Monday 27 July 2015

Will impending changes to the pesticide regulations deny gardeners the opportunity to buy professional strength glyphosate?

I could not maintain six acres of gardens without using glyphosate

Hitherto it has been difficult for amateurs to legitimately purchase full strength glyphosate concentrate. Will dubious health and safety considerations be an excuse to completely close the market?

In addition, after 26 November 2015, it will be an offence for anyone to purchase PPPs authorised for professional use unless they have ensured that the intended end user has a certificate.

If you don’t already have a certificate, you will need to get one by 26 November 2015 so that you can continue to use PPPs as part of your job after that date.

You will find these two significant paragraphs in an anodyne amendment by The Health and Safety executive to the Pesticides Rules.

My concern is that this will firm up the distinction in the market between commercial sources of glyphosate and the watery tinctures sold to the general public in garden centres.
Note that to buy ‘proper’ glyphosate you will need a certificate. Note the subtle phrase 'as part of your job'.

I wonder what 'it will be an offence' really means. The amendment certainly offends me! Will the full force of the law fall on my head if I buy commercial glyphosate. I am fully certificated but I don’t have a job. Do I need to work on a farm or a country estate to obtain it? Do I need to pop over to France to buy it?

Glyphosate granddad: the grandfather’s rules.
When the pesticide rules were brought in late last century there was a concession that if you had been using pesticides on farms or horticultural holdings and you were born before 1964 you would not need the new certificates.
This concession is about to be withdrawn.

In practice to farmers this of little consequence. The word 'in the pub' is that most farmers have members of the family who do possess certificates. Failing that perhaps some of their employees, such as the apprentice who has done 'the tests' hold the relevant papers. And of course they can buy from a fellow farmer. There is not a farmer in the land who will stop using glyphosate. Some will become criminal of course.
I imagine you will be able to count on one hand the number of pensioner farmers who sign up for night school. Grannies, eggs and sucking come firmly to mind.

Consequences to owners of large gardens…  and folk who maintain cemeteries.

I could not have afforded to have created my little acre of Bolton Percy cemetery garden at amateur glyphosate prices

Four acres of Worsbrough cemetery would be a sea of five foot high nettles without using commercial glyphosate

I have written before about the extravagant garden centre prices of chemicals.
I buy my commercial glyphosate in large containers at the very keen pro rata price of £6 per litre. This is several times stronger than any glyphosate concentrate available at the garden centre and is perhaps a fifth of the price of the strongest garden centre source. At the moment many gardeners are able (legally? – but few really know)) to buy commercial glyphosate on the net and it might cost typically £12 per litre.

Let’s do some maths. Gardeners at the ‘soft end’ of the garden centre market buy already diluted ‘ready to use' glyphosate. I recently saw five litres  ‘reduced’ to £40 forty pounds. This would be enough glyphosate to a third fill my 15 litre knapsack sprayer. This is £120 a sprayer full and £240 for every monthly visit to each of my two cemetery gardens. Every month five hundred quid!

Another way to look at it is that each time I fill my knapsack with a diluted 200ml commercial concentrate it costs me one pound. Admittedly this is a quite weak concentration of a one in seventy five dilution but a hundred fold difference in price compared to that for anyone who buys ready-to-use glyphosate!

Most experienced gardeners buy garden centre concentrate and dilute it. I have not done the maths precisely but if you take the high price of a litre of garden centre concentrate and factor-in it’s strength you will pay as much as ten time more that those gardeners who use commercial glyphosate.

The law of unintended consequences
Not all gardeners use glyphosate. I know hundreds of respectable people from all walks of life. Of those that are gardeners I know none who use weedkillers who would have any reservations about using commercial Roundup when they can get hold of it. They accurately perceive it as a more concentrated and cheaper form of a very safe and effective weedkiller. They are right. If it really is illegal - but the law is so obfuscated that this is not clear - then a lot of normally law-abiding citizens are committing a crime. That can’t be right.

