The warm sunshine has accelerated the development of flowers in my rock garden and alpine containers.  The joy of diminutive flowers is getting up close and enjoying their form and patterning, so this week I’ve used my macro lens to try and capture the detail.

London Pride – saxifraga x urbiumLondon Pride

I think these must be my favourite flowers up close.  They have the shape, colouring and pincushion-like stamens of plum or cherry blossom but with the added interest of polka dots in yellow and cerise.  London Pride flower

The succulent rosette leaves are interesting in themselves but in May the multi-flowered sparkler stems  look magnificent.  If you’ve got some in your garden go and have a look at the flowers – you’ll be entranced.

Helianthemum ‘Wisley Primrose’Helianthemum wisley primrose

This is a very pretty rock rose in my favourite tone of yellow – primrose.  I like the way the wide petals overlap in a wavy way.  The flowering stems are a bit unruly at the edge of this urn but it’s so sunny and optimistic I’ll forgive it anything.

Veronica austriaca ‘Ionian Skies’Veronica austriaca Ionian Skies

Next to the Helianthemum in the urn is a much more upright plant.  It’s name and colour transports us to the Greek islands and pure blue skies.  It’s bluer in real life than it looks in this photo.

I really like the colour combination of pale yellow and pale blue so I’m happy I planted these next to the Helianthemum.  Sadly both will finish flowering by early July and I know I will miss them.

Linaria aeruginea ‘Neon Lights’

Linaria aeruginea 'Neon Lights'

Whereas the name of the Veronica is spot on, this one is off beam.  The label says it has “multi-coloured flowers from reds and yellows through to blues”.  Multi-coloured it is but it doesn’t transport me to the neon lights of downtown Tokyo.

Strangely named it may be but it’s certainly an intriguing flower up close.  I really like the patterning and the yellow and red erupting centres that look like molten lava.  It’s also a very pretty shaped plant, which is spreading quickly in its rock garden crannie.

Rosularia chrysantha

Rosularia chrysantha

A really pretty daisy-like flower this one.  It opens up each day in the sunshine and closes up again each evening.  The petals are coloured pinky brown on the outside so when it closes you wouldn’t know it was yellow.  It’s like a two-toned umbrella.

Rosularia chrysantha

What I also like about this is the lance-like fleshy succulent leaves which are slowly spreading across the surface of this trough.  I can imagine a stone container entirely covered with this plant on a sun-soaked Mediterranean terrace.

Aquilegia flabellataAquilegia flabellata

I shared a picture of this last week as I was so excited it was flowering.  I was a bit premature though as a week on it’s showing is proper columbine shape.  I really like the two-toned corona which almost has a tie-dyed ombre patterning.

It cost just £10 to get 23 packets of seed from the Alpine Garden Society Seed exchange and I’ve got dozens of plants from the 2018 list and yet more from the 2019 one.  This one flower means so much to me.


This seasonal diary is part of a weekly link-up of garden bloggers from around the world, called Six on Saturday.  For more information and links to other blogs crammed with gardening activity, check the blog of host The Propagator.