It’s time to get back into the saddle. I’ve enjoyed telling the woeful tales of drought and loss in my garden and appreciated the kind words, but it’s time to stop the shameless pandering for sympathy and suck it up. I’m sure most gardeners will agree that there’s nothing better for a poor attitude than a new plant, so I ordered a couple iris, planned a trip to the nursery, and I think I’m good 🙂
So first things first I’m joining Kimberley at Cosmos and Cleome for her Thursday’s Feature and highlighting one of the little treasures which don’t seem to care much about a few sunny days and a bit of heat. This week’s plant is that hardiest of hardy cyclamen, Cylamen purpurascens.
Besides being a hardy plant ((the cyclamen society’s website lists this plant as tolerant of temperatures down to -4F… and my own plants have easily endured -9F without significant snow cover) this plant also has the distinction of retaining foliage year round. Even now during he worst of summer the beautifully marked and mottled foliage lights up the gloomiest of dry shade locations.
It also has the distinction of blooming now. The flowers won’t blow you away until they come by the hundreds (which I’m hoping for someday), but for now the little splashes of color are a welcome relief for summer weary shade gardens.
For more expert information and growing requirements I’d recommend the cyclamen society’s website, but from my own experience I find this cyclamen to be a little fussier and much slower growing than the others and also a plant which actually seems to welcome a good freeze in the winter. Seedlings which I protected indoors really sulked until I threw them outside for the coldest months.
Mine were raised from seed, but honestly this is one cyclamen I’d have no problem buying as a plant. Germination takes a year, it’s another year before they do any serious growing, another two or so years for a bloom if you’re not the most attentive grower, and then even the seeds take over a year to ripen before you can try for the next batch. We’re not getting any younger, so save yourself a few years and buy a couple plants from John Lonsdale at Edgewood gardens. For a plant which you probably won’t find anywhere else $12 a pop seems like a bargain to me and I’m a relatively cheap guy.
When you’re done with that give Kimberley a visit and see what else is on the radar this Thursday (or practically Friday as I look at the clock). There’s always something interesting to be had and I know you won’t regret it!