Perivale park has a small “pocket garden”, being the old bowling green converted into an orchard with 34 fruit trees, four raised beds, four seating benches embedded in floral borders and four larger garden quadrants. These latter were prepared with a layer of sand last year and planted with bulbs, of which the allium (ornamental flowering onions) are currently in full glory. But earlier another bulb had its moment of glory, the Eremurus or foxtail lily (desert candles). This was quite an unusual planting, and a bit of an experiment to see if it will survive a winter and flourish.
Yesterday, we visited Wakehurst place, “Kew in the country”, or “Wild Kew”, the reference being to the famous other Kew botanic gardens, in Richmond London. We sat down at a bench to have our picnic lunch and spotted something nearby we soon recognised as another planting of Eremurus, with two Kew gardeners loitering in the vicinity who told us about their experiment. They had prepared four different types of water porous toppings to see which the Eremurus liked best and were also experimenting with the planting for the first time this year. This was a late flowering variety, with tall yellow spikes (the Perivale Park variety was white).
Since Eremurus tubers apparently dislike winter wet, we will find out next year how both the plantings at Wakehurst and in Perivale park fare. But its good to see the park as part of a larger experiment!