In praise of little plants I

Plants that did make sense to have in my small garden

A dwarf, big flowered blue columbine: Aquilegia discolor, most probably a cross (from Seedex as A. saximontana)

Aquilegia discolor (cross)

 Aquilegia discolor cross

True that if we would grow only ‘reasonable’ plants, our gardens would lack all spontaneity and wonder. But because I can now easily enjoy them in containers, and not worry about their relocation, I think a bit of praise is warranted.

On the other side of the container, a tiny hardy ginger: Roscoea tibetica (from Lost Horizons) – very precious, after the bad winter we had, who knows if I will get to see the other Roscoeas from the garden.

Roscoea tibetica

Roscoea tibetica

From another container, the most fragrant, fringed Dianthus I know: Dianthus petraeus (from wild collected seeds in the Carpathian Mts.) Too bad I cannot insert a ‘scratch patch’ with its perfume.

Dianthus petraeus

Dianthus petraeus

A rock jasmine: Androsace sarmentosa – a small piece I saved from an old plant, I hope it will thrive again (or set seeds, or better both).

Androsace sarmentosa

Androsace sarmentosa

and more are on their way to flower…

Geum reptans in late November

The Return of the Germinatrix

A rather silly post from last spring inspired by the good growth of a few very special seed collections from the Carpathian Mts. By fall some of them had grown up quite a bit so I added a few other images.

The youngest heralds of the new gardening season are looking grown up now and some are ready to be transplanted. There is the constant chattering and moving around plus that they pick their noses out from under lights as soon as they feel something is happening around.

Hello there! My name is Geum (reptans) and I am from the Carpathian Mts. I am 2 months-old and I like to play under lights with my friends: Anthemis, Oxytropis, and Anthyllis. When I grow up I would like to have a nice big boulder to spread unto by myself. Some say that I’m the most beautiful of the mountain avens, but I’m too little to know about this. My flowers, they say, are very big, bright yellow, like the sun. My fruits will be like fathe.., feater.., feather…I have to go now – farewell!

Hellooo! I want to see who’s there too…Don’t listen to Geum, I’m the prettiest, everyone says so! The mountain avens and all the others are so envious, that’s why I’m playing only with Dianthus (petraeus); she’s pretty too. And my name is Aquilegia (nigricans) and I am going to have the bluest flowers.  Oh! Look who’s talking – the ‘princess’. See how lacy I am and I’ll form a nice clump with lots of white daisy-like flowers. By the way, my name is Anthemis (carpatica)

Kids! I’m just their nanny, I’m wondering what their parents from up the mountain would say….you can see them all in the Botanical Trailblazers page – Bucegi Mountains.

Gentiana phlogifolia

Blossoms of snow

Part V of Bucegi Mountains

Although not considered an emblem flower of the Carpathian Mts., Leontopodium alpinum – the Alps Edelweiss is much sought after. Whenever we had friends coming with us, they always wanted to see it growing on the mountain. It is not common everywhere, but we found it one day while hiking on Valea Cerbului towards a favourite place of ours, which can be reached by diverting from the marked trail leading to the plateau. The popular German name: edelweiss comes from ‘edel’-noble and ‘weiss’- white, while the scientific one: Leontopodium means ‘lion’s paw’. In Romanian the common name is: Queen’s flower and like in many other countries it is a protected species. Shortly lived in cultivation but it can be grown form seed.

 On the rich subalpine meadows at the bottom of the cliffs, more snow blossoms showed up – of our favourite Dianthus: Dianthus petraeus (subsp. petraeus), with fringed, white, fragrant flowers. Usually growing in crevices of big boulders or on the mountain slopes, it was unfortunately just at the end of flowering but the perfume from a few late flowers was a more than enough remainder. Then we found the endemic Dianthus tenuifolius, flowering abundantly in the sub-alpine meadow and also with some seeds as well; bright, pink flowers on 15-20 cm tall branched stems. And just when you think it cannot get any better, clumps of deep blue flowers of a rare endemic gentian started to appear: Gentiana phlogifolia (syn. G. cruciata subsp. phlogifolia). Flowering from July to September, it grows up to 20 cm but with somewhat trailing stems under the weight of the flowers.

 Going down on the memory lane by looking at the pictures, and also leafing through Flora of Romania, I realized that the very nice Centaurea pinnatifida, that we’ve seen growing in the same place, is also endemic!  Wishing that they will all bloom and grow forever on that magic mountain!