Bluebells woods have a mysterious air. To get the full effect, you have to imagine everything moving in the lightest breeze, bees humming in the bells, birds singing as they attend their nests, and the odd grey squirrel bouncing around.
If you’re looking for a purple rambling rose, there aren’t many to choose from. Rosa ‘Veilchenblau’ has its passionate fans and detractors, as do many roses. It only flowers once and is not resistant to blackspot: this plant has a freckling of it on the leaves. The spent flowers don’t drop cleanly, so the plant becomes scruffier towards the end of flowering. But what a rare beauty it is at its zenith, throwing out arching canes of flowers that become more purple with age. Continue reading “Purple Flowers and Foliage”
The third in my series of easily confused plants features some of the UK’s favourite spring wild flowers with a long heritage of lore.
While our native species of primula are well-loved, they are not as familiar and useful as they once were. Farmers are too busy to rub primroses on their cows’ udders on May Day to encourage milk. Most people who grow primroses near their doorway have forgotten the idea that they encourage faeries to bless the household. People no longer make tisty tosties from cowslip flower heads tied into balls, stems inwards, and hang them from sticks in their dozens to tell fortunes or wave in celebration. Few people have recently tasted cowslip wine. Cowslips are not common enough, and like all UK wild flowers, they are now protected.