Are the roses the best ever this year? And they are so early. They are so intoxicating it is difficult to take my attention away from them and focus on other flowers but glorious as they are, they deserve a post of their own and there are other May beauties which shouldn’t go unsung. The weather is gloriously warm and sunny at the moment so let’s start with some cool and elegant whites. White flowers are always a joy, specially at dusk on a summer evening. First of all some easy annuals which seed themselves every year into a pleasing group. Orlaya grandiflora seems to stay around nicely here and so does the white corncockle, Agrostemma githago ‘Ocean Pearls’ and they look lovely together.
Corncockle used to be a poisonous weed of the cornfields so don’t eat it. Each flower looks as if somebody has carefully drawn lines of little brown dots along the petals.
Another easy pure white annual which self seeds is Omphalodes linifolia, or if you prefer the common name, which I certainly don’t; ‘Venus’s Navelwort’. I prefer to leave navels out of this, the flowers look more like hundreds of little stars rather than navels.
I grew the next lovely white dianthus from seed two years ago thinking it was an annual but it comes back every year and although it is very pretty, its main attraction is the glorious scent which travels some distance. I keep it in a pot. Next year I shall grow more so I have it all over the garden. I can’t resist fragrant flowers. I couldn’t remember its name so I just checked my 2018 seed list and find two likely candidates and I don”t know which it is so perhaps somebody can help me? It must be either Dianthus monspessulanus or Dianthus superbus ‘Spooky’. Any suggestions as to which? Next year I will buy both again to make sure I get this super fragrant one.
For damp loving soil on the margins of the pond the buttercup bubble- shaped flowers of the Globe flower, Trollius europaeus are lovely. But if you like something a little more recherché and I do, then seek out the pale lemon Trollius x cultorum ‘ Alabaster‘.
Right, I seem to have come to number six, so let’s finish with some sizzling red, and you can’t get much redder than this delightful late flowering tulip, Tulipa sprengeri which blooms when most tulips are just a memory. It is a wild tulip from Turkey where it is possibly now extinct. It is rarely offered in bulb catalogues so it is better to grow it from seed. It takes three to four years to get flowers but it is worth the wait, once you have it, it self- seeds but not very enthusiastically, it is better to collect the seeds and sow them yourself in a pot outside, buried in the ground so that it doesn’t get frosted. You can scatter them on the soil, but I prefer to know exactly where they are so they don’t get weeded out. The seeds and little bulbs have this amazing trick of pulling themselves down in the pot and they do this when planted out too so never try and dig one up it will be very deep in the soil. They like a shady spot.
The scarlet flowers have golden anthers and the petals are beautifully marked with gold on the outside.
Now I have got started I find there are plenty of other treasures to show you so perhaps I will come back in a few days with some more. In the meantime, thanks to The Propagator who hosts this popular meme and gets people all over the world slaving over a hot computer instead of being outside soaking up this glorious weather and the scent of their roses. Do go and check out some of the other lovely Six on Saturdays.
So pretty mix your Orlaya grandiflora and Agrostemma githago : I didn’t know these plants, thanks for sharing. ( Now in my wish list…)
Thank you Fred they are both really easy from seed and they lighten up the border.
Love all your white flowers, they look so cool on a really hot day! Tulipa sprengeri are unusual that they like the shade, they certainly grab the attention!
Thank you Pauline. The tulips are like little jewels. I have just been looking at all your lovely roses, I’ll come back and comment later.
Such a beautiful collection of flowers. The Ocean Pearls are divine!
Thank you. The Corncockle is really easy from seed.
Oh that’s good to know, thanks!
I always enjoy your garden tours. It is a great way to start the day.
I thank you I am glad you enjoy it. I would like to make a video of a real tour of the garden but so far for various reasons I haven’t had any success.
