Sunday, 17 April 2016

For a few muscari more

The year before last I planted 100 muscari to create a stream of blue running through the Wild Garden.
The 100 were Muscari armeniacum and they came up well and flowered for quite a long period of time.  I knew that 100 were unlikely to make the impact that I wanted and this was indeed the case.  I am not intending moving so adding some every year is no great chore until I get to the mass I have mind.  So last year in went 25 Muscari azureum and 25 Muscari armeniacum Valerie Finnis. 
So am I still a bit underwhelmed?  Well yes, there is less of a stream of blue, more of a trickle.  But, and this is the big but, it is slightly more of a trickle than last year and I live in hope that they will be self-seeding at some point too.

Plus..
The addition of Valerie Finnis has made me very happy, it has worked really well with the darker coloured forms.  I paused for a moment to find out who it is named after as I admit I was not aware of the name.  I found her obituary here - she was clearly quite a woman and so this is a fitting plant to be named after her.  

Later on this year I will add probably another 100 or so, but so far so good.  One day the trickle will pick up momentum to be the stream (river?) I have in my mind.

11 comments :

  1. Valerie Finnis is quite a name in the alpine world, I think I am right in saying that she trained and taught at waterperry. I think if you want a stream of muscadine you need to find the right variety. Many of the named varieties like Valerie Finnis are either sterile or don't seed much, but there is one which seeds very freely and is probably what you are after, it's the one people complain about as it produces lots of leaves which can be messy in the border but fine in your wild area. I also wonder if it harder for them to self seed around when competing with the grass whereas in a border it is much easier for them to seed into the bare earth.

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    1. Thanks :) Yes some definitely self-seed better than others and I have some that pop up all over the place. I shall see how it goes.

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  2. Great oaks from little acorns grow and your trickle will be a river sooner than you think!

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  3. Your stream of blue Muscaris will grow year by year, it's just a matter of time....

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  4. I didn't appreciate that there are calm muscarii and invasive muscarii. Seems it's a case of extremes. The nice end tend not to multiply much but the thuggy end are, well, thugs. Not that many years ago, I planted 15 little bulbs to make a little block of colour where I wanted it, when I wanted it. This year, I've already dug out 2 square metres of the blighters and have another square metre or so to go yet. Did I mention digging out about 3 square metres of the stuff last year in the hope of containing it a bit?

    If you've got the slow spreading variety, be grateful for small mercies and enjoy it.

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    1. I know they can be thugs - I did wonder if I was planting a problem waiting to happen - time will tell!

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  5. Muscari sometimes unfortunately give me the shivers, like the holes in lotus seed pods. I prefer to see them at a distance, so hopefully your river of blue will suit me better than isolated plants!

    Valerie Finnis was ace. I was just thinking about your link to her when, lo! and behold, she also turned up in this interview with Roy Strong:

    http://www.theenglishgarden.co.uk/gardens/interview-with-sir-roy-strong/

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  6. I wish I had the problem with thuggish muscari. I planted a flowing river of them and they looked great for a year or two but gradually died out. Deer eat the foliage before the flowers appear so now I have to fence the circle of muscari that I planted under a large linden. The fence ruins the view and the idea. Suggestions, anyone?

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    1. How shady is it? Could you lift the linden canopy and interplant the Muscari with e.g. Festuca "Elijah Blue"? That would continue the blue theme, and deer *apparently* find it unpalatable, so it might mask the Muscari. Fescue does like dry, sandy soil, though, which might not suit under a tree.

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