Alstroemeria Princess Paola

Written by  on September 17, 2011 

Alstroemeria Princess Paula with a little cosseting will grow in the cooler climate of Aberdeen

Last Autumn we decided that for the next year we would use less annuals in the back garden. One perennial which we felt could be useful for the front of the border was the Alstroemeria, which performs rather well in Aberdeen, in the past it was normally the taller varieties for the centre of the border which we had.

On this occasion as I said, it was plants for edging that we were looking for. I did not realise that there were quite so many dwarf varieties of Alstroemeria available.

The one above Princess Paola is a little beauty, growing to a height of 8 inches in our garden. The shades of pink and yellow with brown markings has made this plant a real treat, in spite of the poor Summer which we have had.

The Princess Lilies are said to flower from June until November.  In our Aberdeen garden, as can be expected the blooms did not start to show until the end of the first week of July. We planted these at the end of September last year whilst they were actually in full bloom, and they did indeed continue to flower until the first week of November in that very year.

Alstroemerias are said to be hardy and cope well in Winters where the temperature does not go below minus 10c.  Although Aberdeen is in one of the coldest areas of the UK the city seldom gets prolonged spells of minus 10c, move inland a little and it gets much colder.  However having said that, last Winter was bitterly cold and it fell to as low as minus 16c on one occasion.

 I fully followed the planting instructions, and at the beginning of last Winter, mulched the plants heavily with garden compost to protect the roots. I cleared away the mulch at the beginning of April and wasn’t half pleased to see the shoots popping through the soil in early May.

We also planted this other dwarf variety below, Little miss Davina, equally as charming, but why on earth were we not a little more imaginative, it looks very much like Paola.

The Little miss series are suggested to be equally as hardy as the Princess series if not even hardier.

Instructions for planting from Viv Marsh postal plants are as follows. Plant in full sun or part shade, I would settle for full sun in Aberdeen. Once the plants start to develop in Spring, feed every two weeks with tomato fertiliser.  Dead stalk (not dead head) when flowers are over, removing the whole stem stimulates further flowering. Do remember to mulch with six inches of bark when Winter approaches, I was actually happier using compost.  Open the link below to view the fantastic range of these exquisite plants from Viv Marsh.

           —Mail Order—

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The perennial below is in our woodland area. It started flowering in July and on the 14th of September it is continuing to flower profusely.  I know it is not an uncommon plant, the small pale blue flowers are very pretty and not unlike a hardy Geranium. It has been in the garden for years and  I would like to add it to my plant profiles.  Can anyone jog our failing memories and provide us with the name.

Thanks to Carolyn  for giving me the information that the plant above is indeed the hardy Geranium Nodosum, Cathy and Steve  also felt sure that it was a geranium.

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Here is a visitor which we have not seen in the garden for quite some time.  The grey squirrel returns much to the delight of Myra.  Apparently the grey has become a threat to our native red squirrel and they are being culled. A warning to the culler’s, you had better not be around whilst Myra is here.

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An even rarer visitor is the tiny Firecrest, showed up for a bath one day and stayed around for a couple of weeks. Related to the slightly more common goldcrest which comes by more often.  Our feathered visitors may not be as colourful as those in warmer climes but we have so many different callers, some days the garden is like an aviary.  The Firecrest unfortunately is not looking at his best after splashing about for several minutes.

© 2011 – 2013, Alistair. All rights reserved.

Comments

36 Responses

  1. Animals are such an important part of a garden, I find. What do I care that we never get a single hazelnut, when I have cute red squirrels jumping from tree to tree in the garden? And I’ll gladly sacrifice a perennial or two to the deer.
    I love that little firecrest; he seems so gray and unassuming, but wears his feathered crown boldly.
    Flâneur Gardener recently posted..Apples and Pears

  2. b-a-g says:

    Perfect to display lilies high and low. Sorry can’t help with the mystery plant.

    In between the lines of your posts is an open love letter to Myra which is lovely to read. I bet she’s really chuffed (though she probably wont tell you that …)
    b-a-g recently posted..GBBD (15 SEP 2011)

  3. Bom says:

    Your garden looks like something a garden show would feature. I don’t think we have Alstroemeria locally. I usually see the Stargazer lilies but I understand that they are of the same family. I like the linear pattern on the petals of your woodland perennial.
    Bom recently posted..Petrified

  4. Cathy says:

    Goodness, Alistair, what treasures! First, the asltromeria is stunning…. and has always been one of our favorites (although we seldom grow it). Our wedding flowers were white and pink alstromeria, white and pink roses, and blue delphinium.

    The firecrest is amazing. The colors are so vibrant! What fun it must have been to watch him.

