Guest Author - Hellie T.
Ranunculus or Persian Buttercup has been grown in English gardens from the seventeenth century. They come in a marvellous array of colours, white, yellow, red, pink, and orange.
Ranunculus is a hardy perennial and can be used in your English Garden borders or containers. They flower from May to early July and sometimes longer and grow to 12-18 in. (30-45 cm).
They are actually a tuberous root, but are sometimes called tubers.
There is a lovely display of them at Westbury Court Garden in Gloucestershire where only very old varieties plants are grown.
The flowers of the Ranunculus can be either peony flowered or open flowered, with dark or yellow centres - the petals look a bit like crepe paper. They last well as cut flowers as long as you keep them out of the sun.
In the Language of Flowers Ranunculus means- you are rich in attractions.
How to grow
They like a sunny spot but will do well in a place that has sun for half the day.
Plant the tubers from November to March.
For best results soak the tubers for 24 hours before planting them.
Plant them 9-12 in. (22-30 cm) apart and 3 inches (7.5 cm) deep.
Do not water until sprouts emerge.
Dead head regularly
Dig up the tubers when the plants starts turning brown and store somewhere dry, until the following autumn.
There are many types of ranunculus and there is a story told about a young handsome prince who was very good natured and much loved by his subjects.
He had a beautiful voice and rode through the countryside singing and visiting the poor and needy on his white steed.
He loved his native countryside and often sang delightful songs in the presence of nymphs. He fell in love with one of them but could not bring himself to declare his love.
He pined and went off his food so much so that he became ill and died. The nation mourned his death as did the God and they changed him into a flower with delicate papery petals - the ranunculus.
Enjoy your garden!