September’s little treasures.

Starting to flower in August and making me feel that autumn is rushing in far too soon are beautiful little Cyclamen hederifolium. All of a sudden the woodland, which has been quiet for the summer months,  is sprinkled with the white, deep pink and pale pink of their dainty little flowers. I don’t have quite as many cyclamen as snowdrops yet but the effect is getting there, they pop up in all sorts of places that I wouldn’t think of putting them, all thanks to my ants who spread the seed.

Seedlings come up in both colours.

I seem to be getting so many white seedlings now, almost more than the pink ones.

If the majority end up white, I’ll be thinking that the snowdrops have started early!

I keep saying that I must sow some of the seed myself, will this be the year when I actually do it I wonder?

There are lots more corms still to start flowering, I can see them getting ready to open their little flowers

We keep getting told that the flowers come long before the leaves start, I have a few that proves that theory wrong!

They look even more beautiful when lit by a passing sunbeam!

Love this deep pink one which is now seeding true, hopefully it will spread even more as I really like the deep pink.

I found this clump in a very dark corner, away from any light, but they managed to catch my eye as I wandered by.

I can’t believe that I’ve been talking about snowdrops already, but then it is only 3 months and the gardening year will all start over again!

This is what I can see from the sitting room window at the entrance to the woodland.

Getting down to the same level as the cyclamen to photograph them is getting more difficult as the years go by!

I then thought of standing in the ditch, which made it a lot easier!

I wish the ditch ran right round the woodland and not just one side.

Some of my original corms are quite a size now, 7 or 8 inches across.

Some seedlings have popped up in the new path that was made in February, the ants must have dropped the seed under all the brambles that used to be there. The one on the right can stay but the one on the lower left will have to be moved or it iwill be trodden on.

The same goes for this little one further along.

A last look before I went back inside for a coffee.

I find that I’m making sure that I have a wander in here each day as new little corms are sending up their flowers daily and making the woodland look so pretty. Cyclamen coum don’t seem to spread the same as C. hederifolium, do ants hibernate in the winter I wonder, does anyone know?

P.S. I have now googled my question and yes they do hibernate in the winter, so when cyclamen coum are flowering alongside the snowdrops, the ants are staying nice and warm and cosy all together in their nests, just waiting for warmer temperatures. I will have to sow my own seed to get C coum to increase.

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13 Responses to September’s little treasures.

  1. Denise says:

    So lovely to see your cyclamen thriving and spreading but as you say certainly a sign that autumn is just round the corner. I can’t help on the question of whether ants hibernate though here I know we never see them once the weather gets cold.

    • Pauline says:

      I don’t even see my ants in the summer Denise, but they must be there to move the seed around and we have a green woodpecker that sometimes visits and they come onto the lawn for the ants. I have just googled my question about ants hibernating and yes, they do! They all gather in their nest and keep nice and warm until the temperature rises, no wonder my cyclamen coum don’t increase the same as C. hederifolium, I will have to sow the seed myself if I want more.

  2. snowbird says:

    Gorgeous cyclamen, mine aren’t up yet so yours seem really early. Fascinating reading the answer to the any question….goodness, who knew!xxx

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Dina, it’s lovely to think that all the work of spreading the seed is going on without any effort on my part! I suppose it makes sense to hibernate when you have such a tiny body, all huddle together to keep warm!

  3. Frank says:

    They have really spread themselves around, it is quite a nice effect already!
    Several of mine have vanished, I think they are protesting last year’s constant rain. I should move the survivors to a more sloped area… or just hope that things don’t get that wet again 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Frank, they have spread from the original half dozen that I planted, I never thought that 20 odd years later that they would have spread so much. Some of my seedlings have come up in the wetter end of the woodland where the snakeshead fritillaries grow earlier in the year, somewhere that I would never have planted them as they are supposed to like it dry, but they seem quite happy there. Large corms though quite often have chunks taken out of them so something is eating them, I wonder if this has happened to yours, could they have been eaten?

      • Frank says:

        Interesting that yours survive the wetter soils, mine have had a problem the last two years with several rotting away completely during summer wet (I suspect). I haven’t seen any damage to the corms though, but I bet slugs would give them a chew or perhaps mice? They must be somewhat edible. I’ve heard them called sow-bread, so would think pigs enjoy them.
        Mine are only just starting. For some reason they are seeding into the lawn and doing better there than in the beds!

  4. Jason says:

    Treasures indeed! It must seem as if someone has wandered your wood, spreading white and pink jewels upon the ground. I love it when “good” plants spread like this.

    • Pauline says:

      Jason, that is exactly how I feel, you have summed it up beautifully! There is nothing else going on in the little woodland at the moment, just green hellebore leaves, ferns and a few hostas so the cyclamen show up very well in the leaf litter, they are a joy each day when I go for my wander.

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Cathy, and even more have popped up now where I had the new path cleared in February. Obviously they had been hiding under the brambles and nettles which Neil cleared for me, I will have to move them as I’m worried about squashing them as they are in the middle of the path, they also all seem to be white ones, not pink.

  5. Susie says:

    Pauline, your cyclamen are really illuminate the garden woodland. They’re all attractive but I love the white ones and your darker pink is nice too. I have cyclamen indoors but have never tried them out in the garden. It seems worth a try.

    • Pauline says:

      So glad you like them Susie, but these are tiny, just 4/6 inches tall, much smaller than the house plants. The house plants aren’t hardy here in the uk and wouldn’t last through one of our winters. I don’t know how cold your winters get but maybe it would be safer to buy the hardy corms.

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