If people fear that the new amendment which comes into force on the 26th of November will make it more difficult to obtain their supply they will buy it and horde it. I hear anecdotes that ten year old glyphosate is every bit as efficacious as pristine product. Long term storage can’t be right either.
I emphasize that stored agrochemicals must be in a safe store behind lock and key.

The unintended consequence of enforcing two separate markets that I fear most is that gardeners might be tempted to accept supplies of concentrate from a registered user in other than it’s original container. Some agrochemicals in concentrate form really are dangerous.
I emphasize that all horticultural chemicals whether amateur or professional must always be kept in their proper fully marked and labeled containers.

Do the authorities really want to encourage folk who are deprived of their favourite weedkiller 360g/litre glyphosate to buy it legally in a supermarket in France?

Somewhere in France a gardener’s display of his herbicide containers. Bought at the amateur store they are all full commercial strength glyphosate.
nb it is important that empty pesticide containers are washed out into the spray tank
Why penalize the public?
 What has suddenly changed?

I know no suggestion that professional chemicals have become more dangerous. Rather the opposite.

I know no evidence that those amateurs who use professional glyphosate do sillier things than those who buy the weaker version in the garden centre. Quite the reverse.

I see no evidence that professional users use glyphosate more carefully than amateur gardeners. Indeed some farmers are very complacent.

I do not understand that a very safe chemical in concentrated form suddenly becomes dangerous when its concentration is double or treble of what I can buy in a shop.
I emphasize that for all practical purposes glyphosate when sprayed on weeds and appropriately diluted is exactly the same whether bought as a trade chemical or as an amateur product.

The amended regulation will be represented as a simple rationalization of existing regulations. I won’t comment.

Why two markets?
It is right and proper that dangerous agrochemicals should be restricted. Most agrochemicals are safe but not all. It is not unreasonable that there are two separate markets. What is unfair is that responsible individuals are deprived from obtaining those professional products that are safe ones. It is not as if the relative safety data is unknown.

If only it was made clear that if an amateur gardener achieves his spray qualifications he can buy commercial glyphosate to spray in his garden. I really cannot figure out if this is so!

Two markets suits manufacturers and traders. Suppliers to amateurs can sell small quantities of weak glyphosate at inflated prices. These partially reflect the extra costs of retail and providing a service.
Professional suppliers are not really interested in the amateur gardener who buys very small quantities, asks too many questions and is administratively inconvenient.

Some horticultural sundries suppliers trade in both markets. When you go to their website many of them blank amateurs out of their trade pesticides section (pesticide is the generic legal term for all plant protection chemicals). I don’t think it is fair that they will only sell you the same chemicals in dilute amateur form with much juicier mark ups.

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Consequences of herbicide contaminated grass and manure

Contaminated compost and manky manure
This year-old composted municipal waste might still be toxic to young tomatoes
Blogger Sue Garrett does excellent work publicising the dangers of the contamination of grass and manure with the weedkillers clopyralid and aminopyralid. The problem of weedkiller contamination is not a new one, but these two chemicals are particularly long lasting. They take more than a year to break down in the soil and are not degraded when they pass through a grazing animal’s intestine.
Tomatoes are particularly sensitive and the chemicals are an acute danger to seedlings and young plants.

There are several ways that these harmful chemicals might arrive in your garden. Verdone ‘Improved’ is an excellent lawn weedkiller to remove ‘difficult’ weeds from the lawn. It is unwise to use consequent clippings near ‘soft’ plants for as many as half a dozen mowings.

Aminopyralid is widely used in agriculture for broad weed control in grassland. If eaten by grazers it passes through the animal gut and appears in the droppings. Although there are meant to be controls, if you use farmyard manure  - even from seemingly innocent sources - you might contaminate your soil. The manure might be contaminated from its straw content or the actual droppings.

