Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Cerinthe Major Purpurescens at Blakesley Hall

I have coveted these beauties since I saw a stall holder at Bakewell farmers' market including them in her hand-tied garden flower bouquets.  Oh wow, I thought, why haven't I thought to grow these flowers.  Growing them couldn't be simpler, you just throw the seeds into the soil sometime round about mid to late spring, cover lightly then wait until they flower in earlyish summer.  And, as these little fellows are prolific self-seeders, you'll have plenty in your borders next year.  They'll need a bit of protection over a hard winter, given that they are Mediterranean evergreens, but these glaucous leafed delights are worth even this little bit of effort, especially if you treat them as a hardy annual.
The Cerinthe here were covered in bees, even in October, so you'll be giving your local bee colony an autumn treat if you get a bush or two into your garden.
The only difficulty I've had with Cerinthe is getting hold of the seeds in the first place.  You'll have to shop online (no great hardship), but if we are as a nation and a global community supposed to be taking action to reverse the global decline in bee colonies, it might help to shift these seeds into the budget range at B&Q.
And don't forget, December's farmers' market is held a week early for Christmas, on Saturday 22 December.  See you there.