Plant of the Day

Wednesday 22 February 2017

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.

Jill Raggett


Crocus spp., Iridaceae

C. flavus, C. vernus, C. vernus albiflorus, C. vernus ‘pickwick’

With some species and varieties of Crocus, I continue with the early-flowering geophytes I observed in this period. These are not from a botanic garden, but still make sure to attract attention at my local park, where they have followed the snowdrop I wrote about a few days ago, and blossomed into a colourful carpet among last autumn’s leaf litter.  

Although some species of Crocus are known to self-sow and expand rapidly around the area where the corms are initially placed, this is not always the case and depends often on the soil composition. The ones above have not gained any ground over the past three flowering seasons and that’s probably due to the heavy, clay-rich soil common here in Scotland. Being native to the mountainous regions of Southern Europe, they generally prefer a well-draining, coarse medium mixed with organic matter, so would do particularly well on rocky slopes and rock gardens. 

Note: I haven’t checked each flower singularly, there were hundreds, so some may as well be hybrids, or C. tommasianus, as most flowers were not fully open yet and I couldn’t see the inner parts. I will go back though.  


Plant of the Day

Monday 13 February 2017

Perfect for the woodland garden, under deciduous shrubs or edging a deciduous hedge is Galanthus elwesii (snowdrop). This bulbous, early perennial is larger than Galanthus nivalis growing up to 30cm in height with broad, glaucous leaves and nodding, solitary white flowers. The plants grow best in humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil that does not dry out in summer.

Jill Raggett


Winter garden update 12.11.2016

Pics from last weekend - about three weeks in and everything but the brussel sprouts germinated!

need to thin out radishes (bottom left) 

garlic goin’ strong (bottom right)

Jacob’s cattle beans are BEASTS (center)

Snow peas haven’t grabbed hold of the strings and poles yet (top left)

Baby red mustard leaves taste like horseradish (top right)