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:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A "blue" Corydalis that still stands

Remember when those blue-flowered Corydalis strains were being sold in the nurseries and markets? And people would take them home, and the plants looked so impressive for a month or so until they disappeared mid-summer. And then the nursery-workers would explain that these strains were summer-dormant and would return in the spring. But of course the plants didn't come back in the spring, and you and I and everyone figured we were just bad gardeners and must have done something wrong.

But maybe you had a different experience. If so, tell me. But, truly, you just don't see those plants in the trade anymore.

what I found today in my garden

And just last week I was wondering what ever happened to the famous Corydalis 'ex Dufu Temple' that I got from Arrowhead Alpines many years ago. Unlike those other blue members of the genus, this one would lightly seed around and provide years of satisfaction without being a nuisance. But I couldn't recall when I had last seen it. Well, I discovered today that I still have it in the garden, and I am hoping the ants do their job of spreading it around some more.

A final note on Corydalis: if you are ever offered C. incisa, run away. It's a nice enough plant, but you won't be able to contain it as it seeds around much too prolifically. And another final note: our native 'rock harlequin,' C. sempervirens, is a most lovely thing. I used to grow it, but it's not very perennial. I miss it. Look for it up north in rocky, gravelly, disturbed sites. Collect some seeds. Bring them to me.

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