Farmyard manure is the very best way to add bulky organic matter and fertilise your soil. I have had trouble myself from contaminated  ‘free manure’ from the village stable gate and no longer use it. I must admit the weed seed it contains is for me the much greater problem. There are herbicide free sources of farmyard manure. Best to use them.
My own philosophy with my none digging and in-garden recycling ways is that I do not need to use farmyard manure. This is special pleading because for anyone with inferior soil adding manure is one of the very best and quickest ways to improve it.

It is quite easy to test your manure for toxic content by soaking a small amount in water before watering the ensuing liquid on sensitive test seedlings. I have not done this myself but would expect uncontaminated fresh manure to give a false positive!
(Sue Garrett has cast doubt on this in the comment column  and informs us that the herbicides do not show up. I leave the paragraph in because it is a way of testing for other contaminants)

Inferior seed and potting composts are sometimes made these days from composted organic municipal waste. Other suppliers use more appropriate organic sources and their products can be really excellent. The problem with waste from the green bin – ours is brown and we never use it – is that any lawn clippings containing rogue herbicides will lead to toxic compost, as will lots of other potential pollutants. Cheap potting compost if made from municipal waste will almost certainly damage your seedlings.

This leads me to suggest that you return to much superior peat composts. I am making today’s post a three part series about compost and will argue my case very soon.

I would like to make clear that there is no question of aminopyralid and clopyralid in manure or compost being toxic to ourselves or our pets.

Although the problem of lawn herbicide contamination is highly annoying I don’t want to over exaggerate the danger to plants. If contaminated lawn clippings are used as a mulch under husky trees and shrubs they are unlikely to cause any harm.  (But don’t use the first cut nor use them near soft vegetation).

I admit I have form myself and have used a herbicide containing clopyralid on my lawn. In my own case I never box off my mowings and my lawn is all the greener for the grass mulch.

A local issue.

I must declare an interest! There is a green waste recycling plant half a mile up the road. They are not our friends! Huge lorries and council collecting vehicles charge past our home. Cathi next door lives in what, three hundred years ago, was a gatehouse on a narrow country road. Her foundations vibrate and if you are standing near her front door you feel the draft as lorries rush by.

Recycling is big business. The taxes to councils are huge if they resort to using landfill for green waste. The cost of satisfying exacting composting standards is nearly as much. It is not surprising that many councils resort to the private sector. Nor is it unreasonable that entrepreneurial former farmers with their rural skills can satisfy a need. The standards of our neighbouring composter are high.

Most of the money made in this trade is that received for taking in the green waste. Green waste includes everything that the public chooses to put in their recycling bin. It potentially includes noxious perennial weed and club root infected brassicas. Tree pruners bring their prunings from all over East Yorkshire. A load of waste timber is grist to the mill.
Although we loosely call the product of this process ‘compost’ it is only a vague and not legally precise term. It in my opinion it does not compare with your own compost from your own heap and it is certainly not suitable used alone as a seed or a potting compost. 
The product of this process is of little commercial value. To the composter its disposal costs are more than its worth. Fortunately farmers are starting to overcome their doubts and are using it to improve their soil. Some sellers of our local sandy soil for landscaping purposes I believe use it to enrich their product

It might surprise you that I do not disapprove of the composting of woody prunings. When shredded and decayed they make excellent material.
It is amazing how all this rubbish is quickly transformed into a satisfactory soil additive. Commercial composting in many ways is a much better way to make compost and generates much higher cleansing temperatures than we can do at home.
There is an old phrase ‘rubbish in, rubbish out’. It’s not quite true with municipal compost. How much better however when it is  ‘good stuff in’. I would like to think this is true of all commercial seed and potting composts that are made from green waste. Roger, dream on.

I have supped with the devil
Father I have sinned and accepted two free large loads from our jovial recycling Yorkshire farmer. Last year he dumped it in the farm field at the edge of our garden. It is nearly gone now and has been very useful for ‘rough’ gardening tasks.
My only disaster was when I recently used the year old material to ‘improve’ my soil compost for sowing my tomato seed. It was a lapse in concentration and I must have been mad. The seed germinated and died and I had to start again.

