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Bring spring inside - lesser celandines in pots

lesser Celandine in a pot I first read of lesser celandines (Ficaria verna) being brought indoors in Constance Spry's Flowers of Winter and Spring.

At this time of year they spangle under the beech hedges in the garden here, elbowing their way along the boundaries. They certainly don't miss the plant or two that I dig up and having them higher up means that I can look at the detail, the way they unfurl, the olive green backs to the petals, the fine, almost succulent, leaves.

Spry planted hers up in a shallow soup tureen - padding their surface with moss.

I wedged mine into an old terracotta pot, taking out and replanting the snowdrops that had been in it last month.

The celandines will be perfectly happy for a couple of weeks indoors, just keep the soil moist but not wet. They open their flowers through the day, bright shiny stars, like yellow lacquer, and then close them up at night.

I love them best in the evening sun.

close up of Celandine

Then, when the flowers are finished, you can simply plant the whole pot back where you took it from - it will be none the worse for its holiday.

Lesser celandines were Wordsworth's favourite flower - he asked for them to be engraved on his tombstone but obviously got a non-botanical sculptor who depicted the Greater celandine - more like a welsh poppy.

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