Saturday, November 3, 2012

Autumn & Winter care: part 2 Auriculas in borders.

South facing auricula border.
I grow quite a few of my auriculas outside in my garden all year round; they are planted in dedicated auricula borders, as edging plants for larger borders and in a rock garden.

The most important thing to consider when planting auriculas directly outside in garden borders is that the soil they are planted in is very well drained. It is very important that auriculas do not sit in wet soil in the winter as if they do they will very likely rot and die.
 I have a rather heavy clay soil so I replace this with normal planting compost mixed with around 20% perlite. (I will cover my soil recommendations for growing auriculas in Sweden more fully next week). A raised bed is also a good idea as this again helps to keep the soil well drained. 
Norhern rockery border 20th Jan. 2012
 I have borders sited in east, south, and west positions along with a rock garden on the north side of the house. In the summer they are in partial shade from the trees and bushes that grow in the garden; but in winter the trees are bare and all borders are exposed fully to the elements.
 I do not cover the auriculas growing in borders in any way in the winter, as I have found that covering them with fir tree branches or leaves causes them to be too wet and rot can set in. A natural covering of snow does help in protecting them from the hardest frosts and in fact they do better when it is a snowy winter. I have had temperatures down to minus 27ºC and although some may receive some frost damage when there is no snow, they have all come back in the spring.
Mazetta Stripe 14 jan 2012
 The auriculas I would recommend for the borders are border auriculas and alpines, other auriculas will also grow in borders and I have some doubles, stripes and fancies growing in a couple mine. They all survive in my outside borders, but the thing to remember is that those that have farina or paste on their flowers, will not look at their best when flowering as heavy rain can spoil the blooms.
Sword winter 2012
 If you have any other experiences of growing auriculas in harsh climates please do let me know as I’m always keen to learn more.
Fred Booley winter 2012
 Next week I will cover the soil mix I use for growing my Auriculas in Sweden.
Osbourne Green winter 2012

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