Mrs Sixwheeler comes from the Isles of Scilly, an archipelago of small islands about twenty five miles southwest of Lands End the bottom left hand corner of England. Her mother had a delightful old cottage there and in her garden grew Echiums. These plants originate in South Africa and can grow to about twelve feet high and have a wonderful spike of bright blue flowers on them. In the Scillies which has a warm and sunny climate they grow like weeds.
My mother-in-law once observed that “you’d never grow them on the mainland, it’s too cold.” and I’ve been trying ever since. The problem is that they take three years from germination to flowering but I have succeeded several times.
We now have one that has over wintered and is now hardening off prior to planting out once the risk of frost has passed. It is already three feet ten inches tall so is going well. Here it is.
2 April 2014