Bergenia — 42 Comments

  1. Cathy, our Summer month daytime temps range from, 56f to74f more often it is in between these two figures. One day here and there can be hotter. We are forever moaning that the Summer is too cold in Aberdeen, but secretly we are happy enough. Must say I wouldn’t be too keen on the hurricanes.

  2. Well, that all depends on your definition of a “treat” LOL.

    Here, June is usually the best month, with temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s with clear skies but enough rain so we don’t usually need to water the gardens.

    In July and August, it’s hazy, hot and humid, often with temperatures into the high nineties and humidity (the dew point) just as high and thunderstorms in the late afternoon or evening many days.

    We’re on the coast so we experience gale force winds frequently, plus our share of summer Nor’easters and hurricanes. A week of cool, rainy weather is always a blessing but we rarely see that during the heat of summer!


  3. Cathy, yes I found that you were in Massachusetts when I visited your site. Your Spring may be a little later than ours, but I bet your Summer is a treat to what we get.

  4. Hi, Alistair, and thanks for visiting our blog.

    Actually, we are in Massachusetts, about a 30 minute ride south of the Maine-New Hampshire border. We are centrally located in New England, living on the northeastern coast of Massachusetts where it borders New Hampshire. Maine is just a short drive further up the coast.

    Although we are a bit behind you, I think, our spring is not late for us; in fact, despite an abundance of cool, rainy weather, things are blooming right on time. Last year we were three weeks ahead of schedule for most things, having had a very mild, early spring. This year is textbook New England and we are having warm sunshine for the second day in a row, so I am off to spend the rest of the morning dealing with what all of that rain left me with – WEEDS!

    Cathy in MA-USA

  5. Wow, Alistair, such a fabulous woodland garden! My bergenias have yet to bloom this spring. Hope springs eternal (that they will), but I must say, that yellow Erythronium Pagoda is my favorite blossom and the photo of the woodland garden should be on a greeting card!

    Cathy in MA (USA)

  6. I have to say Rosie, our Epimediums are grown for the leaves. We have had them for years and they always have very few flowers. But they do photograph well. I am not going to give up on the Bergenias though.

  7. What a wonderful selection of spring flowering plants Alistair you have. Bergenias were the first plants I bought for this garden and if you’d seen my neighbours face when I showed him 3 huge pots of leaves which he thought were rhubarb plants……….. he wasn’t very impressed with my purchases and I just told him just to wait and see…………. now I’ve got them all over the place and I love their foliage colours in the autumn aswell though they don’t flower so well in the coldest parts of the garden.

    I am really hoping that my Epimedium will flower this year – I can’t remember when it last did and the leaves are looking lovely just now. Those little flowers on yours look lovely – how many years did it take for yours to flower as I think I have had flowers once in 7 years and from what I remember they were yellow.

  8. Hi Frances, Aberdeen does cover a vast area and it is very busy. We live in the absolute fringe of the city. Although it is not seen from the house or garden, our embankment at the very bottom of the garden hides a very busy dual carriageway. If it were not for this we would be in paradise. Thanks for visiting my site.

  9. Alistair you have a beautiful woodland area, your garden keeps getting larger everytime I read your blog and the photos of the river dee in your previous post are lovely, you seem to live in a nice semi rural area when you listed as Aberdeen I thought more of big city, I’ve never been but keep hearing that it’s a big city, I tried Erythronium Pagoda but it didn’t survive here, my Aquilegia is not in flower yet only just starting to bud, love your Fritillarias, Frances

  10. Bergenia can be picky, Jennifer and fail to thrive even when there seems to be no reason to do so, they do like moist conditions.

  11. There was a few bergenia when we moved into the house, but it disappeared for some reason. I have thought of adding a new plant, but seem to remember that it likes lots of moisture? (It is very dry here in August. Perhaps this is the reason for its demise.) I also love all the other little gems in your woodland area–Erythronium Pagoda and the Epimideum caught my eye particularly.

  12. Which of the Lysichiton do you prefer? I had to check the spelling after I read your post. Oddly, I have books that spell it both L americanum & L americanus. It is very common in swampy areas here in Seattle. My father always told me that it only stank after it was picked. But in the bog at the Bloedel Reserve, where there were many dozens, I could smell the skunky odor. It’s not terribly unpleasant.