I have used a thin layer of year-old local 'compost' to sow grass seed when restoring  lawn levels. The complete absence of weed seed - especially weeds that are coarse grass – make it of special value

You can read more about herbicide contaminated manure on Sue Garret’s blog.

This is the first post of three about choice of compost

Tuesday 14 July 2015

When it rains I rush out and plant

Can you do the same?

I have discussed walking on wet soil before. I am like a dog with a bone - gnawing away. In an early post I histrionically jumped on my wet soil. In a later one I claimed that your gardening would be transformed if you could weed, prune and plant as soon as it stopped raining - or even before! No doubt some readers muttered something about losing an excuse to stay inside!

I want today to talk about the suitability of wet conditions for planting. Not just for the none digger whose soil is settled and wonderfully drained and aerated but what about the more traditional gardener?

I will start with those circumstances you should NOT take my advice.

  1. If your image of a good soil is something loose and fluffy my advice is not for you. If your feet sink in to a very wet loosened clay soil you must wait until it dries. Loosened soil is not cohesive and every footprint, wheel barrow rut or kid’s bicycle tyre causes compaction. Ruining soil structure by compaction is gardening’s greatest sin.
  2. If drainage water is slow to run away because it has nowhere to go or the soil has been ruined by previous compaction beware. On the other hand a freely drained soil when holding the maximum water it can against gravity (technically called ‘field capacity’ by soil scientists) is normally suitable for planting. If the water exceeds field capacity and potential air spaces are still filled with water then wait.
  3. If you have remarkably heavy rainfall  - perhaps you live in Preston - and have a heavy clay soil then be very careful. Here in dry York I do a happy dance when it rains. I despair when the wind blows water away as quickly as it falls! For me it is very important to take the opportunity to plant when we get heavy rain.
  4. If you are of the school that needs to work the soil when you plant you will be better staying inside.
  5. If you consider your soil needs ameliorating by mixing in some fiendish product from the garden centre not only are you probably wrong but you had better stay inside and watch more ads on the tele.
This soil at the base of this drying up pond is far too wet to plant. It is above ‘field capacity’ and might be described as waterlogged!
I garden on several types of soil in my two cemetery gardens, on the village plot and at home in my own garden and at Cathi’s next door. Cathi whose garden I am refurbishing receives much of my largesse when spare plants migrate round. Plants come from divisions from my borders and new plants I have propagated in my greenhouse.
All the gardens are managed with a no dig regime and all the soils are firm to walk on but are NOT compacted. The soils are amassed with open channels made by plant roots, worms and natural cracking. When I put my spade in to make a planting hole or perhaps just  to cut a single slit, the soil crumbles. If the opportunity is there I always wait for it to rain before I plant. It is one of the huge benefits of being a no dig gardener!

There are several advantages of the soil being wetted by heavy rain when you plant.

  1. Roots grow towards wet. They don’t grow towards dry. If it is very dry when you plant then it is highly desirable that you very generously water the planting hole. Incidentally it is sometimes important that the plants have been watered before you plant. If you are planting container grown garden centre plants in modern composts they are best dunked in a bucket to bubble all the air away - the air soon comes back but this procedure ensures any hydrophobic dryness is dispelled and the compost is thoroughly wetted.
  2. If the soil is well wetted by rain then surrounding humidity will usually be high, perhaps for several days. Rain often comes on repeated occasions in wet spells. Oh the joy of a five day metrological depression if you are planting in summer! Repeated rainfall ensures the plants are well settled in and make good capillary contact with the soil.
  3. If the surrounding soil to the immediate root zone has been well wetted by rain, then as your plant’s rootball starts to dehydrate when the plant transpires water, there will be both replenishing capillary movement of water towards the rootball and new fibrous roots will grow out to the wet soil.
  4. Think how useless it is to hoe weeds when it is wet. (It is beyond the pale to rake them away). When exposed to drying winds and sunshine they desiccate and die. When rain is around - even if it is just clouded and humid - weeds have marvellous powers of recovery. Your plants behave in the same way.

