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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Symphytum "Langham's Pink"

Brrr, it's freezing outside so there's nothing better to do than sit here and go through some lovely photos taken last spring. One plant caught my interest quickly, Symphytum 'Langham's Pink" also known as comfry.

Now some of you might be groaning out loud since comfry is considered invasive by many people. I don't have any experience with invasive varieties, this pink version is extremely well behaved. I've been growing this beauty in my garden for about four years now and in all three spots it has stayed in a clump.

Here you can see it along with some of it's neighbors. The Coreopsis verticilata 'Zagreb' growing next to it is at least as vigorous a grower. The same goes for the lovely, silvery Stachys byzantine (Lamb's Ears).

Finally, here's a close up shot showing what a nice contrast there is between the foliage of these two plants.

This spring I'd like to divide the Symphytum. I've never done this before so I do hope that it's a simple dig and then chop. If you have any advice, drop me a comment here. Many times it's not HOW you divide a perennial but WHEN you divide it that makes all the difference. For instance, the Coreopsis get's divided extremely early in the spring. If I divide it after it's three inches high it just flops all over and looks lousy for a year. Divide it early and you'd never know it was cut.

By the way, after the Symphytum finished it's first bloom season, I cut it back hard and put the cuttings on my compost heap. About a month later you will be rewarded with another flush of bloom and the cuttings will have already decomposed. What more could you ask for!

Off to put on another layer of socks.


jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

That's a very pretty comfrey indeed, Melanie. I'm rather smitten, though I want the variegated-leafed one first.
And that second pair of socks sounds like a good plan to me.

Dave said...

Sounds cold up there! A very nice comfrey. I like the foliage contrast with the coreopsis.

garden girl said...

What a pretty plant Melanie!

Hoot Owl Hollow Nursery said...

I'm not sure about the pink flowered one, but I grow 2 variegated ones. They seem to make offsets which I then pot up or plant somewhere else. They are quite separate with their own root systems, so you don't have to disturb the original plant. Hope yours is as easy to work with.

Tatyana said...

This is a new plant for me. I have lot of pink color in my garden, I might try this one, too. Thanks!

Heather said...

You have a beautiful garden and a very nice blog. I have truly enjoyed looking and will bookmark your site to return.
Thanks- Heather

Anonymous said...

Hi Melanie!
Just wanted to check in on your blog to brighten up a gloomy winter day and I saw that you were having gloomy winter days as well. Wow,so sorry to hear. I visited you last spring with my daughter and also purchased many of your cuttings at your plant fundraiser. Coincidentally, we are selling our "cottage" in town. You would love my cottage gardens especially since some of your daylillies etc. are now there! Email me if you are interested. I wish you all the best.