This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wake up, winter's coming

You've got to give credit to a plant that gets ready for the long hard winter by putting out leaves just before it frosts, or flowering after all the pollinators have ceased activity. At this time year hardy cylcamens will put out a new crop of leaves after being dormant all summer. The spring-flowering Cyclamen coum and the fall-flowering C. heterophyllum are the common species in cultivation here. The former has rounded leaves and is at the center of the photo. These seed around gently, and every plant is unique. One winter they all rotted in my garden, and I had to start over.

I think Helleborus foetidus is perfect as an evergreen maintenance-free plant for the odd corner. In my garden it doesn't self-seed excessively, and it's easy to weed out. The shoot tips are just starting to develop into flowers. They will be fully formed sometime in the absolute dead of winter. The flowers aren't pretty, but neither are they offensive. What a hoot.

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