Lewisias Overwintered

Lewisia 'Little Mango' (Lewisia longipetala x cotyledon)

Lewisia ‘Little Mango’ (Lewisia longipetala x cotyledon)

One of the challenges for the new Alpine bed that I built last year was to carry over some of the plants that have resisted survival in our mid-Atlantic conditions.  In particular I was hoping to overwinter the Lewisias that I saw growing with such abundance in Scotland last year.  The notion was that the two-foot deep granular soil in the alpine bed would simulate the rapid drainage that many alpines find in their natural settings.  After one of the most strenuous winters in recent history (which featured spectacular variations in temperature) I’ve been gratified that all the Lewisia species that I planted came through fine and, with one exception, they are flowering wonderfully.  Bearing in mind that our summers are also a test for Lewisias, it is certainly a step in the right direction to see them flowering now.  I have never overwintered a Lewisia in the past so I am more than pleased with this result.

Lewisia 'Little Mango' (Lewisia longipetala x cotyledon)

Lewisia ‘Little Mango’ (Lewisia longipetala x cotyledon)

Lewisia 'Little Plum' (Lewisia longipetala x cotyledon)

Lewisia ‘Little Plum’ (Lewisia longipetala x cotyledon)

Lewisia 'Little Plum' (Lewisia longipetala x cotyledon)

Lewisia ‘Little Plum’ (Lewisia longipetala x cotyledon)

Lewisia columbiana

Lewisia columbiana

Pygmy bitterroot (Lewisia pymaea)

Pygmy bitterroot (Lewisia pymaea)

The Pygmy Bitterroot seemed like it was goner after I planted it, but I didn’t realize that it actually intentionally disappears over the winter.  It’s come up nicely now and it’s spreading.

Pygmy bitterroot (Lewisia pymaea) flower detail

Pygmy bitterroot (Lewisia pymaea) flower detail

Of course the real treat was seeing the flowers on one of the two Lewisia tweedyii that I planted.

Lewisia tweedyii

Lewisia tweedyii

The flowers on the L. tweedyii are much larger than the other Lewisias.  The one in the alpine bed has several flowers whereas the one in the trough overwintered but did not flower.

There are a lot of other highlights in the garden right now, but between gardening and travel I’ve not had much chance to write about them.  Let me share just a few other images before retiring tonight.

Trillium grandiflorum

Trillium grandiflorum

Double-flowered Trillium grandiflorum

Double-flowered Trillium grandiflorum

Trillium 'Roadrunner' turns to pink

Trillium ‘Roadrunner’ turns to pink

Arisaema sikokianum (?)

Arisaema sikokianum (?)

Iris manchurica

Iris manchurica

This Iris is very small but delightful.  The Corydalis below has one of the prettiest blues in the flower kingdom.

Corydalis turtschaninovii

Corydalis turtschaninovii

It is worth noting that the Adonis, which started blooming back in February still has a flower in bloom.

Adonis amurensis 'Sandansaki' still in flower

Adonis amurensis ‘Sandansaki’ still in flower

And in the greenhouse we have Ornithogalums in bloom.

Ornithogalum dubium yellow

Ornithogalum dubium yellow

Ornithogalum dubium flower

Ornithogalum dubium flower

Ornithogalum dubium orange

Ornithogalum dubium orange

And lastly, let me close by noting that now is the time to hunt for the seeds from spring ephemerals, which you can then share on the seed exchanges.

Hepatica Seeds

Hepatica Seeds