Thursday, 26 March 2015

Bloom and Grow (March 2015)

I suspect that as the year progresses, my wandering around aimlessly shopping for a plant, in bloom and one that I have previously not grown or attempted to grow will be somewhat less limited.  Coupled with the fact that I am not in the market for either bedding, shrubs or trees - pickings at this time of the year are still quite slim.

The shelves were full of the usual suspects but either I have them already or they have decided that they neither liked nor wished to thrive in my garden.  I think the long winter is also reflective on what was on offer.  The growers have more than likely had a late start to the year.

One of my favourite places to shop for plants is New Hopetoun Garden Centre, you can always be assured of good quality plants and great advice should you need it.  So just what newbie made it into my shopping basket this month?

I came home with 3 pots of a plant that has long been on my wish list and one that I always forget to buy until it's too late!  Erythronium Pagoda, I hope will make a lovely new addition to my garden.

Erythronium Pagoda
Erythronium Pagoda flower bud
Although not quiet in bloom, they are in bud and there seems to be lots of them.  Hopefully I'll get a lovely, albeit fleeting, show of those pale sulphur yellow blooms.  3 pots might be a tad generous for a trial but since there really was nothing else that took my fancy, I thought why not?

Erythronium are bulbous perennials with paired ovate or broadly eliptic leaves - check!  The hybrid 'Pagoda' has rich mottled green leaves - check!  The leafless stems should reach a height of around 30cm and produce around 10 nodding creamy yellow flowers.  Obviously I can't confirm nor deny that fact presently.  I note though that some sites describe the blooms a sulphur yellow and others yellow.  Presently, the outer tips of the buds look quite pink to me.

As I popped them into the boot of the car, it dawned on my that those thick juicy leaves could well become slug fodder.  I see that the RHS list slugs as a possible issue.  On the positive side, they are generally disease free.  I can just see the rasping teeth of those gastropods making short work of these beauties!  I will need to keep a close eye.
 
Their common name Dog's Tooth Violet is not derived from the fact that they are related to the plant we know as Violet (species Viola) but from the fact that their bulbs resemble dogs teeth.  From images I have found online, that seems to be the perfect description.

Pagoda is a hybrid between Erythronium tuolumnense and Erythronium californicum White Beauty.  The former providing the blooms and the later supplies the mottled leaf and the reddish brown ring near the centre of the flower.  Hopefully I will have more to report on the flower come Bloom Day on the 15th of next month.  Erythronium Pagoda has been awarded an AGM by the RHS.

It should thrive in a spot with dappled or partial shade and the deep humus rich soil it requires is not
an issue in my garden.  I also note that it requires a spot that does not dry out completely in summer - this is not a problem either.  Plants that require sucg conditions tend to do quite well in my garden.  It is said not to be fussy on soil ph.  In theory, this plant should perform well in various spots around my garden, therefore I am still undecided on it's final positioning.

In the 1.5l pots I have purchased it seems that there is possibly 3 bulbs per pot, that would equate to around £2 odds per bulb.  To me is quite good value as I've previously seen similar sized pots on sale in a large chain for just under a tenner.  I've checked around online
and the price I paid per pot seems to be quite fair and is on par with what is being asked for at a few online plant retailers. 

I do look forward to seeing these spring beauties thrive in my garden and hopefully have many years of enjoyment out of them.  Providing I can keep the slugs away that is!

Do you grow Erythronium?  If you do I'd be interested to read your comments on them.

Jane over at Hoe Hoe Grow is setting herself a similar garden challenge this year.  She has taken this challenge one bit further and is starting a new meme.  Titled 'Plantfest' -  it will be open on the 23rd of each month.  Join us in taking a leaf, excuse the pun, out of Geoff Hamilton's book by visiting a nursery or GC each month to buy a plant in bloom.  It can help us ensure we have year round blooms in our garden.  Do you dare challenge yourself out of your comfort zone and try something for the first time.  A word of warning though.......it could have a detrimental effect on your bank balance!    You can join in and link your post here, just as I'm about to do.  See you there!

