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.
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.
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.
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.
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