This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Perennial Peek-a-Boo

The perennials are out of hiding and peeking up nicely. Not many slugs munching yet but I'll keep a watchful eye. (The Irish slugs are hungry little guys).

Here's what's popping up around the garden...
Above/Below: Aquilegia McKana Giants Mixed, Mr Fothergill's Seeds. Sowed April 2010, flower their 2nd year. They should reach 3 ft.
The colouring in the two Aquilegia photos above look quite different. Suppose they'll be different colours. Will they really reach 3 feet by May? My money's on a June show.
Sedum Autumn Joy is a reliable plant. It'll have pink, turning red, turning burgundy flowers from late summer.
Variety: Lupin Russell Mix. A striking cottage-style perennial coming up nicely. These were grown from seed several years ago and come up every year. The flowers add striking colour in June/July.
Above: The primrose come up every year. They're in a shady, dry area of the garden and seem to like it. I divided some babies over the weekend. Spot the weeds!
I'm not a big fan of Astilbe but it doesn't mind a wet area of the garden. I recently broke my digging fork dividing this plant which was 4 times this size!
My favourite early flowering perennial - Phlox. This is a tall variety with cheerful pink flowers. I divided it a few weeks ago so hopefully I'll have two beautiful plants this year.  Variety unknown.
Delphinium - my all time favourite cottage perennial plant. Above plant sown from seed several years ago. Does anyone know if delphinium can / should be divided? I've heard they only last 3 or 4 years and then should be replaced. Any thoughts on this?
In flower (2010): Phlox, Lupin, Sedum Autumn Joy.


  1. Kelli, I'm no expert on the flowering plants side of things, so I can't advise on Delphiniums. I do have some Aquilegias though, and I think you'll be surprised by how quickly they grow. I wonder what colour(s) yours will be - mine are mostly a pale pink (seems to be the most dominanat one - certainly good at self-seeding), but I also have a much nicer dark blue/purple one.

  2. It's funny to think that I can plant Mr Fothergills seeds over here on the other side of the world :) I've seen his seeds about the place. You are going to have a riot of colour!

  3. Your plants seem to be coming along nicely and before long you will have a richly colored cottage garden!

  4. Isn't it exciting to see newly emerging perennials? Yours look very nice. You will have a fabulous show this year! I like that you put the flowers at the end.

  5. You have all of my favorites and you are weeks ahead of us. The colors will be amazing. I bet you cannot wait. cheers. ann

  6. My Aquilegias are at tabout the same stage of growth as yours and mine usually flower with my roses at the end of May.
    We don't really have Garden Centres in this part of Italy, I'm pretty sure it is birds causing the problem; I'll just have to hope they can't reach all the buds or will loose interest when they actually begin flowering.

  7. Our Aquilegia same variety with yours just grow about one feet and bloom. It interesting that you are growing them as perennial. Some of ours died this summer because of the heat. I am looking forward to see how you grow them. I did save some seeds from them and they just recently pop out.