Sunday, May 03, 2009

Greening the cracks

Daphne's post got me thinking about lily of the valley, one of a group of woodland-glade plants that do surprisingly badly in my garden. Like columbines, foxgloves and campions, I plant, they sulk, they die. A shame as I find them utterly charming. Some folk have them growing like weeds. Indeed, this is one of the fresh delights caused by the detours I have to make round the building site: the cracks in the pavement outside one house are lined by lilies of the valley, all in bloom. I am suffused with envy. A few doors down from me a clump of Japanese anemones are doing similar. All I can manage is some groundsel and willow herbs. I'm tempted to cheat and resort to seeding the area with marjorams and wallflowers.

I do better by the cracks between the house and the path, which are currently seething with valerians, dog violets and marjoram. I had to grub out the teasels and sycamores. And the cypress seedling that I found by the back door. Commonsense tells me that I should remove the seedling dogwood from the base of the fencepost but it has such good colour in its young stems I couldn't do it. Perhaps later in the year when I'm feeling ruthless.

It obviously runs in the family: I noticed that my parents have got a fine crop of wallflowers and snapdragons lining their foundations, interspersed with seedlings of the little dark Viola labradorica. As we were admiring this accidental planting I noticed something different.

"Isn't that a hollyhock?" I asked.

"Is it? It'll make a change from cherry trees."


Scarlet-Blue said...

I've never had flowers in my cracks.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Just dribblers?

Gadjo Dilo said...

I have the same problem with wild horse chestnut trees. News on the garden front here is that I now have a cheap Camelia by a west-facing fence. It's called Kevin and will be sending you (badly written) letters every 6 months telling you how it's getting on.

(I'm impressed to see you wrote "lilies of the valley" - like courts martial, I s'pose).

Kevin Musgrove said...

Yay! a Camelia! Good luck with it.

Lilies of the valley is good, I must have been writing in autopilot

Madame DeFarge said...

This is like reading a foreign language. Gardens remain a mystery to me. As would be evidence if you ever saw our back garden. Although if you did that, I think you were a prowler.

Scarlet-Blue said...

Dribblers and vinegar strokes...?!!
Goodness me, what have you been reading/watching???

Kevin Musgrove said...

The young 'uns have been leading me astray