So what if you are a traditional gardener, can you plant when it is wet?

Often you can.

  1. Many normal gardeners these days do not dig their borders and instead control their weeds by hand pulling and shallow hoeing. To my mind hoeing means detaching the weed at or just below ground level and NOT churning the soil. Sadly most Dutch hoes manufactured today are so designed that you can hardly avoid it! If your method of weed control is just to hoe the weeds with minimum soil disturbance soil then because the soil is settled you can later plant as I do.
  2. Many vegetable growers grow in raised beds and work from the path. After rain do NOT  ‘work’ the soil but just get planting or sowing.
  3. Many modern gardens sadly are small and the borders are narrow. You can work from the path or the lawn. If your plants are in gravel gardens or rock gardens you can perch on the stones.
  4. I hate to admit this but if your soil is very sandy the plants will still thrive even if you damage soil structure when you walk on its loose wet surface. Structure of sandy soil is actually very fragile and crumbs easily collapse and aerating channels made by roots and worms can cave in. Even so, because the unchangeable grains of sand are of coarse texture, aeration and drainage is maintained.
Glory be, we had half an inch of rain which was repeated three days later. Here in York it was manna from heaven. We were due to go out, I had half an hour to pop in these aquilegia, hollyhock and dahlias - and a few other things
Although my bog garden was wet anyway these newly planted small primulas benefited from the humid conditions

Ten days after planting the dry weather had returned with a vengeance but my dwarf aquilegias were now well established

I broadcast my leek seed but the wet weather was an opportunity to patch out some of the plants into the gaps. You can see that when the dry weather returned they needed more water. (We thin out the leeks as they grow and eat them)

I have written before about wet soil

More tips on planting here
I jump on wet soil
I work on wet soil
I discuss field capacity
I describe hydrophobic soil

I don’t walk on water

If you can persuade yourself that loose fluffy soil is a very bad thing and a firm cohesive surface fulfils your heart's desire - then you can walk, plant and prune on wet soil

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Confessions of a lapsed dicentra collector

Attempting to leave a record

Thirty years ago I was delighted to be awarded the National dicentra collection but I now wonder if I was handed a poisoned chalice! 
It’s not as if one is given the plants in the collection. You have to find and pay for any plants you acquire. Having the National Collection does gives a little credibility when you ask someone for seeds or a plant. I have been sent  seeds from around the world although anything ‘difficult’ usually fails!
No other ‘volunteer’ has come forward to hold a duplicate collection or hold a particular section. I am starting to worry that when I portal my mortal coil that no one will know what I had got or where to find it…or care.

Some dicentras are not easy to grow. Forms of Dicentra peregrina are for me personally impossible. Even peregrina hybrids with Dicentra eximia and formosa are difficult. I hold out great faith for a new three way hybrid ‘Amore Rose’ which I recommend you seek out. It has a strong constitution, delicate fine foliage and pink/red flowers all summer. 
(Two months after writing these words I am starting to wonder. Now in July it is looking rather tired but then so do normal dicentras. And my peregrina hybrid ‘Burning Hearts’ has died yet again - but the roots did come in shocking condition from my normally favourite bulb supplier!)
 Delicate young leaves and flowers emerge in late March in my unheated greenhouse. I potted up the sturdy plant from Edrom Nurseries on the day of receipt.

It has provided three months of continuous flower, mainly outside. (See my problem with colours!)

I have lost ‘Burning Hearts’ yet again!
I intend to mainly confine my comments today to Dicentra formosa and Dicentra eximia. Naming  of these in the trade is hopelessly confused as I have previously reported. The epithets ‘formosa’ and ‘eximia’  are interchanged with ignorant abandon. It is 95% certain that the form that you personally have in your garden is formosa and you will know from it’s  characteristic long rhizomes and dumpy flowers.

