Friday, January 27, 2012

In my newly replanted perennial garden a funny thing has happened.  Some of you might remember me writing this last year when I was writing about removing a lot of plants from this garden: “Another clump to go was a big patch of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, a plant that I have failed with - incredibly enough bearing in mind it is simply an improved Montbretia, one of the weediest of the South African bulbs.  The catalogue assured me it had wonderful foliage and ‘amazing heads of flame-red blooms’ but it has never flourished with us, perhaps being too crowded, but the flowers seem to fall to botrytis and the foliage gets very diseased looking, so out it came.”

Turns out I did not get rid of it all, and also that the clean out must have allowed better air circulation around it as it has been stunning this season, the foliage being nice and clean and the flowers, which are opening now, showing no sign of any disease. It looks just superb, although slightly at odds with the rest of the garden, as I planted a lot of light pink and blue flowers around it.

Other funny things have been happening too – lots and lots of white Gladiolus flowers have been appearing. It is one of the prime tenets of garden writing that Gladiolus most emphatically do not revert to white, despite many gardeners thinking they do.  Well, I have to say I have never planted any white Gladiolus in this (or any other) garden, so they are either reversions from other varieties, or they are very vigorous seedlings.  The stems on the (non-reverted) Gladiolus are most impressive – they reach up to two metres and when the flowers at the tip open, there is a little branch of new flowers appearing at the base of the stem as a little bonus.
It may be that strictly speaking these have not reverted to white, but they could have been seedlings from a non-white plant.  Either way, I have a patch of white Gladiolus where I once had coloured varieties.

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