Thursday, 11 December 2014

Alyssum

or - do not under-rate me
Alyssum is one of the first plants I learned the name of when I was a child.  My mother used to line the pathway through the front garden with an alternate mix of white alyssum and blue lobelia.  Even when we moved house, this pattern moved with us only changed in later years with the addition of tagetes.  For most of that time I rather liked Alyssum, mainly because I thought it was called Alison and that we shared the same name.  It was rather a disappointment to find out I had misheard it all those years.

Gardening fashions change and as yet I have never tried alternating blue lobelia and alyssum, though as I write this I know that next year I probably will, I can even visualise where I can do it (watch this space....).  I have also never consciously planted alyssum, and yet there it is, growing merrily away in my garden this year.  I am not 100% sure how it got there, I suspect an 'annual border mix' of seeds that I trialled last year; I half wonder if this has been a late developer.  It took until it flowered for me to realise what it was and when I did realise I smiled in recognition and decided that it could stay for nostalgia's sake.
This was wrong of me, this was damning with faint praise a plant that has flowered for months.  It has attracted bees filled the space well.  It is a bit straggly and unruly in some ways, but that is something that rarely troubles me.
It has a delicacy that I rather like when closely inspected.  This is a good garden plant yet I hardly ever see it in any other gardens.  This is a shame as it is now on my 'must grow next year' list.  I am determined to practice with this plant in other locations as I think it is a good plant for using in a mixed border.
It is now November and it is still flowering away.  It has even been through two or three sharp frosts and looks untouched, I am impressed.

I do give you a small health warning though, I think it is impossible to consider this plant without singing the opening bars of Alison by Elvis Costello.  If you like the song (as I do) then this is not really a problem, but it can amuse the neighbours if you do it out loud in the garden as you're gazing lovingly at the plants.




1 comment :

  1. My fist is raised in the air in solidarity - Go Alyssum!

    I have it, and mine is still powering away (though it's a bit more subdued now we've had a frost). I love it, but unlike you I have deliberately planted it. Great little plant! What do we want? More Alyssum! When do we want it? Now (oh, Ok, spring)!

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