 Look carefully at the flower and then at the flowers of the Dicentra formosa flowers in the rest of this post. They are very different

A seed raised eximia doing very well in a moist shady corner of Cathi’s garden
How can I say that something you might find taking over your garden is difficult to grow?
For a start Dicentra eximia - well for me anyway - has dubious perenniality. It does not live long in my soil and has to be restored from fresh seed which it fortunately sets freely. If your conditions  are really suitable it will self seed itself but if you get a bad germination season you might very well lose it.

Dicentra formosa is generally easy but brings it’s own problems and different cultivars vary in success from season to season and garden to garden. This year for example the very similar ‘Bacchanal’ and ‘Cox Red’ have had real difficulty in making headway in the persistent cold drying winds. I have had to save my rather weak plants by lifting and potting and placing in my  cold greenhouse.
Several years ago I was privileged to meet nurseryman Adrian Bloom. Dicentra ‘Adrian Bloom’ is a very fine red. (I saw it recently on the net as a very fine pink!). We bantered that he could not grow his red namesake but red ‘Bacchanal’ grew for him very well. In my case it was the other way round!
Just like my previous garden ‘Adrian Bloom’ grows much better than ‘Bacchanal’ (not pictured)

Why Dicentra formosa is difficult to collect and maintain

1 Some varieties - but not all - seed themselves freely and germinate in abundance in February and March. Seedlings are not true to type and are usually inferior and left to themselves will take over. Embarrassing to me when a red one comes up pink! Vigorous wonderful reliable glaucous-blue foliaged Dicentra formosa oregana ‘Pearl Drops’ does not do this but many others do. In fact some varieties self seed so freely that I regard them as a seed-strain.
A former student recently sent me this nice picture of Dicentra ‘Pearl Drops’

Seed strains differ in detail but broadly conform to some general characteristics - unless they have cross pollinated with others. I do not now recognise my original ‘Bountiful’ and the original plant is long since dead! Never-the-less the self seeded off-spring in a fairly isolated part of the garden in respect of pollination conform to a similar pattern. At one time  I would buy garden centre plants to check on my naming. Last week I walked past an alleged and un-flowering Bountiful on a garden centre display stand and was not even tempted. It was bound to be wrong!

The pictures below are all self sown plants from ‘Bountiful’ - but who is to say that my original plant was itself not a nurseryman’s seedling too?

This Dicentra 'Bountiful' is starting to set seed
I have another self seeding formosa that I call ‘The Parcevall Strain’. The parent plant had been donated to me thirty years ago by colleague Ernie Oddy who used to do volunteer consultancy and work at Parcevall Hall.

The pictures below are of the Parcevall strain

2 Many varieties are not genetically stable. Although I am intensely interested in matters genetic I really don’t understand this. It might be an unstable gene for colour that mutates easily. In gardener’s terms this is called ‘sporting’. 
‘Aurora’ is a relatively new variety that might be described as ‘tinged white’. I now have two variants that are very nice pinks.

More pink than white in this sported ‘Aurora’
Many years ago I selected for myself a very nice strong free standing pink seedling which I privately refer to as ‘Roger’s Pink’. I now have four vegetative variants. One of them has delicate fine foliage. 

3 As mentioned you cannot be sure of the correct identification of cultivars that you buy. Nurseryman sometimes inadvertently sell similar seed sown plants. ‘Stuart Boothman’ is a wonderful pink variety with very delicate foliage. I have bought it several times and they all look different. It is alleged that clonal material from the original Stuart Boothman plant was retrieved from his housekeeper’s garden. A lady from Scotland sent me a very fine delicate leaved dicentra and I think it is the same one.
 My plant from Scotland (not this one) grew well to make a huge clump and then suddenly died. I do have some plants in convalescence!

A difficulty with Dicentra ‘Stuart Boothman’ is that it’s delicate fine foliage only occurs in slightly starved plants. In the early days we took the students to visit Oxford Botanic Garden. Mr. Cleverclogs pointed to the label and declared to our guide that it was wrong. To my shame the label was right - the plant had received very generous nutrition. You might remember from the post listed below that Oxford’s record with dicentra naming is not very good!

