Sunday, 6 March 2011

First flowers of the year in the dry bed.

Continuing on the positive things happening in the garden the first of the alpines are starting to flower.  When the dry bed was originally planted I purely used succulents, but there were too many gaps so I added a few alpines. Many of these were removed as plants grew or I found other succulents to add, leaving only a few of my favourites.  By far the largest group of alpines were sempervivums and most of these were moved into a sort of trench added to the from of the bed.  These are just starting to grow after winter and it will be months before they look their best again.

The only other alpine I have more than one of are saxifragas which is a varied group of plants.  I have got a lot more selective lately and got rid of all the sprawling ones; they tend to look messy after a while and so were removed.  This only left a few neat clumps and it is these that tend to be the first flowers in the dry bed.  Some have neat delicate little individual flowers like the one here.

Others send out arching flower stalks on which flowers will open over the next few week.

I am not sure if it is because I only have the smaller varieties but I don't have any of the more dramatic forms which can have much larger flowers. I am helping build a rockery at work where there will be more space (something for a future post) and may use that to try out varieties before using them in the garden.

They may be small, but they are the start of the outdoors flowering season that will last for the next 8 months.  It is good to know that from now on there will always be some colour in the dry bed and pots.

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