Others Coming and Going

The Armeria juniperifolia is nice also when fading. This is a white form or subspecies or cultivar – Hungarian garden shops don't have information about such trifles.

Saxifraga cochlearis minor – will flower for the first time for us. I bought it in Prague in 2008. It was just flowering at that time, but in my opinion not the flowers are its utmost beauty. There are some dull, little white flowers on a loose panicle. But the cushion is nice, that's why I like it. Yet I let it to flower. Here it is with buds:

It lives in an artificial crevice in a trough. The compost is almost pure sand, only with a little peat. Its cushion is growing rapidly but is nice, compact and tolerates very well our hot summers. I water it regularly and abundantly from early spring to autumn. In wintertime it gets no water at all.

Here is the Dryas octopetala, and in the background Androsace villosa, in a trough in the garden. In the same trough lives a Pinus mugo, but it behaves itself very well. 

The first Lewisia cotyledon flower has opened. And what a beautiful color! There are countless buds on every plant, so in a few days will be a real flower feast. Especially if also Androsace sarmentosa begins to bloom...

And now a test.
In the cushion of Draba imbricata (also from Prague, 2008) are some yellowing rosettes:

With tweezers I pulled out those yellow leaf rosettes:

The cushion is tight, compact, we will see if the yellowing stops now.


Some Are Coming, Some Are Going

Still there are some which will flower later. But the coming summer will bring for our garden more and more less flowers :( OK, not yet time for crying.
The Gentiana and Primula flowers are over.
The Androsace pubescens flowers are still nice and just blooming the Androsace villosa and the Dryas octopetala – this one only with 4 flowers... Picture maybe next time. They live in the trough in the garden.
The Lewisia cotyledons have nice buds:

And the  Dodecatheon

It is just opening the fist flower of the plant which seeds came as  Aquilegia scopulorum. And I am quite sure now that it is NOT A. scopulorum. It is larger (30 cm leaves and 47 cm flower stalks), and the flower is pure white. Yet I love it, so it deserves a photo:

Later suggested a friend that this is maybe Aquilegia coerulea.

And finally an Iris flower. This plant had never flowered for us until now. It lives in a cast-off "Römertopf" (a crock pot from the kitchen), together with Sedum dasyphyllum and Colchicum arenarium. The pot is shallow (10 cm?), the compost very sandy and I water it very rare: in spring once a week, in summer only once in a fortnight. The colchicum flowers in autumn, now it has leaves.

Iris 'Knick Knack', Sempervivum calcareum, Sedum dasyphyllum


Some Troughs

The one with Primulas and Gentiana, showed already many times:

Another trough with a new plant purchased this spring:

Arabis blepharophylla
This one is with Lewisia pygmaea, Lewisia tweedyi and Sempervivum montanum:

And the newest and fondest at present (also for the smell)

Trough with Daphne sericea

This one is named Rosimtál, recollecting a nice place in the Ortler mountain region. That place is the Rosim Tal (Rosim Valley), and tál (pronounced tal) in Hungarian means plate or even trough. In Rosim Tal are growing many Daphne striata and in June the air is filled with its beautiful smell.

And finally, not an alpine but I hope it will flower all summer on the balcony. The faded flowers drop off, so I will have to collect them all summer :)

Nemesia sp.

Crevice Trough

Here is the crevice trough made last year and named Ortlerpot because the stones come from the North Italian Ortler mountain. The picture from yesterday:

The flowers of Androsace carnea are already gone and the stems elongating very much. The little Androsace pubescens is still waiting (on the left can be seen the three buds). 
And today the flowers are opening. It has longer pedicels than I expected for:

I have observed for a few years that the crevice gardening is the most sustainable for alpines here in hot Hungarian summers, even for not crevice plants.
But it must be indeed like a crevice: the stones buried in the soil at a distance of max. 2 cm. This way even the Silver Saxifrages can easily survive our desert-like summers.
My compost in these crevice troughs looks like: in the crevices only sharp sand with a very little amount of peat, and underneath about 3 cm potting mix: humus, peat, perlite and sharp sand in equal parts. This seems to work well until now.