36 comments:

  1. This will be a nice addition to your garden Angie as they are so pretty.Enjoy the pleasure.

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    1. Thanks Kath. Do you grow these up there?

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  2. Oh, very big plants. I hope to get some from my friend.

    Sigrun

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    1. And I look forward to seeing them in your garden Sigrun :)

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  3. I've long admired these plants but not even E. californicum is suited to my climate. I look forward to seeing them in bloom in your garden, Angie.

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    1. Thanks Kris, easy to see why you admire them.

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  4. They are beautiful plants. I have a pink one that has survived in the ground a couple of years.. and it's slug central round here. Fingers crossed..

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    1. Slug Central.....yeah, here too! Sound promising for mine then.

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  5. Lovely choice Angie, and I would have been tempted by them myself, I must admit. Can't wait to see them in flower. The leaves do look like a banquet for the local slugs, they will be tying napkins round their necks as we speak!!
    Thanks for including the link !
    I'm already reading and planning for next month's purchase !

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    1. That's were you and I differ Jane, I'm not great in the reading and planning department, too busy still decorating to do much planning, therefore until I get it all done - I'll just need to go with the flow when I get there. I will though choose a different nursery next month.

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  6. Yes I grow Erythronium and I think this is an excellent choice for your Spring garden. And these were such good value. I find the slugs don' t bother with the leaves but they love the pretty flowers of my pink dens- canis.

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    1. I remember seeing them on one of your posts, last week I think it was. Good to read that your slugs ignore them too - hopefully mines will too.

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  7. Dear Angie, lovely written post! You really have a thing with words. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this contribution.
    But now to your plant purchase: Erythronium Pagoda is a new to me plant, but I like it very much. I think buying three plants at once was a good decision, even though a bit risky, if you don't know if the plant will thrive in your garden. But as gardeners risks need to be taken :-)! With three plants you are able to plants them as a small group for more impact or plant them in different places in the garden, which leads to a pleasing repetition for the eye. I am not a fan of buying one plant of each possible variety in the plant world, because often these gardens seem to be very restless and chaotic to me or individual small plants get simply lost in the overall scheme.
    Can't wait to see your Erythronium Pagoda blooming!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. What a lovely thing to say Christina, thank you. I think had the plants been a bit more expensive I'd have bought a single pot first before wasting too much month.
      I used to be terrible for buying a single plant and then having to wait a few years before it made a sizeable plant or be able to increase it. Another aspect of gardening I am learning.

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  8. I'm sure these Erythroniums will be a nice addition to your garden. I planted a long time ago bulbs of them and they are still there, they have increaded but not very much. This morning on my round in the garden I saw the mottled green leaves again, they will show their flowers soon.
    I have a rather moist garden with too many slugs. But.... until now they never touched the Erythroniums.
    Wish you good luck!

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    1. Another one telling me that the slugs are not a problem - it sounds as if I'm worrying for nothing Janneke.

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  9. Oh you must be really looking forward to them opening Angie. I have 'Pagoda' too and must check to see if there are any pink tinges to the flower buds come daylight :) I was lucky with my purchase which came from our local Country Market (formerly Women's Institute Market) which cost me very little. Unfortunately I don't think that they operate over the border in Scotland which is a shame as they are an excellent source of plants at most reasonable prices.

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  10. I've done it again Angie! The above comment is from me.

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    1. That's cool Anna - I'd probably be doing the exact same thing if I had two identities to choose between.
      I wish I worked the hours where it allowed me to join groups involved with gardening or similar, I know I'd really enjoy it and probably be able to source far cheaper plants too. Maybe one day in the future, when I retire, I'll be able to do this kind of thing. Sadly no markets around here either - all are long gone!