Fabulous, something for everyone here, the understated and the exuberant. The dianthus looks like a white superbus to me, I have grown the red one and the flowers look the same. Lovely, but after rain (remember rain?) it does look a bit like a wet dog. Have a great week x
Thank you Gill. Perhaps the dianthus is D. superbus ‘Spooky’. The fragrance is heavenly. I hope you are enjoying this wonderful weather in Devon.
I love that tulip!!
Gorgeous isn’t it?
Lovely story about the gorgeous tulip . My rose arden in Gatley is very fragrant just now. Vx
How lovely to hear from you Veronica, thank you for commenting. The roses are fabulous this year aren’t they?
As usual, your flowers are gorgeous. Not as usual, I actually share 2 flowers with you on this occasion. I’m also growing Orlaya grandiflora and that Agrostemma, although the latter isn’t in flower here yet. Enjoy your weekend!
Well that does make a change for us to enjoy the same flowers. But how odd that your corncockle is not in bloom yet. Mine starts flowering mid May.
The white dianthus is stunning. So unusual. It certainly looks spookie like a ghost
And the best thing about it is the heavenly scent.
I’m growing Dianthus superbus for the first time this year so I wanted it to be that for the scent. Looking up the two you mention it looks like Spooky has long pendulous fringing, which would make it monspessulanus but it seems both have really good fragrance so I can’t wait for mine to flower. I have flirted with the idea of buying tulipa sprengeri bulbs and managed to resist. Do they produce seed so you could bulk them up?
Yes, the tulips produce plenty of seed and this is the best way of growing them. They are expensive to buy as bulbs and not easy to find.
Oh I’m really hoping that my orlaya self seeds next year Chloris but not in copious quantities. We have just been looking at our plants in the dusk whilst waiting for for glimpses of the International Space Sation and Crew Dragon spacecraft. We saw one but not sure which one 😂 The omphalodes and corncockle are most pretty too.
Good luck with your orlaya. The white corncockle is certainly worth looking out for.
As ever, I have learnt about plants new to me, those being the first two white ones, and they are lovely. I like the Turkish tulips and others from that area of the world so much and have planted quite a number of them in my garden. They have the added bonus of naturalising and I like the fact they don’t have to be lifted each year. Bit lazy, me! Lovely six.
I agree, most tulips end up as very expensive annuals don’t they? I live the simplicity of these wild ones.
I plant white annuals in my snowdrop border for the summer so will look these out for next year although I have tried orlaya in the past without much success. The tulips must make a great impact – how easy is it to find seed (or, pretty please, might you have some spare seed?)?
It’s funny how plants seed enthusiastically in some gardens and not others. Orlaya seeds all over the place here. Well, as it’s you Cathy, I will spare some of my precious Tulipa sprengeri for you.
Aw Chloris, you are so kind, but seriously, only if you really can spare a few – their price may be beyond rubies for all I know. Interesting to hear about the orlaya self-seeding so much
You are worth a few rubies.
I’m blushing (cheeks like rubies, at least)…
I love white flowers best as they have such presence in low light. Given that this is the sunniest spring ever I love the white flowers for their cooling tones.
But then your tulips
Too much choice
You have a lovely selection of unusual white flowers there and the red tulip is very eye catching.
Those white flowers look lovely together. I love the delicacy of the orlaya.
Superb tulip…and you opened your post with such a bright white border. Thanks for sharing.
I had never heard of Corncockle before. Love all your white flowers Cathy, especially that frilly Dianthus. 😃
I do apologise for calling you Cathy!
Oh yes, the roses are wonderful here too, not just in my garden but every which way I look. It must be the two months of sunshine….how weird the weather is, hottest spring on record. I love all your pristine white flowers, and I really hope that dianthus is called spooky, that suits it perfectly! xxx
Corncockle is rad! I get all pastels with no white.
Those white corncockle are charming. I don’t think I have ever seen them. Tulipa sprengeri has definitely got me interested – I’ll have to look for it in my favorite catalogs.