The Cottage Smallholder

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Photo: Pink and white Ranunculus

Photo: Pink and white Ranunculus

This afternoon I fell in love.

I was in Waitrose with my mother. Standing beside the flower stand. I don’t buy flowers for the cottage anymore but my mum often buys me flowers when we go shopping.
“Why, these are beautiful.”
She picked up some soft yet elegant flowers that we’d never seen before. We examined the label – Ranunculus. Such a clumsy name for an exquisite flower. Apparently it comes from the Latin and means little frog. As both the amphibian and plant enjoy a little damp.

I’ve spent the evening getting acquainted with Ranunculus. The corms can be planted in the autumn for spring flowering and in the spring for summer flowering. They prefer a sunny spot but not too dry. Perfect.

However I couldn’t find a strain with the different pinks of my posy. I can buy white or pink or some rather expensive pink and white tinged with purple. There is a brightly coloured mixed strain available too. These are much cheaper and Dobies sells these ranunculus bulbs.

So instead of an Easter egg this year, I’m investing in pink and white Ranunculus. A real boudoir flower that will add a lot of charm to the main herbaceous border. I’m hoping that the pink and white flowers will cross fertilise. If I raised their seed in the cold frame over winter I might eventually have flowers that range from white to pink.

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  1. I love these flowers too. I discovered them years ago when treating myself to a post-divorce bouquet and they always fill me with renewed vigour and zest for the coming season when I see them in the spring. I live in Turkey now and was thrilled to find them on one of our local market stalls last spring. No sign of any this year yet…..

  2. Margaret

    I love these flowers and you don’t see them around very often. At my flower club the demonstrators never use them, which I always find baffling.

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Pamela

    Yes they are the same corms – just planted in the Autumn for Spring flowers and in the Spring for Summer flowers.

    Hi Jules

    They are wonderful flowers. I can’t believe that I have never noticed them before.

    Hello Casalba

    Thanks for dropping by.

    I hope that I can cross the pink and white too!

    Hi Scintilla

    The corms need to be lifted in the winter if you have frosts. But the seeds can be gathered and the plantlets over wintered in a cold frame or greenhouse. Apparently this is the best way to guarantee plants for next year.

    Hello Kate (uk)

    Research tells me that seed planted in autumn is a better bet than harvesting the corms (see above).

    Hello Amnda

    Thanks for dropping by! These flowers are beautiful.

    The cottage kitchen has just been decorated by me!

    Hello Nadia

    These corms are far, far better than an Easter egg!

  4. I love them too they’re very beautiful and doesn’t the cottage look fresh and bright in the background too.

  5. they sound, and look, much nicer than an easter egg! good choice!

  6. kate (uk)

    They used to sell the plants in pots in the Spring in Holland, all colours, v. cheap…used to get carried away and cram as many as possible into my window boxes, but never managed to get the little corms to re-grow the following year. They are the most beautiful things,seeing your photo I’m so tempted to try them again, seed catalogue is beckoning…

  7. Scintilla

    These so remind me of my mother who had realms of Ranunculus planted in a special border in Australia. I’ve hesitated in planting them in Luxembourg as I fear they would not survive the frosts nor the malicious moles who devour my tulips!

  8. casalba

    “Boudoir” is the perfect word to describe these. There’s a touch of the old English garden about them too. I hope you are successful with the range of delicate pinks.

  9. I adore these flowers, they are so beautiful.

  10. I love these too. So are the spring and summer flowers from the same corms then, just planted at different times of the year?

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