As Vija’s previous blog (‘Shout out for self-seeders‘) mentions, this is the time of year when self-seeders pop up in the borders. If they are valued border plants but you just have too many, before you whip them out please think about potting some up for a future CABAHS plant sale. Although it looks like we can’t have full meetings for a while yet, we are aiming at holding a plant stall at Charlton House, probably at the end of July or early August. Just remember it’s important to identify and label any potted-up specimens very clearly, especially if it’s one that tends to be a “bit vigorous”! If you aren’t sure, do send a picture in, we have lots of expertise among our membership!
Other top self-seeders are Verbena bonariensis and Astrantia:
I have recently watched two online Lectures from Fergus Garrett. These are replacing the events which had been planned at Great Dixter. More are planned. The second lecture was on the subject of self seeders in the garden. Of course, Great Dixter uses these extensively and it was interesting to see how self seeding is managed by the team there and how much they value the contribution the self seeders make to the herbaceous borders.
I have never planted Valerian, but it pops up in random spots and this year makes a lovely splash of colour combined with Salvia ‘Jezebel’, and a Californian poppy. Forget-me-nots I have to be careful with as they are smotherers. But primroses are a joy (apart from when they get into the lawn). Tanicetum (tansy) and the grass Milium effusum (wood millet) make a lovely splash of colour in late spring and Erigeron karavinskianus (Mexican fleabane) makes itself at home in many inhospitable corners. Although I allow a large number of Pulmonaria (Lungwort) to provide an early food source for bees, these can be a problem if I am not ruthless, so they have to be thinned out when they finish flowering.
Part of my garden includes a gravel path and a number of plants have self seeded there very generously over the years. Many of these I take out and pot on to be used in my own garden, or give away or bring to the sales table. On occasion, this has even included Phlomis and Clematis. Spotting the gems before I tread on them takes care!
In my garden, as in all gardens, there are some plants which seem not to like where they have been planted and have made their way to another spot where they feel far more comfortable. I am thinking in particular of the Plume Poppy, Macleaya microcarpa. It has completely ceased to exist in its original spot and is now doing very well a good 5 metres further along the border. In fact, it actually looks better there. Once again, I am reminded of the maxim that plants will grow well if you provide them with the conditions which they need to succeed. Alternatively, it seems they find these for themselves.