All round John Massey's Garden some very special cyclamen such as the Cyclamen Graecum above have been artfully placed with well planned soil preparation, drainage and positioning next to a large rock. In some areas of lawn old seed was broadcast making colourful early spring displays with cyclamen popping up in other areas where ants had move seed to just the right spots such as this stony area.
After a walk round the public areas, and not finding what I was looking for, I approached the information desk. Soon they found a very knowledgeable and helpful specialist member of staff who works on the Cyclamen Section: Hayden Worton.
He has been working at Ashwood for around 10 years, and the area of propagation for the cyclamen is extensive. We chatted about the Coums and Hederifoliums, and Hayden showed me some of his new developments and the large deep pan full of numerous small cyclamen seedlings which need several more seasons growing. Wouldn't anyone agree that even without flowers these make just the most eye catching plants, sadly these were stock plants or not available for sale.
Hayden very kindly showed me various strains and cultivars and helped the novice that I am in the specials...choose a few.
I shall start with the Coums:
Cyclamen Coum George Bisson which has pure white flowers
Cyclamen Coum Tilebarn Elizabeth, with its silver leaf I understand it is one of the last Coums to flower in the season. With its beautiful bicolour flowers, this is definitely one for my 'show shelf'
This coum is probably an anomaly, as the flowers appear larger and on close inspection there is some fasciation with more than the usual number of petals apparently per bloom.....
A Cyclamen Coum Pewter group- mid pink colour blooms, but with a little shading
Cyclamen coum with pale pink flowers, with silver leaves with a green marking in the centre
Cyclamen coum pewter group with pale pink flowers
Cyclamen coum Maurice Dryden which has a pewter leaf with green edge, and a white to pale pink flower with pink 'lips' so it is 'Blush'
And now for the Hederifoliums which will flower in the autumn, and all of these are very hardy. For a year or two they may be potted up and displayed on my shelf or brought into the conservatory to enjoy.
Cyclamen Hederifolium with Silver arrow head shaped leaves
Cyclamen Hed. Silver Shield
Cyclamen hederifolium, Silver Leafed form
Cyclamen hederifolium arrow or almost sword shaped silver leaves with green margins.
I only grew to be interested and indeed aware of silver leaves on the Cyclamens when a few of my seeds collected from friends gardens germinated. What is nice about germinating and growing on such special beautities is that I was able to share them with two other friends. Over the winter the low winter light and sunshine have made the 'darker corner' of the garden rather pretty:
From home germinated seed now lying in a darker corner of the garden, covered with slowly degrading evergreen oak leaves.