    As for your mystery flower, it might help if you were to post more images, including the leaves and plant. I have to be honest, they sure do look just like cranesbill (wild geranium) to me. In fact, they are identical to the blue cranesbill that blooms all summer in our garden.
    Cathy recently posted..Autumn Approaches: Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, September, 2011

  5. Donna says:

    I really wish I could grow alstroemeria. They are my favorite flowers from the florist because of how long they last in a vase. Is it like that in the garden too?
    Donna recently posted..GGW Entry- End of Summer Thoughts

    • Alistair says:

      Very much so Donna, the survival of them here is very much down to the fact that our Winters are not so harsh as yours, but you may be very surprised as to how cool it can be in Summer.

  6. Linniew says:

    Your garden photos could be in a book Alistair! And like you I would love to know what that blue one is, even the foliage is great. Nice bird bath too.
    Linniew recently posted..To everything a season

  7. Masha says:

    Beautiful Alstromeria! I always thought a multi-colored plant like that would not be easy to fit into a border, but I see from the pictures that the colors blend well from a distance. Your garden is amazing – it should be in a magazine! Your photography is outstanding, colorful and crisp.
    Masha recently posted..In Praise of Rose Stamens

  8. Holleygarden says:

    I had alstroemerias in my garden – but I think the drought did them in. :( I’m hoping they might come back. Yours are gorgeous, and I love the way you plant things in your garden. So lush and lovely, yet still a sense of order reigns. I love the garden shot in the squirrel picture. He is a lucky squirrel indeed!
    Holleygarden recently posted..No More Shame

  9. Greggo says:

    mighty fine.
    Greggo recently posted..GGBD September

  10. Hi Alistair, can’t help you with your mystery plant I’m afraid, though it is a beauty and I would love to know what it is too now! The firecrest is beautiful even when part way through a bath, I’ve never seen on.
    Janet/Plantaliscious recently posted..Garden Bloggers Bloom Day September 2011

  11. That Alstromeria is stunning. I am always so amazed of all your beautiful flowers, I agree completely with Linniew and Masha, your garden worthy of any publication.
    fer @ my little garden in japan recently posted..Growing a grape a pot

  12. You have stumped me with that plant but I am looking into it and will report back. There is a hardy geranium that has leaves like that but the name is eluding me right now.
    Carolyn @ Carolyn’s Shade Gardens recently posted..Hellebores Part 6: Doubles

    • Alistair says:

      Hello Carolyn, I was hoping that you would check my post this week as I was counting on you to sort me out with this one. Everything about the flower makes you think it must be a geranium yet the leaf is telling me no.

  13. OK, I’m back. Get ready for the red face–it’s Geranium nodosum, a very rare and unusual hardy geranium that grows in full shade. I have it in a rather obscure part of my garden so couldn’t bring the name immediately to mind. Comes back to form a healthy clump reliably every year.
    Carolyn @ Carolyn’s Shade Gardens recently posted..Hellebores Part 6: Doubles

    • Alistair says:

      Carolyn, blushing Ali is lighting up the room. Thank you very much for the information, Cathy and Steve seemed convinced that it was a Geranium. How are you with Astrantias with very unusual blue stamens and tips to the petals.

  14. the Geranium Nodosum is quite beautiful, I like the Alstromeria too, I think I might try it in my garden, I’ve been eyeing them at the nurseries for a while. seeing how lovely they are in your garden has me convinced :)
    Lovelyvphotos as always Alistair and your garden visitors are charming.
    Christine @ The Gardening Blog recently posted..Lily Love

  15. Patrick's Garden says:

    Hey Alistair,
    I’m sorry I’m so memorized by your garden even when your focus is a squirrel I’m looking at the plants in the fore and backgrounds. Are the columnar plants upright yews or boxwoods?

  16. Charmaine Litchfield says:

    Alistair, Am a real fan of alstroemerias and while trying to identify a Princess Lily given to me which I thought was Paola, I came across your website. Certainly wish I had a Viv Marsh here in Queensland. I find that our summers are just so hot and so for best results I position the plants in dappled shade only (full morning sun only at most). I also like growing them in pots so that I can position them to best advantage. Your garden photos were beautiful and if you ever come to Queensland you must visit the Maleny Botancial Gardens. We had a bus trip there yesterday and it is quite amazing. Alstroemerias growing beautifully there too!!

    • Alistair says:

      Charmaine. Thanks for taking the time to comment on my site. The Alstroemerias were better than ever this year with our unusually pleasant Summer. We are moving to England in four weeks time, probably the most adventurous thing we have ever done, cant see us visiting Queensland but hey who knows.

  17. Cathy says:

    I love the Alstroemerias. Starting my first perennial garden. I purchased one. But am worried it may not make it in our extremely hot summers in Arkansas. I do water every day. It would be in full sun. What do you think. Your garden it beyond beautiful. I show the images to all my flower enthusiast friends and family.

    • Alistair says:

      Cathy, Perhaps your Alstroemeria would prefer a position that has sun for a shorter time of the day. Not too sure but its always good to push the barriers.

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