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.