Saxifraga stolonifera, the strawberry saxifrage

mother-of-1This unassuming little plant still causes me to blush when I see it… all over my garden.

Years ago when I was an even less knowledgeable gardener than I am now, I visited a gorgeous garden in the Lake District that was open for the NGS.

The owner saw me admiring this saxifrage and said he thought he might just have one that he could sell me from his nursery. On returning with it, he then told me to take great care with this rarity, as it was notoriously difficult to grow.

The next year I was congratulating myself on not only managing to keep it, but having a couple of young plants too, and then a gardening friend came by, and I found out the truth…

So the strawberry saxifrage, better known as ‘mother of thousands’ – continues to produce plants by the dozen every year in my garden. I’m sure I gave the garden owner a lot to laugh about at the time, but looking at these plants at the front of the borders in full flower, and thinking of the weeds they are suppressing, I think I may yet have had the last laugh.

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