Six on Saturday: Pink Sticks and Purple Kings

As well as all the snowdrops and hellebores, I have added numerous other plants of winter interest in recent years, mostly as a result of what I have seen and read on other blogs, especially that of blogging friend and plant encyclopaedia Chloris, of My Blooming Garden, and am now myself very much an ambassador for the practice. Having already earmarked several pink sticks for today’s Six on Saturday, the meme hosted by Jon the Propagator, I set out to photograph them but was sidetracked by a flash of pink in the woodland edge and was delighted to find this Erythronium dens-canis ‘Purple King’ in bloom. Not having had much success with erythronium in the past, its presence (a year after planting) certainly put an extra smile on my face. Such lovely marbled leaves too, although in close-up I can see I am not the only one to think so…

Moving on to the pink sticks, we have Daphne mezereum ‘Rubra’, a recent replacement for one that was lost to last year’s long hot summer; sadly, lack of planning means it is not close enough to a path to catch the fragrance at close range:

A more common winter resident is Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’, which readily pumps out its sweet fragrance, especially on mild sunny days. Although in flower intermittently since October or November, these later blooms are more substantial and make a greater impact:

Close by, stems of Japanese apricot Prunus mume ‘Beni Chidori’, also fragrant, are clothed in bright cerise pink blooms:

Chloris has shown a pretty specimen of Abeliophyllum distichum, sometimes known as  white forsythia, on her Six on Saturday contribution today; here it is one of my newer acquisitions and it was probably on her blog that I first came across it. Mine is most definitely nobbut a stick or two yet, but the flowers bloom just as sweetly:

My sixth contribution, grown in the Coop and not only not a stick nor wholly pink, is a pot of Hepatica nobilis, such dainty little flowers. Please do not examine the picture too closely, however, as some of the green dots are not a feature of the blooms but a minor infestation of greenfly which has plagued me and the contents of both Coop and working greenhouse over winter…

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22 Responses to Six on Saturday: Pink Sticks and Purple Kings

  1. Chloris says:

    Thank you for calling me your plant encyclopaedia Cathy. I love all your pink sticks and I am amazed you have Dens canis in bloom so early. And good to see Beni is doing his stuff. I think growing hepatica in pans in the greenhose is a good idea, they get lost in the garden.

    • Cathy says:

      You wear the hat, Chloris! I have no real idea of when the erythronium would ‘normally’ be flowering, but I am very pleased to see this one – for this year at least!

  2. A fantastic array of winter goodies! The Abeliophyllum is a particular favourite of mine (although I don’t have one myself).

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks KH&C – I think it will become one of my favourites too, even though I have only had it a couple of months and it literally is just a couple of sticks!

  3. rusty duck says:

    Some really choice plants here Cathy. It is one of the most rewarding aspects of blogging isn’t it, that we pick up so many ideas and additions to the ever extending Want List.
    How do you get rid of greenfly? I had several casualties last year as a result of it and dread it returning – the greenhouse is currently stuffed. Maybe that’s part of the problem. I read somewhere they don’t like mint. Seven pots of it in there currently. Adding to the stuffing..

    • Cathy says:

      Shrub and tree-wise it is invariably Chloris who generates new transactions for me, but I am sure I will have made new plant and seed purchases from seeing things on nearly all of my blogging friends’ blogs! Hmm, now those dratted greenfly…! I did start with anorganic but elderly spray but it didn’t seem to make much difference. For overwintering things and cuttings I gradually moved onto squashing, but having just systematically watered all (and it’s a lot!) of seedlings from below over the weekend, I inspected each individua tray and picked off the blighters or took them outside and brushed them off. I was unsure about using a spray on tiny seedlings, and some failed to thrive (cosmos particularly) and I have had to resow. Generally they seem to have moved onto those with more ‘meat’, like cerinthe, where they are easier to dispose off. AND I have hung up yellow strips after you told us about yours!! Nothing on them yet though 🙄

    • Cathy says:

      And mint…? Sounds a worthwhile investment too…!

  4. Erythronium is divine and its color is a beauty, I love it. Daphne mezereum “Rubra” has a very spicy color and if it is also fragrant, I love it. The Viburnum is a wonder blooming in Winter and that is magnificent, and its flowers are lovely, I love it. The flowers of the Japanese apricot are very special and divine and fragrant: it is a treasure, I love it. White forsythia has lovely, sweet, divine flowers – I love them. The Hepatica is adorable, lovely, I love them. Cathy is so sorry for the green fly plague that is ravaging the Coop and the Greenhouse. I wish you would finish her off very soon. Cathy take good care of you and the golfer, and keep you both safe. Have a very good and happy week. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

  5. Annette says:

    Lovely selection, Cathy. Whereas the wild erythronium are in flower right now the ones in the garden take their time. I had a Abeliophyllum too but it didn’t like the hot and dry summers. Delightful shrub though.

  6. tonytomeo says:

    Is flowering apricot popular? I have seen all sorts of flowering crabapples and flowering cherries, several flowering peaches, but only very few flowering apricots, and they are all of the same cultivar, ‘Peggy Clarke’.

  7. Noelle M says:

    I love your title of pink sticks: you have some very pretty ones, and have not seen the Abeliophyllum before. What a spring beauty!

  8. Pádraig says:

    Happy gardening, Cathy. That’s a lovely selection!

  9. Beautiful, beautiful blooms! These are all things that bloom here in spring, and I love them all. 🙂

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