Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Out of season

I'm sure that many people will have noticed, over the last week or so, plants blooming when they have no business to. Certainly the phenomenon can't be confined to our garden.

Most obviously out of synch is the Pasque Flower, Pulsatilla vulgaris, in our front garden. I say obviously because the word pasque is thought to derive from 'paschal' - of Easter, and indicates when it ought to be flowering.. We have two of the eye-catching blooms currently flaunting themselves, but the aficionados among you will recognise that the lower one is not our native plant, being reddish in hue. The top picture shows the more typical colour and is the form found wild in eastern Northamptonshire - or at least in the Soke of Peterborough, once Northants but now part of Cambridgeshire.

This rich purple Pasque Flower is the British native form. Our garden
 on Stefen Hill, Daventry. 3 September, 2019
In fact we have at least four different colour forms in our front garden including red and white.
This reddish form is more like the Swiss-Austrian strain.
3 September, 2019

Also blooming is a cyclamen. To be more precise it is Cyclamen hederifolium, the specific name referring to the leaves which are reminiscent of Ivy, Hedera helix. In truth the cyclamen isn't too far out of season, perhaps just a month or so early. The leaves are not yet showing.
Sowbread, Cyclamen hederifolium, in our garden. 3 September, 2019

More of a surprise is the Elder, Sambucus nigra, growing in a neighbour's garden. In fact it is not the typical wild form of the plant but is a variety called 'Black Lace'. Nevertheless it flowered about three months ago and this is most definitely a second , abnormal flush of bloom.

The elder shrub now in flower in a neighbour's garden, is now as high
as the house itself. 3 September, 2019
In contrast, flowering at the correct time, is our Zauchsneria californica. It is a dwarf form known as 'pumilio' and is sometimes simply referred to as Zauschneria pumilio, the specific name meaning 'dwarf'. As the name suggests, it is a native of California, named after Johann Zauchsner, a professor at Prague.

This dwarf Zauchsneria is ideal for the rock garden. Stefen Hill,
3 September, 2019
The plant is, according to the literature, only half-hardy, but it faces south-east and is in well-drained, gritty soil. It should be fine and will probably eventually get larger but should be easy to trim back.

Although Hibiscus syriacus hails from E. Asia it has been known in Britain since the late 16th century. It will make a small tree in favourable circumstances but ours is confined to a tub. The lovely flowers are not unlike those of a hollyhock; not surprising since both plants are in the same family, the Malvaceae.

Hibiscus syriacus comes in a range of colours. Our back garden,
3 September, 2019
It is getting late in the year but the garden is still full of flowers and bumblebees remain busy on the lavender which, although it is getting straggly, I haven't the heart to cut back.

1 comment:

  1. You are right Tony, so much is out of sink....I noticed Foxgloves just coming into flower, and this is September!