Friday, 1 March 2013

Spring flowers

In spite of a brisk north easterly rolling across the garden, spring has sprung apace here at Kew with buds breaking, ducklings waddling about near the pond, and hundreds of tiny flowers appearing amongst rocks and grass. The hybrid colours of the Orchid Festival are certainly a tonic at this time of year, but Kew horticulture is based more upon the species and this can fortunately be just as floriferous in these early months! In other news the herbaceous shoots are up, and I recently spotted a Verbena bonariensis seedling. Onwards!
The cheery succulent glory of Cheiridopsis denticulata

One of the best Pelargonium selections in the Kew collection, P. 'Rubicinctum Cordifolium'

This gem is Veltheimia bracteata, commonly known as the winter red hot poker! It grows native in the Eastern Cape and is tolerant of all but the harshest frosts

A delightful mound of Dionysia tapetodes

Kew grows many of the small iris cultivars, and this is one of my favourites Iris reticulata ‘Cantab’

Buttery blooms and grass-like stems; Gagea wilczekii

Fritillaria raddeana, an amazing miniature Crown Imperial! An orange species exists too, F. eduardii

Iris aucheri from Western Asia. I may be finally cracking up but surely the flowers resemble the stance of one of those martial art fellows

The Juno Irises are the largest group of bulbous irises, characterised by their fleshy bulbs and with most found growing native from the Middle East and across to Central Asia. This floriferous hybrid is Iris ‘Sindpers’

The jewel-like Scilla mischtschenkoana, planted freely around Kew and an absolute joy to behold!

Probably the best thing I have seen around the place this year, Gymnospermium albertii! Perfectly hardy coming from Central Asia, but requires free-draining soil and dry conditions during the summer months


Anonymous said...

Thanks for giving me a laugh! Spot on with the martial art-flower, just what I thought and we are to be pitied! Too many bad movies for sure..what we humans fill our wee brains with eh :)
I like you blog!
Gods peace be with you

Gardener in the Distance said...

Hi Bertie,
it's always nice to see what's happening on the other side of the world, especially where you are, at Kew.
Like you, I especially like the Gymnospermium albertii.
Spring lifts the spirits, doesn't it?

Helen O'Donnell said...

Thanks for sharing these spring gems!

Greenorchid said...

Thanks for the colour fix Bertie... I love that mound of Dionysia tapetodes... I'm off to find out more about that... Happy weekend! Cx

Diana Studer said...

ah he blogs again! Thanks to Statcounter for sending me exploring this way after one of my blog visitors. Next time one of my Northern readers asks about Veltheimia and frost, I'll send them to Bertie!

Jordan Jackson said...

I'm so glad spring is almost here. It's sunny & warm enough (11C) to feel like spring today in Seattle. I saw Veltheimia capensis blooming in the Western Cape a few years ago. That was in July, the dead of winter. It's a stunning plant.

Wife, Mother, Gardener said...

Thanks for sharing your spring! We are quite a bit further behind here in PA. I.‘Cantab’ is a favorite in our garden as well.

Gymnospermium albertii would look so dramatic in a planting with early, red species tulips, orange-tinged spirea shoots, etc!

Bertie Bainbridge said...

Sunny spring greetings to all!

Anonymous said...

Always enjoy checking in on your hort-activities, Bertie. Best wishes, Tom