Saxifraga Silver Velvet

My plant of the moment is Saxifraga Silver Velvet.  It is just a haze of delightful sugary confection.

I have a growing interest in Saxifraga due to my burgeoning interest  in alpines but I also like the larger japanese Saxifraga.  This one was purchased in the summer from Cotswold Garden Flowers.  I have hesitated to plant it out  as it was an impulse buy; the velvety leaves coercing me to part with more money; and I haven’t decided where it should live.

I think this plant is aptly named as the leaves certainly look very velvety and quite exotic.  The trouble is firstly I find dark-leaved perennials hard to place in the garden.  The leaves are so close to the soil so can quite simply disappear from view.  I think it will need something light and bright planted alongside as a contrast and to highlight it but I haven’t thought what.  My second problem is that I’m not 100% convinced it is fully hardy.  I lost a similar Saxifraga two years ago when we have very low temperature (-18C) for several weeks, although a larger and older plant was fine.

My research indicates it is a woodland plant.  Which makes me think that maybe planting it under my Acer where the bright red leaves will fall around it might be good but the rest of the year….well  I don’t know.  It real bonus is that it flowers from now (September to November) and the flower are tiny dainty pink and white confections.

So while I ponder this further, like many a good gardener before me, I have planted it up in a pot and it is sitting on the Table of Delights where I can  see  it from the living room.

18 Comments on “Saxifraga Silver Velvet

  1. I think those leaves have earned a permanent home in a pot chosen for them to star in. Leaves of that colour would be very difficult to showcase on the ground, and what a pity to lose sight of that beauty!

  2. I’m always attracted to plants with good leaf texture. It has a wonderful texture, and a nice pattern of lighter colour along the veins. Plus the pink and white flowers add a pretty airiness to the plant. If you don’t want to keep it in a pot, then I like your idea of pairing it with a light coloured plant, to show off the dark foliage. Also, it would look great with a feathery textured plant. Something like Athyrium ‘Ghost’, which has a silvery colour and finely cut fronds would look good, and would pick up the silvery pink markings on the leaves.

  3. That is just lovely; not in the slightest bit surprised it’s your plant of the moment. Beautiful…

  4. what a lovely plant Helen, and a variety I dont know. This year I have bought 4 different types of saxifraga (Without meaning too!) but each time I have been drawn to the wonderful leaf colour and texture. The flowers have been an enchanting bonus too.I know what you mean about it being difficult sometimes to place the darker leaf varieties.

  5. How pretty – I don’t have one! Looks great in the pot and yes you can give it little trips to give it shelter if needed! You wouldn’t be a gardener if it was easy!

  6. Lovely. I’m starting to develop rather a fondness for saxifraga too, after picking my first one up at a plant fair in the summer…

  7. What a beautiful plant, Helen – lovely colours on both flowers and leaves. It would look nice if it overlapped a brick or stone edging – or perhaps you could make a faux stone planter by covering a receptacle (plastic, or one you have made-to-measure from timber or chicken wire) with a mixture of cement and peat, or using two containers of the same shape but different sizes to make a mould. You could then have a range of saxifrages or other alpines and surround them with gravel or chippings – and if the planter wasn’t too heavy you could always move it if you were worried about dropping temperatures.

  8. What exquisite markings and colour Helen. I like Northern Shades’s idea of pairing it up with a Japanese painted fern. Difficult to work how tall it is but if not to tall I can see snowdrops peering up between the leaves in spring. There may also be one or two heucheras out there that would compliment it although if I remember rightly you are not to keen on them. Maybe a hosta? Did not realise just how low your winter temperatures can drop to.

  9. Just an afterthought that I have one saxifraga – bought last summer and I think that the leaves did die down during the winter – if that is the case the snowdrops would not be peering through its leaves so ignore my suggestion 🙂

  10. Hello again Helen, I keep meaning to comment on your alpine postings. I am loving… you loving… my first plant loves! I am a saxifrage fan too – never seen this one but do love the foliage. To me its upright habit looks good in a pot. Anna mentions you perhaps don’t like heucheras – I couldn’t garden without them now and being honest – thought of the heuchera when I saw this plant… oops, hope I haven’t put you off it now. Wishing you a good weekend 🙂

  11. That is lovely and new one for me. Am tempted to put it on my ‘to buy’ list 🙂

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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