took a chance on from last year is blooming, good leaf growth on the hydrangea, and the view out onto the cherry tree (and the fallen blossom covering everything).
Helleborus foetidus Wester Flisk Group (stinking hellebore) are evergreen perennials with palmately-divided leaves having narrow, dark green leaflets. Unlike the species all the flower stems are flushed with dark red, which suffuses into the leaf bases. These associate well with red stemmed Cornus and red winter-coloured foliage of Bergenia. The flowers are the usual purple-edged, nodding green blooms which are borne in clusters from midwinter to mid-spring.
Here is an example of how different qualities of light can effect the same plant!
Both of these guys started out as cuttings from the same parent plant. They may look like two different varieties, but genetically they’re exactly the same. They’re both kept lightly moist, in the same soil mix, and are pruned and fed at roughly the same rate.
The only thing that differs between them is light. The one on the left in the pink planter is kept in a corner between two windows, so it gets light from north and east. It only gets some direct sun in the late morning.
The one on the right in the blue pot is in a sunroom that gets light all day. There are windows facing north, east, and south. It’s on a ledge a little to the side of the south windows, and gets about an hour of southeastern sun in the early evening.
Both plants are happy and growing like crazy (I just repotted the right one). The extra shade is what helps the plant on the left to keep its deep magenta colors. The bright green of the right plant is likely extra coloring to protect the leaves from too much sun. Excess sunlight would cause the leaves to bleach, and not enough light would cause them fade.