Wednesday, May 1, 2013
After a year sitting of sitting in the gravel on the terrace floor, gathering strength to bloom in its second year, the Corydalis lutea has opened for business. It is the longest blooming perennial I know, starting at least a month before the two others I grow (calamintha and agastache). And I am going to be picking the flowers. It self seeds like crazy, and preventing it from setting seed is easier than weeding.
While far taller than a groundcover would ordinarily be, this plant needs minimal soil depth and will grow in cracks in walls, if you let it. All it needs is very good drainage, and it copes equally well with full sun and semi shade.
On the other side of the sliding door are the year-in, year-out, can't-kill-them mint and creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia "Aurea").
By midsummer I can't pick the knee-high mint fast enough for chutneys, fresh herb sauces and mojitos, but for now I'm letting it grow.
Creeping Jenny is technically edible, but having nibbled it I'm not sure I see the point. Maybe the tips in salads, every now and then - but there is no flavour. I love its colour. The cat loves it as a soft carpet to sleep on, in the shade. The mint can be very aggressive, but contained on terrace floor it has nowhere else to go. I like the idea of planting it between paving stones as crushing it is unavoidable, and it smells wonderful.