Wild flowers

The red European poppies were flowering in the fields on road verges for most of last month, but I’ve posted about poppies every April and May, here and here; this year there is something else red flowering in the fields all around the house.  Do you remember that a few years ago almost every show garden at Chelsea had red clover (Trifolium incarnatum)? The farmers here must have been inspired (I jest – this has always been a planted to improve the soil and I think make good hay for the sheep and cows (not absolutely sure about that).

Trifolium incarnatum with Vetch

Trifolium incarnatum with Vetch

Trifolium incarnatum

Trifolium incarnatum

20130528_9999

ploughed soil and a line of clover

ploughed soil and a line of clover

St. Bernard's Lily Anthericum liliago

St. Bernard’s Lily Anthericum liliago

This delicate looking plant was growing wild in my friends garden; if it were in mine I’d move some to a border where they could be enjoyed.

20130528_9999_10Above and below:

While visiting a friend’s garden I saw a plant I’ve heard of but never seen before, Cerinthe major is well known in its purple form but the wild yellow form is never planted in gardens as far as I know.

Cerinthe

Cerinthe

20130528_9999_5

With all the rain this year so far, I’m thinking of renaming 2013 as the year of the snail!  I have many more than normal in my garden this year, but nothing like the number my friend has in hers; these are all gathered on one poor rose bud.

Advertisements

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

While I love the usual bright orange Eschscholzia, it is not a colour I want to predominate all over the garden; on the slope it is perfect.

The slope with Eschscholzia californica

Some very good American friends brought me some packets of seed of the Thai Silk series; I’m not sure why but I thought they might not be as strong a plant, or as easy to cultivate as the more customary wild orange variety.

From the RHS:

Preferred common name: California poppy Thai Silk Series

Family: Papaveraceae

Eschscholzia can be annuals or perennials, with finely divided leaves and solitary, long-stalked, poppy-like yellow, orange or red flowers, followed by conspicuous long seed-pods

Thai Silk Series are annuals with attractively dissected, blue-green foliage and single or more often semi-double flowers 4-6cm wide, in a range of shades of cream, yellow, orange, pink and red, sometimes with a cream centre.

Cultivation: Will thrive in poor, well-drained soil but they need full sun for the flowers to open. Can be grown as a drought-tolerant container plant. Good for exposed or coastal areas

They began flowering in the middle of April and made some nice combinations with tulips, especially in the Large Island.

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series with tulips in the Large Island

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series with tulips in the Large Island

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series with tulips in the Large Island

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series with tulips in the Large Island

I am removing the orange and yellow flowered plants from the Large Island and hoping that it will be all shades of pink, white, cream and pale yellow in the autumn.

Here’s a selection of some of the beautiful colours.  I really like the pleated texture that some of them display.

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series with tulips in the Large Island

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series with tulips in the Large Island

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series – how about this for pleated petals?

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series with silver leaved Tanecetum

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series, they come as doubles too

They are making seed pods now but are continuing to flower.  I will cut them down when they have finished flowering but after they’ve spread their seed.  Last year they flowered again as soon as the first rain of late summer arrived.  At present they are filling so many spaces that it is hard to imagine the garden without them.