Gentiana clusii

The flowers begin to open, but I don't like their color. It is a "washed" blue... Last year it had a single flower, but a nicer blue one. Last spring was more sunny, maybe this is the reason...

Gentiana clusii


Primulaceae and Others

Some members of the Primulaceae family are just flowering. Here are together:

Primula marginata, Primula rosea, Primula elatior

And in the center the three large buds of the Gentiana clusii are waiting for more warmth to open. Alas the Primula flowers will not wait for them.
And another member of the Primulaceae:

Androsace vitaliana (the newest name as I know)
We have this plant for about 5 years. It wanted very much to die at the beginning. Then last summer it decided to live and made nice foliage and also some flowers. Now it has many buds and is fighting for living place with a Dryas octopetala. I think I will help the Androsace :-)

Not Primulaceae, but Ranunculaceae:

Ranunculus alpestris
I sowed the seeds collected somewhere around the Austrian Totesgebirge in the autumn 2008. They germinated in spring 2009, but only 3 seedlings are alive. These are thriving in a trough placed in the garden and survived the winter without covering. I hope for more flowers next spring. Yes, they have to survive another winter, and a Budapestean SUMMER until then...


Spring Program Continues

Now, at Easter time we have had a cooling (7-10°C at midday), and also some rain, though not too much, I think the plants can benefit rather poorly by it. Despite of cold the growth can be seen obviously on every plant.
This year the Pulsatillas are showing themselves a little later as usual. The Pulsatilla vernalis seedlings are just awaking:

It's true that their leaves appear after the flowers fade, so maybe these are so "late" because they did not flower yet.

Here is the Chionodoxa shown in an earlier post. Its flowers are somehow distorted...

I see that the last winter has killed many bulbs also in Great Britain. Many gardeners complain of the same symptoms as me: some bulbs have died completely, some have distorted flowers. They say it was because of the many successive freezing/melting of the soil.
The Chionodoxa flowers from close:

In the background can be seen the foliage of the white Campanula portenschlagiana which was cut back completely in February and now has a large mat again.

The alpines have not been damaged by this winter at all. The Androsace pubescens sown last year has one single leaf rosette but with three buds already.

In one of the troughs has died an old Pulsatilla vulgaris, maybe not because of its age but of the too much moisture. However, it made some place for two stones and three seedlings. From left to right:

Saxifraga x apiculata (rooted cuttings) – Saxifraga paniculata (ditto) – Draba parnassica (sown in autumn 2009)

We bought a nice Primula rosea in a nursery. I put it in a larger trough where live also other Primulas, a Pinus mugo and a Gentiana clusii from Prague. The planting was not easy, because the Primula was grown – as usual in Hungary – in peat, and the roots woven together with the peat seemed like some durance. I told myself times beyond number not to buy a plant grown this way (they usually cannot be kept alive). But I usually cannot surmount the temptation. Here it is, planted, now a little drooped in the sunshine:

Primula rosea

Behind it is the Primula elatior (seeds from de Raxalpe), which is flowering now the first time, having 7 flowers with very short pedicels. In the foreground there are the buds of the Gentiana clusii and the leaves of the Primula marginata. Those grass-like things are the leaves of Allium oreophillum. In this trough there is also a Viola biflora, which is now emerging. 

I have learned that the deciduous Lewisias begin to grow in the autumn, flower in spring and then go dormant in summer, the foliage yellowing. My  Lewisia pygmaea (also from seed, I'm not shure of its identification) had worked according to another program until now. In spring appear the leaves, then the flowers, the foliage lasts all summer, the plant going dormant in the autumn...

Lewisia pygmaea (maybe)

I have also some one year old Lewisia rediviva seedlings, they have had no flowers as yet.