Before I came to Hayloft, my plant knowledge and the ability to distinguish between plants was poor to say the least. My understanding to re call plants stretched to varieties that were either in my own garden or ones that grabbed my attention in others. Collections that were slightly more unusual did not enter my periphery – don’t even get me started on the pronunciation of the names!
However, I am gradually beginning to spot and name plants in my day to day life that I never would have known or even heard of a few months ago – and for this I have gained an element of smugness with myself.
There have been many plants, old and new, that I have found both beautiful and intriguing, but the one plant that has really sparked a fascination for me was the Astrantia. I am captivated by the unusual and unique appearance of this plant with both textured and elusive petals that pack a punch in your flower beds and borders.
The botanical name for Astrantia is said to be derived from the Greek word for ‘star’ and you can see why, when each bloom fashions bright spikes of optimism. This unique plant also holds a more common name, somewhat less glamorous– Masterwort. This more commonly used name refers back to the medieval period where the flowers were used for medicinal purposes. They were later grown in abundance within English cottage gardens during the Tudor period.
Caring for Astrantia
Astrantia plants will brighten up any dull spot in your garden and will provide a new lease of life in your shady areas.
They require moist soil with plenty of organic matter – drought is their number one enemy so it is vital that they remain moist at all times.
Astrantia varieties also survive well within a range of soil types and will even flourish in heavy, cumbersome soils.
Garden Design Tips
If you are looking to purchase or have recently obtained your own Astrantia, they will always ravish a stream or pond area, alongside complementing fantastic companion plants within a woodland setting or garden border.
Astrantia will build an alliance with plants such as hosta, ferns and other shade loving characters.
Do you have any Astrantia plants within your own gardens? Where have you placed them?