May 2015: A Moseley Garden

Friday, 25th September 2015

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Iberis
Iberis

This April with some bright warm sunshine, I don’t think I have ever seen such a stunning display of Aubrietia hanging over the various walls and rockeries in Moseley front gardens. There is a particularly lovely display along Wake Green road just further on from Wake Green Surgery coming out of Moseley. There must be three or four colour variations on that wall which makes it even more spectacular.  Another plant which has a lovely knack of brightening up front gardens in spring is the perennial Candytuft, ‘Iberis Sempervivens.’ An evergreen with dark green small leaves adorns itself in pure white flowers in April and May.

To do well they both need to be planted in elevated beds hanging over a wall or planted between stones in a dry stone wall. They like fast drainage, full sun (which explains where they tend to thrive in Moseley in such roads as Moorcroft, Greenhill and Dyott. Once flowered, gently trim off the spent flowers heads which not only tidies the plant up, but encourages new growth which will form the basic structure for next year’s flowers. The genus was named after the French botanical illustrator Claude Aubriet and is a brassica (cabbage family) which explains its penchant for the lime in walls. The picture I took in Moorcroft Road, shows a mass of miniature purple flowers almost completely covering the foliage when in flower, and simply perfect for a bit of garden pizzazz. The root system is quite extensive but takes a while to develop so they will need a little care to establish given the relatively harsh conditions it needs.
Almost straight after Aubrietia has finished its stint then a new blue/purple cascading beauty takes over. In Mid-May, the resilient Campanula Poscharskyana fulfils a similar role to the Aubrietia in April. With the endearing talent of growing wherever it can, (in every little nook and cranny) this bell-flowering beauty has the added advantage of thriving in a partly shaded environment especially where a little damp. I like to plant it in difficult spots such as a blue brick side passage as found in Victorian terraces.

We often forget these plants when the main summer stalwarts start their garden display, but hopefully now you know what they are called, many more still will be planted ready for next year!

Enjoy the May Sun!