Meconopsis Visual Reference Guide. Includes Photos, Taxonomy And Cultivation Information.
Sunday, 31 August 2014
A lovely thistle photographed in a remote part of the wonderful highlands of Scotland is I suppose appropriate as we in Alba have to decide on our future. Two of my children were born in Scotland and one in Wales and my eldest son in law spoke only gaelic until he was in his teens but my wife and I were both born in England and spent time in Australia - so I guess I shall stay British! Never been mad on politicians - promise I will not be political again!
The main bed where I grow Meconopsis for seed in my daughter's garden in Caithness at the far north of Scotland. There are several beds like this all surrounded by wind reducing netting and the ground is covered with Formisol to keep it weed free. It has just been tidied for the winter and all the seed pods collected. I am drying these but as down here in southern Scotland there has been quite a poor seed set ín this particular summer with long cold spells in the spring.
Three different heaths all within a square foot of a roadside bank on the road to the north coast of Scotland to Bettyhill. Heather, Bell heather and Cross leaved heath. They are a good ground cover in Meconopsis beds and very weed suppressing. They survive but do not thrive here in my East Fife garden though they are happy with the thick deep layer of leaf mould I use to maintain soil acidity.
This is a flower on Eucryphia Nymansay, like so many things this year it is flowering brilliantly. It is always covered in bees - both my honeybees and a bumble bee species Bombus hortorum or the white tailed bee. It clearly produces masses of nectar since they are there all day. This plant is about 18 feet high and grows in full sun in very alkaline soil and shows no sign of this ín the leaves which are always a deep green. It has always been totally hardy.
This is a tray of Meconopsis punicea (the wonderful red one) due for delivery to a public garden in Perthshire. It is one of the great things about growing plants and being able to share them. Three years ago I gave M. punicea to a local friend and she germinated masses and gave me half a plant pot seedlings and I have nearly 300 pricked on and growing in large pots. They have been potted on into a rich compost of peat, leaf mold and perlite, the last to to keep the mix open. They should produced really large plants for next year (M. punicea is normally a biennial and the bigger the plants that go into winter the better they flower and the more seed they produce.
I have a number of lovely forms of Codonopsis vinciflora including this white form which is very well flowered and climbs up the stems of Meconopsis napaulensis types that have finished flowering and are waiting to yield seed.