Not for the first time this year, I’ve been a bit absent of late. Absent from the virtual realms of this world at least; physically speaking I’ve been exactly as present as usual. Having written a blog post at the rate of two per week for most of 2021, I’ve failed to get myself back into that same routine thus far this year. Not for the want of anything to say: Corydalis related, and indeed unrelated, there’s been plenty to see and plenty to think about, if not more so. I find the more deeply one delves into any given train of thought, the more there is to learn and to question. Regardless, this post will hopefully mark a return to a more regular, if less prolific, presence online.
But where to start? As April moves into May, the explosion of growth in the garden is difficult to comprehend, let alone describe and document.
My last post (26th March) left off in the middle of the floriferous glut of the tuberous Corydalis flowering season, so I’ll begin with a couple of highlights from this group of plants. The earlier species and most of the Corydalis solida cultivars were starting to go over but many of the later flowering species were just getting going. Corydalis x allenii (a cross between C. solida and C. bracteata) has continued to go from strength to strength:
It dominates the surrounding Corydalis: towering over them in height and drawing the eye with it’s lighter green foliage. The flowers are a little more subtle but their delicate markings reward those of us curious enough to take a closer look.
Another success story is that of some recently acquired (autumn 2021) Corydalis cava tubers. I’ve grown it twice before and on both occasions it’s grown weakly and eventually disappeared. This time round I came across the sage advice to plant the tubers on their side to prevent water collecting on top and rotting them. Whether due to this or some other reason, they have grown extremely well.
Just before I sat down to write this very post, I went up the garden to collect their seeds. It seems that last night’s downpour caused the seed pods to split open; nature has taken the initiative before I managed to.
As the tuberous Corydalis disappear for the year, the herbaceous Corydalis start to come into their own. Corydalis nobilis came into flower in early April and continues to flower prolifically now:
The flower buds produce some rather pleasing geometrical patterns, for those of you who enjoy that sort of thing.
One of the finest blue (or purple-ish blue) flowered Corydalis so far this year is Corydalis ‘Korn’s Purple’. It possesses a rather cosmopolitan background, being a seedling of various crosses between C. flexuosa, elata and capitata.
The keen eyed amongst you will notice the curled edges of the leaves: I’m fairly certain this is a bit of frost damage. It’s afflicted several of the Corydalis this year but doesn’t seem to have done them any serious harm.
There are, of course, many more things going on (Lamprocapnos being one major omission) but for now, I’ll finish with a quick look at the Dicentras. From our bedroom window, one of the most eye catching plants is a particularly healthy clump of seed raised Dicentra formosa.
Being just the plain old species, rather than one of the cultivars, it’s easy to overlook just how great it is when it thrives.
To finish, a few photos of one of my favourites: Dicentra formosa ‘Bacchanal’.
That brings to a close the heavily edited highlights of spring so far. With any luck, I’ll be posting again soon, keeping you all informed of the various goings on, whether you like it or not.