4 Some Dicentra formosa are genetically stable and although they do not cause confusion seeding themselves around they do have variable colours within the same clump. Nancy Boydell’s dicentra, ‘Furses Form’ and ‘Spring Morning’  all three illustrate this phenomenon.

The above two pictures were taken side by side within the same uniform clump and in the same light. Nancy Boydell, an early hero in the history of Harlow Car garden, gave me this unnamed plant

 This stable yet varied cultivar will be completely swamped by Lobelia tupa in July. It has continued to thrive for many years

5 Variable colour is always a problem. It can vary with season, level of shade, soil type and temperature. This Spring has been rather cool and my colours have happily been ‘true’ ones which have lasted very well. In a  previous post I have published a picture of Dicentra ‘Roger’s Pink’. It is a genuine picture but bares little resemblance to the colour I recognise.

6 Many nurseryman are rather cavalier about naming. Especially imported ones sold at garden centres. I recently read in a trade magazine that named varieties of Dicentra formosa could be grown from seed!
A nurseryman offered Dicentra eximia alba ‘Snowdrift’. I was sure that it would be formosa rather than eximia and of course it was. As I do not have genuine ‘Snowdrift’ I contacted the nurseryman to enquire about it’s provenance. He quickly backed off and admitted it was from seed!
A real difficulty here is whether ‘Snowdrift’ ever truly existed or was it just a nurseryman's fancy?

Restoring my collection
In my confession I have admitted that my plants are all over the place and only I know what they are - on a good day! Some I know because of the whereabouts of the plants with which they intermingle! I am afraid permanent labels are something foreign to me.
 I am starting to rationalise my collection. I have discovered after all this time that I can propagate by division small pieces when they are flowering in May. (I normally propagate from Dicentra formosa rhizomes just before or immediately after their shoots emerge). This is very useful to know because I can rescue small plants when I have a clear identification of them. Even better if some of my plants have sported or self sown a rather nice seedling I can furcul them out and pot them up. I tease out such young plants and immediately pot them and place in my greenhouse away from the vagaries of the weather, especially the wind.
Now in July I have been very pleased to find that that plants propagated in this way have done rather well. (Well not Cox Red, it survives on a thread).
Now I must work out where I am going to plant them!

I am reviving a dark form of ‘Stuart Boothman’

I propagated my new plant of  ‘Dark Stuart Boothman' from here!
I always recognise this dicentra because of its coexistence with my phlox! It was given to me by Mrs Davies holder of the National Allium collection. She called it “my dicentra” and I have retained her name

This chlorotic form of Dicentra formosa circulates in the trade in various guises with ‘gold’ in the name

I believe Dicentra ‘Pearl Drops’ and ‘Langtrees’ to be identical and probably ‘Silver Beads' too. All are the subspecies Dicentra formosa oregana
This photograph of D ‘Silver Beads’ growing at Kew  seems a little dwarfer and pinker but the quality of culture suggests that the plant’s procurement might be similarly flawed
Dicentra ‘Luxuriant’ is probably the most common formosa you will find in the catalogue. When I buy a plant to check my stock not only is it usually different, it normally dies. I will blog one day about nurserymen growing soft plants in poly-tunnels and despair of garden centre watering! If I do get it to grow I find it disappointing. This is the best I can do but have no confidence it is the right one
Links to all my dicentra articles
I intend to publish more dicentra information in future. Eventually I will  bring it together in a special blog section. In the meantime you can find my dicentra posts in the links below. They are also in my theme column but unfortunately the older posts do not seem to display.
My first dicentra post includes a discussion of the misidentification of eximia

The story of Dicentra 'Snowflakes' and more about Dicentra formosa alba
The climbing yellow dicentras
A famous botanic garden gets its dicentra labeling wrong (end of corydalis post)

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