May 25, 2006

Poor pulsatilla!

PulsatilaIn gardening, like in real estate, the mantra is "Location! Location! Location!" It may not be everything, but you can't succeed without getting this part right.

Case in point: my Pasque flower. It was given to me last year while in full bloom. Tough little plant that it is, it survived the move nicely and provided colour and interesting seed heads in my brand new and mostly empty flower bed. But as the season went on, the neighbour's sandcherry leafed out and seeing as the house wasn't facing due west as I had thought, the mature shrub threw a lot more shade on that bed than I expected. And then the rather large annuals I had planted in that bed (datura and four o'clocks) basically grew right over it. Not exactly optimal conditions.

Pulsatilla vulgairsI'm paying for it now. Spring-flowering plants, be they bulbs or perennials, need the energy stored during the previous growing season to produce their flowers so early in the new season. Although my plucky little pulsatilla came up on schedule and revelled in the elbow room of a bed free of annuals (for now), it just didn't have the resources from last year to flower this season. I got the hint and moved it to a sunnier location.
I have solemnly promised the poor little thing that it will have its new territory all to itself. It's getting its full dose of sunshine this year.

Meanwhile, back in the old bed, its place has been taken by a Palace Purple heuchera, which will cope much better with partial shade than the sun-loving Pasque flower.

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