  13. Alistair, you generally show me many more plants I did not know about, and even the ones I might have I learn so much more about from your posts…it is exciting to me to see plants I have in my garden in other places in the world…makes the world a smaller more connected garden…

  14. Alistair I love this plant and actually have it planted in poor clay soil..the leaf color is splendid and the blooms are does not grow huge but I love it on the border of beds…I have a pink flowered one as well…your garden is so lovely and the blooms are stunning…

  15. Even you wooded area is looking so lovely with lots of bright colour blooms I havent seen before like Bergenia, that blue Aquilegia, the Skunk Cabbage and of course the bright red Rhododendron!

  16. Donna, none of our garden plants here would be seen as particularly rare. Our garden is reasonably well sheltered and although Scotland is a small country the coastal areas do not have quite the severe Winters of the highland and inland areas or indeed the ones which you experience, you would find our Summer rather cool though.

  17. Thanks for the information on Epimedium Carolyn, I will have to head over and pass on the information to Mike Thompson

  18. Alistair, The epimedium looks like Epimedium x rubrum to me. It is the second fastest spreading epimedium after E. ‘Sulphureum’ and makes a good groundcover. Great red edges on the leaves too. Once again you have highlighted a plant that I can’t grow, bergenia, don’t know why. But you also have a lot of my favorites, Erythromium ‘Pagoda’, Muscari latifloium, and Fritillaria meleagris among others. All three seed freely in my woods. Carolyn

  19. I love your close up photography Alistair, the new camera is great! I also love the Erythronium with the water droplets on. I also think Bergenia are underrated. Wish I had a woodland area in my garden.

  20. Really wonderful images and I too like the one with the rain drops. You really have many unusual blooms in your garden. Do you collect some for their slight rarity? You must have many micro climates too.

  21. Your woodland garden is beautiful! And who says when things go out of fashion or back in? That has always bothered me – they’re plants! Anyway, that’s my rant. Your Erythronium is adorable. I love that skunk cabbage – what a terrible name!

  22. I was fairly chuffed with my photo of the Erythronium Mike, glad I ditched my old camera. Picture was taken in the early morning after a shower, although a little cheating here and there is within my capabilities. If I find the name of the Epimedium I will let you know.

  23. Hi Alistair, i am very jealous of your superb photo of the that real raindrops or did you cheat and spray water on it? i love the bergenia, especially in the shade but i am careful to cut out dead leaves often to keep them looking their best…if you find the name of the epimedium then please let me know..we have the same one…cheers

  24. Alistair – I like bergenias for their glossy, groundcover and the flowers are a bonus. Snails and slugs like hiding under them, not sure if this is good (because it keeps them away from my other plants) or bad (because it becomes a breeding site).

    PS. Your garden looks lush and beautiful.

  25. I simply love your woodland area and Wow – your Rhodos are simply stunning!
    Just today I was looking at those round tree trunk pavers at our nursery and wondering what I could do with them … now I know – I can put them in my shade garden which reminds me just a little of your woodland area. I keep learning from you 🙂

  26. What a gorgeous Rhododendron that Taurus is. I am going to be looking for one of those.You have some beautiful Columbines in your garden also. Does Skunk Cabbage smell bad since I have never saw any? LOL!

  27. Hi Janet, the rain wasn’t sufficient, cant remember ever having a Spring quite like this,todays forecast was to be 11c it has turned out a glorious 20c.

  28. I can see why you appreciate your woodland area so much… I’m also growing a fondness for areas in our gardens which give a sense of woodland. That rhodie is marvelous… doesn’t take many for a grand effect does it?! … especially in that color… Larry
    p.s. can you drop an e-mail sometime so I once again have your e-mail address as my computer backup with Carbonite is showing no signs of working after my hard drive crash… very disconcerting I’m afraid… Thanks

  29. Your garden is looking glorious Alistair, I particularly like the woodland area. Lovely photographs – and is that rain I see signs of? Please can you send me some?! Love the skunk cabbage. And hooray, email signup still working!

  30. Hi Alistair, glad you featured bergenias as they are such reliable, and rather underrated plants. As you said, because of their provenance, they are actually exotic plants that look the part too in the right setting.

    Gorgeous woodland garden you’ve got there btw, love all those flowers!

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