The new bed of Scottish native plants near the rock garden is starting to fill out, but there are still some gaps that we need to fill. The first area that you come to shows some of our native coastal flora. Yesterday Robert and I headed down to Wigtonshire to collect a few more species that would be found in these habitats. We found Mertensia maritima still in flower. This striking plant, aslo known as Oyster Plant, is found on shingle beaches around the UK. We were collecting some seed of this for the Millenium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place, and found that under a large number of the plants, ants were also doing a very good job of rounding up stray seeds too!
With help from a local farmer we also collected seeds from cliff top plants near Port Logan. This was quite a windy affair, with plenty of sea birds keeping us company on the cliffs below.
As well as some of the more uncommon plants such as Glaucium flavum, and Crambe maritima we found some of the common coastal species that are found above the high tide mark on many beaches around Scotland. One of my favourites, for its very symetrical and regular habit is Honckenya peoploides, Sea Sandwort, which forms large green mats just out of reach of crashing waves.
Keep an eye out to see when these new additions make it out into the garden.