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.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Maureen

    Each corm has several banana type roots and these should be placed down.

    I’m growing mine in 10″ pots this year as they are not frost hardy. I’ll lift the pots in the autumn and store them in the greenhouse.

  2. Maureen

    I bought ranunculus corms for the first time from Waitrose. I’ve soaked them for 24 hours as directed but I don’t know whether i’ll be planting them upside down. Which is the correct way please?

  3. Sarah B

    Have you seen Ranunculus Pink Picotee? It is pink or white or white flushed with pink. It might be just what you are looking for!

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hello Sarah B

      Thank you so much for this tip. They’re beautiful.

  4. Natasha

    hi fiona, i bought some of these today…in bright yellow and cream, they are lovely!!

  5. Victoria

    I haven’t seen them in years, my mother used to grow them mixed in with anemones. Since it’s just coming into Autumn here now, I might buy a few corms of each & plant them in memory of her. Thank you for reminding me of them.

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Sarah

    Thanks for dropping by.

    It might be worth consulting a ranunculus specialist. I don’t know whether it would be possible to get these to bloom in September as I have only just discovered them.

    I can’t think of any alternative as beautiful.

  7. I think these flowers are absolutely stunning. I had decided some time ago to have them in my own wedding bouquet (I am planning to grow the flowers myself). Do you think it would be possible to grow them in time for a September wedding?! Having read the other posts I think I may be a little ambitious. Would you be able to offer any alternatives?

  8. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Stacey

    Yes they are beautiful! I’m sure that I’ve never seen them before. Hopefully they will be in our garden from now on.

  9. These are beautiful. I am not sure if I have seen these before, but I have heard the name somewhere. Thank you for sharing the beautiful photo.

  10. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Margaret

    I had never clocked them before last Sunday. They are stunning and my eyes are drawn to them every time that I pass the vase.

    Hi Debbie

    I do hope that you will find them in the market soon.

    I love the idea of a post divorce bouquet. Flowers are so healing if you’ve been unhappy.

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