Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Getting back on track

😺😺😺The thaw is well under way and as the snow disappears plants, sometimes rather bedraggled, reappear.
One of the first to take advantage of winter relinquishing its grip has been the Spring Starflower, Tristagma uniflorum.

Tristagma uniflorum in our front garden, Stefen Hill, Daventry.
5 March, 2018
Many gardeners and nurseries still refer to it as Iphaeon uniflorum. It is, to be honest, a bit of a nuisance in our front garden and I have dug out and discarded several clumps. This native of Argentina has a grass-like appearance and apparently does rather well when naturalised in lawns, but even out of flower its presence would quickly become noticed as it gives off a distinct smell of onions when walked upon. In fact it belongs to the Allioideae subfamily of the Amaryllis Family, a subfamily which does indeed include onions. The flowers bear six petal-like tepals of a pale pinkish blue and, if the onion smell can be avoided, are pleasantly scented.

The flower bears six tepals but here only five are obvious, one being
folded under.
The early irises and crocuses have finished flowering and over the next few weeks will be re-building their bulbs and corms respectively before disappearing for a few months.
Meanwhile my Gaultheria mucronata, sometimes referred to as Pernettya mucronata, remains smothered in pink berries. It surely isn't that the fruit is unpalatable, for this native of Chile is often planted to provide bird food, but despite the hunger almost certainly suffered in the cold spell, the local blackbirds were not inclined to feed on them. The cold weather brought a reed bunting, a couple of fieldfares and a goldcrest into our garden but even in the summer we fail to coax birds into our garden.
Honestly, there's no pleasing some people!

Our Gaultheria mucronata still bears its berries. 6 March, 2018
A pity about the Gaultheria as there will be no fruit next year. I only have the female plant and, like holly, a male will need to be near by for pollination.


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