Thursday, 25 February 2021

The Bergenias Are Putting On A Show.

Lots of flowers both cultivated and wild are starting to put on a Spring show.  One of my garden favourites is the Bergenia:

It' originates in Siberia and China and the wild West Cork doesn't bother it one iotta.  

The great English Victorian Plantswoman Gertrude  Jekyll (one of her relations was a friend of Robert Louis  Stephen and no doubt inspiration for one of his literary characters) loved Bergenias and liked to use them for edging borders and next to stonework to give them a sculptural appearance.

I divide them Spring and Autumn.  In fact I have lots of perennials and shrubs in pots ready to be planted or sold.  Oh for the day when we can go carbooting again.



25 comments:

  1. Dear Dave,

    Bergenias tend to be amongst those groups of plants that gardeners either love or hate. They are much maligned and we, like you, find them to be extremely useful as contrasting foliage and as hardy perennials which are very tolerant of a range of weather conditions.

    We rather dislike common names for plants as it can be so confusing. So much easdier in the long run to stick to their Latin names. However, 'Elephants's Ears' and 'Pigsqueak' are amusing common names for Begonias. Evidently, the name 'Pigsqueak' comes from the noise made when rubbing their leaves together. Well, that might be used in a salespitch at the carboot!!

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  2. Hi The Hattats. Yes they can be described to be a Marmite plant. I like them because they don't die back in Winter like so many perennials do, Sedums and Nepeta for example. When I visited Kent in 2019 I saw them planted in island like formations rather the traditional mixed English cottage garden, patchwork quilt like appearance.

    We call them ' Elephants Ears'. I think 'Pigsqueak' is an American name. Wish we could sell at a market or carboot sale. I don't see why supermarkets can sell them but we can't. Thanks.

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  3. We have Elephant's Ears growing in our borders and I am ashamed to say that I did not know their Latin name was Bergenia.
    I am not fond of their leaves as I think they are a little ugly but the flowers are a lovely delicate shade of pink. Very girly!

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  4. Hi JayCee. Some people say they look like cabbages. I like them because they flower in Autumn, Winter and Spring. I think pink is becoming a lot more worn by both sexes these days. Matt Hancock for example wears pink ties. Will you be taking some of your plants to your new bungalow? I will give you a fifty percent discount if you want to buy some?😊

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    Replies
    1. I want to take some of them with me. I just have to persuade 'im indoors.

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  5. Spring is a good time for lifting and dividing perennials. When we emigrated to Hibernia we brought two wheely bins full of them. I have still got them and their many divided offspring. If you put your divisions in plant pots filled with compost. You can plant them any time. That's a good job for P? Will you be taking the light bulbs?😊

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    1. Tha plants I want to take are quite big ones, more shrubs really. Luckily they are in pots so should be transportable... but heavy.

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    2. Yes they should move OK. Let the removal men do the heavy plants lifting. I suppose you could take cuttings from them or buy some smaller specimens? Exciting times for you both.

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  6. This is a trial - just been kicked off blogger and not allowed to sign in. Is it just me? (veg artist)

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  7. Hi the veg artist. No it must be your turn for the gremlins. I had problems loading posts last week for a few hours. Hope normal service returns soon.

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  8. These look like a handy plant to grow, especially because they seem to like wet and windy weather, which we certainly do have in Shropshire!

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  9. They are a very Hardy perennial Vera. Everywhere seems to be getting wetter autumns and winters. You can propagate them by division or grow them from seed. We live very close to the sea and the gales and the sea doesn't bother them one bit. Thanks for commenting.

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  10. The salt water in the rain doesn't trouble them either.

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  11. Here, you can set up stands with lock boxes so that you can still do business. Are you so far out in the country that this is not an option for you? Can you sell your plants on a local online sale site, perhaps? If I lived close by, I'd be troubling you for a bunch of them myself.

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  12. We live in the countryside Debby. Only 'essential' goods can be sold at markets yet the supermarkets can sell anything. We're not supposed to tavel over 5 kilometres until at least April the 5th. If you lived near me we would swap plants. I love barter systems. Thanks.

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  13. Are they what I call elephants ears?
    Briony
    x

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  14. They are Briony. They are an old garden favourite. Apparently there is a Thai Giant Elephants Ears. They look magnificent but I don't think they are frost hardy. Thanks.

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  15. 2nd attempt - I like them, no matter what they are called. Did you know that Gertrude Jekyll only took up garden design seriously when her eyesight meant she could no longer paint? It might explain her love of planting in drifts so she could see the large patches of colour.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for persevering the veg artist. I didn't know that but it makes perfect sense the way she designed her gardens. A remarkable lady and Plantswoman.

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  16. 3rd trial - did no2 take? The comment box is doing very strange things for me.

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  17. It did. You should write your own gardening blog. Thanks again.

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  18. "The Bergenias"... sounds like a posh family. "Oh dearest darling wouldst thou clothe thyself in thy finest garb as we are going over to The Bergenias for supper. And don't ****ing swear!"

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  19. They do YP. You can imagine them saying: "More tea Vicar? You have ate all the cake!"

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    Replies
    1. LADY BERGENIA I say Northsider, have you got the potatoes chitting my good man?
      NORTHSIDER (Clutching cloth cap) I certainly 'ave me lady!
      LADY BERGENIA Would you lead me to the potting shed? I need to inspect your dibber once again.
      LORD BERGENIA (reading "The Times") Yes. Hurry along man. Do as your ladyship commands!
      NORTHSIDER I will my lord.

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  20. A twenty first century sequel to Lady Chatterley's Lover.

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