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  11. I grow Pagoda, and I did see just this morning when I took a picture of the first open flower that the buds are pink-tinged. I never noticed that before. I think you'll be very happy with it, although if you want a good closeup picture of the flowers, you are going to have to get down on your belly with the camera. Mine got plonked in a shady spot under a Douglas fir, without much forethought. I never do a thing to it and it has been thriving for about 4 or 5 years, getting bigger every year. We have enormous slugs here in the PNW, and they have never bothered my plant.

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    1. There will be no chance of me getting down there if the lawn doesn't dry out Alison ;) Although I suppose, once I'm down there I could crawl around on all fours and take lots of pictures from a worms view. You are the fourth to let me know that the slugs ignore their Erythroniums, phew!

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  12. They are beautiful and I'm sure will bring pleasure for years to come. We have a few here, but I think of them as April flowers, even down here! We have Pagoda, White Beauty and a pink one called Knighthayes Pink which is named after one of our local National Trust properties where they have it growing in wonderful drifts....maybe one day!

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    1. I am thinking that all the plants that I buy for this series of posts will probably bloom 1 month later than I purchase in following years Pauline - so would probably say this will more than likely be an April bloomer here too.
      A friend has White Beauty and indeed it is! Those drifts sound wonderful.

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  13. I've grown mine in pots and they're just peeping out. Must find a good place for them though as they don't like to spend their lives in pots. The challenge in my garden is to find a place that doesn't dry out so I think I have to give them an extra dose of water through the summer. Lovely plants, the foliage is fascinating.

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    1. Your garden is the opposite of mine Annette - I have trouble finding extremely dry spots. We can't have everything can we :) From what I have read, I would think they would prefer to be in the ground and if all that is required to keep them coming back is a bit of water through summer, then it will be worth it if you can do so.

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  14. I've seem this plant mass planted at Harlow Carr and it looks beautiful. The reason that I resorted to the internet in the past is the lack of plant choice at garden centres.

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    1. I'll bet it does Sue. I am extremely lucky to live near some great garden centres and if I can be bothered to put in a wee bit of an extra drive, quite a few more. I've only ever shopped online for plants twice before and I suppose I would resort to it again if I were not able to source something I particularly wanted.

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  15. I have E. 'Pagoda' and E. dens canis which do really well in my exposed garden, I've never had a problem with slugs on them. Look forward to seeing a photo of yours in flower :)

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  16. Hi Angie,
    For what it is worth, I have heard at a meeting of the North American Rock Garden Society, that Erythroniums bloom much better when you put a stone a few inches below the bulb. This piece of advice was for E. americanum (which grows wild around here). It might not be true for Pagoda but, from what I have seen in nature, I would say it works for E. americanum. Good luck with them - they look very lush.

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  17. I have not grown Erythroniums, but the species Alain mentions grows wild in my community, too. They're beautiful--the foliage and the blooms. Yours look very healthy! I'll look forward to updates on your future posts. :)

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  18. Excellent purchase! I do not grow Erythronium, but I would very much like to. I hope they do well for you.

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  19. Just lovely, Angie! I'll be excited to see the flowers :) I grew these briefly (enough said?), but I think I let mine dry out too much - probably not an issue for you! There were no problems with slugs, but I've rarely had trouble with the little pests...! And I think your purchases look quite healthy!

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  20. Great choice Angie, one of my favourite bulbs, and one high on my list for my autumn bulb list. Mind you, having seen those lovely healthy pots of yours I could be tempted to buy pots too... I had loads of slugs in my last garden but Pagoda thrived, and the first sight of the flowers was always a magical moment.

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  21. Great choice of plants, Angie, and good luck against the snails. I put out saucers of beer when I have a lot of snails, and the snails and slugs fall in and drown with drunken smiles.

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  22. Great choice of plants, Angie, and good luck against the snails. I put out saucers of beer when I have a lot of snails, and the snails and slugs fall in and drown with drunken smiles.

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  23. I bought 'Pagoda' last year from HPS sale, the slugs feasted on it last Autumn and again this spring, so organic slug pellets applied. I visited a well known organic garden with drifts of these looking perfectly healthy! How do they do it?
    That said I would still buy some more, they are a great addition to the garden.

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