The diary of two novice gardeners and allotmenteers

Chris and Steve's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: Aubrieta

Aubrieta Royal Blue and Red

Earlier in the year I bought some seeds of Aubrieta from Seekay and the instructions say to sow from June to July. They are very tiny and I don’t want to lose them to insects but I am planning to sow a few directly into the side garden in the hope that they will grow into some strong plants to use around the pond.

Aubrieta is a genus of about 12 species of flowering plants in the cabbage family Brassicaceae. There are six European species and take their name from Claude Aubriet (1688-1743), a French botanical artist. All are found on limestone but some appear on open scree, others in crevices while some crop up in coniferous woodland.  The genus originates from southern Europe east to central Asia but is now  common throughout Europe. It is a low spreading plant, hardy, evergreen and perennial, with small violet, pink or white flowers that grow well amongst rocks and banks. It prefers light, well-drained soil, is tolerant of a wide pH range, and can grow in partial shade or full sun. The technique to keep Aubrieta going year after year is to shear them hard as they finish their display so that they develop a new cushion of tight foliage. Cuttings can be taken, and ideally these need to have three inches of brown stem below the rosette of foliage. The technique is to tug them away with a heel rather than cut them. This can be done in September and October when the cushion of foliage is dense, or in late summer. A cold frame is ideal as it keeps the root cool. Sow seeds in spring.

Saxifrage White Pixie

Today I planted two white Saxifrage at the back of the pond. I bought the plants from Mick Market, one of the plot holders at the allotment. They are alongside the purple Aubrieta, also from Mick, and should spread well and help to hold back to soil to keep the pond water clean. 3rd Feb 2017. It seems that both of these rockery plants have been lost over the years that I was caring for Adam. We are planning to overhaul the pond area this year so I would like to replace them exactly as the chap I bought them from also passed away during that time. I will grow them both in memory of Mick. I don’t know what his surname was as we all called him Mick Market because he ran a fruit, flowers and veg stall on our local market.

Hybrid Saxifrage – The fine bright green leaves of White Pixie saxifrage are complemented  in mid  spring with white flowers on wiry stems. A tight, clump-forming, usually evergreen perennial, this hybrid resembles a sedum when not in flower. The clumps of foliage are a collection of tight rosettes of flat sprays of leaves. Will grow in partial sun in a moist, well-drained, gritty soil. If given full sun, moisture must be constant. Cut off spent flower stems and divide the clumps before summer heat arrives.

Aubretia Variegata

Now the ducks have moved home we have reclaimed the pond and have both spent time cleaning it up. Rob managed to get all the mud out and I have made the beds surrounding it ready for planting. Yesterday I bought two Aubretia plants from Mick Market at the allotment and they are now sited at the back of the pond with the hope that they will spread and hold back the soil and stop it from dirtying the water. Tip – Cut back quite hard by shearing after flowering has finished to maintain a neat, compact growth habit and to encourage a second flush of blooms. Incorporate ericaceous compost into the planting hole for best results.