Thursday, 7 June 2012

Fletcher Moss Gardens in Late May

Recently (23rd May), I walked along the banks of the Mersey from Chorlton to Didsbury. There were plenty of late spring flowers in evidence - but this time I didn't find anything new. Still it's always good to be re-acquainted with 'old friends' in the sites that I'm used to seeing them in year after year.

I ended the walk in Fletcher Moss gardens in Didsbury - which, I have to say, were looking absolutely stunning!

The photograph above is of a general view which is awash with handsome plants and flowers: Rhododendrons, Primulas, Maples, Gunnera, ferns and many others are all in evidence - all looking very healthy and well cared for.

The photo below is of a large patch of, so-called 'Candelabra Primulas'. These are Asiatic relatives of our native Primroses and Cowslips; they differ because their flowers are arranged in several whorls up the stem. I would guess that those in the picture are probably hybrids between two or more species.

I was also pleased to see a Tree Peony with deep crimson flowers (see photo below).

I have known this plant, in this particular spot, for many years and believe it to be a Chinese species called Paeonia delavayi. According to a book on Peonies (see ref.): "[It] originates from the Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan. It grows in shady moist areas of pine forest, in forest clearings and among scrub at altitudes between 3,050 and 3,650m (10,000 - 12,000ft). It was first discovered by Pere Jean Marie Delavay in 1884. Delavay (1834 - 1895) was a missionary and botanist, who, during his very active life, sent an amazing total of 200,000 dried herbarium specimens to the Musee Mational d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris."

Not only are this plant's flowers very striking but it also has marvellous deeply cut leaves of a very pleasing shape.

So, congratulations to the staff at Fletcher Moss for putting on such a marvellous show!

I'm planning to write a bit more about gardening in my next post.

Dave Bishop, June 2012

Ref: 'The Gardener's Guide to Growing Peonies' by Martin Page, David & Charles, 1997

No comments: