They are not the easiest plants but hepaticas have a huge appeal. From what I understand the doubles are the more expensive, most sought after and most rare. Personally speaking, as a garden plant I rather prefer the single ones. So the beauty below is the most striking. There are two main suppliers of hepaticas in Britain, both absolutely superb – Edrom Nurseries in Scotland and Ashwood Nurseries in the West Midlands. I have purchased hepaticas from both and frankly can’t remember which this indigo seedling came from. You can buy unnamed seedlings, singles being less than doubles. When the wind diminishes sufficient for me to photograph outside, I’ll feature an expensive named variety that bears a striking resemblance to the japonica seedling.
Hepatica x media Buis was purchased from Edrom Nurseries and has repaid the investment. The meaning of these terms perhaps requires a little explanation. The ‘x media’ strain is a cross between the two European species, noblis and transsylvanica, pioneered in the late 18C by Prof. F Hildebrand. I have one of the professor’s cultivars bearing his name … when the wind calms down. Meanwhile ‘Buis’ is a lovely cultivar indistinguishable from ‘Blue Eyes’ which I do not possess. The photograph below captures the magic of hepaticas.
As more and more of my embarrassingly large collection of narcissus varieties burst into flower I’m going to risk boring myself and readers of this blog. Perhaps I should change the name of the blog to ‘My Daffodil Garden’? Meanwhile I’ll try and suggest sizes of blooms when presenting them here, miniatures looking just the same as larger daffodils judged in isolation. ‘Gambas’ may be judged by placing them alongside some iris reticulata flowers in one of our stone troughs. ‘Gambas’ was one of the Cornish breeder Alec Gray’s cultivars first registered in 1964. I have quite a few of this wonderful breeder’s introductions. Perhaps I’ll write a blog post devoted to him.