I have a bit of an epimedium weakness (I like erythroniums too, and many other things beginning with e but not… well, let’s not get distracted). However, my garden eats epimediums, so this year I got a bit radical.
My one remaining epimedium – and I’ve been given epimediums which are an invasive menace elsewhere but which disappear chez moi – is this precious pearl, Epimedium grandliflorum ‘Lilatee’. I love it, but I didn’t want to see it go the way of all flesh – um, the way of all epimediums – and so I marked its position carefully and let the leaves die back.
And when they did, I potted it up.
One of my friends said ‘I didn’t know you could grow epimediums in pots’, and neither did I. But it’s a tiny one, despite the name, and I thought it might be OK. It came through the winter fine, nice and dormant, snuggled below the soil. Then this spring I began to notice signs of life. I moved the pot to near the back door where I could enjoy it, and sure enough – pow. A really healthy plant. Flourishing, in fact.
Then we had a really chilly night – I had to scrape the windscreen of frost – and I thought it looked a little pinched and surprised, so I moved it into my unheated greenhouse.
I think it likes it.
It’s supposed to be warming up a little, so I might try reintroducing it to the outside world. But while it’s sitting on the potting bench (oh, I’ll come clean – the old picnic table I use as a potting benchette), it’s at just the right height for some epimedium worship.
Those flowers, by the way, are a max of 2.5 cm from spur tip to spur tip. I’ve got another flowering stem to come out, and I’ve never seen it look so good.
Maybe I might invest in a couple more…