Hepatica x media ‘Millstream Merlin’ is new to me this year. I have many hepaticas, not all of which do well when I meddle with them, resenting any movement. ‘Millstream Merlin’ is certainly the deepest blue of my plants and has a bright yellow stamen, providing a stunning contrast. Do not get the size out of proportion with my close-up image, this being a miniature marvel. However its vivid colouring does take the eye even among the cyclamens, crocuses, narcissus and snowdrops. It is the first hepatica in flower this year. Sometimes the catalogues get things wrong. Not in this instance. And I was amazed to see the price paid recently on the ubiquitous eBay, £45 plus postage is a little steep even for this jewel particularly as a little research would have discovered a cheaper, very reliable source – check Anne Wright’s nursery.


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