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Inspiration and advice, business advice and life advice. You'll find it all here.Gracing the garden in late spring - early summer, Lupinus 'Purple Swirl' (Lupine) features showy, erect spikes of densely packed, sweetly scented, mauve and white striped flowers. Rising on sturdy stems above bushy clumps of palmate, bright green leaves, the flowers open up from the bottom over several weeks, hence providing a long blooming period. Hummingbirds and butterflies are endlessly attracted to them - as are most onlookers! Lupines perform best in full sun in organically rich, moderately fertile, evenly moist, well-drained soils. They thrive in areas with fairly cool summers and appreciate some afternoon shade in hot summer areas. Provide a sheltered location to protect your Lupines from winds and avoid staking. Apply mulch to keep the root zones cool.
With their elegant line, exquisite colors and fine-textured foliage, they create accents and punctuation and look their best when massed or interplanted with geraniums, catmint, and English roses. Developed by English George Russell, these Russel Hybrids present one of the longest and most spectacular floral parades at that time.Russell disliked the blue colours, as they reflected too closely the original plants imported from America almost a 100 years previously. The blue colouring is a recessive allele, and so although Russell might have worked hard to suppress it, lupines left unchecked over several generations will eventually revert to the old blues. Almost all garden lupines today are hybrids of the true Russell hybrids due to their ease of cross pollinating with one another, and with no special interest in lupine cultivating until recent years it has meant the plants have created a large pool of genetic diversity and variation from the original Russells.
For some Icelanders, however, this purple flower is welcome. In a very visceral debate, the fight for Iceland’s color has spurred a new form of identity politics. Tensions rose this past summer when communities in eastern Iceland, the faux lunar landscape, called on their residents to join hands and outlaw Iceland’s alpha plant. Even if we all agree lupines are evil invaders that must go, could we actually eradicate them?Lupinus nootkatensis—known in its native Alaska and British Columbia as the Nootka lupine—is a member of the pea family. In gardening parlance, it’s a nitrogen fixer: it hosts bacteria that gather nitrogen from the air, transferring the gas to its root nodules. Plough under lupines (or peas for that matter) and the nitrogen is released into the soil, providing nourishment for the plants that follow. It’s a pretty and elegant solution to nurturing exhausted soil. (Source: hakaimagazine.com)