I received a request by phone today for a 'London Pride' Saxifraga and was intrigued by the plants history. Apparently during the dark days of the London Blitz this hardy rock garden plant would be the first to colonize the fresh bomb craters. It's plucky colonization and the rather rapid interval between its appearance and flowering were a source of inspiration to war weary Londoners. It was so inspirational that it inspired a wartime song by composer/playwright Noel Coward.
Finding a London Pride plant however, was a daunting task. It is not carried by local nurseries (it likes dank, moist environments like London and Ireland) and finding any nurseries in the continental U.S. that did carry the plants was impossible. After much searching however, I did find a seed source in Devon, U.K., which was fortuitous because the caller had friends there who could procure them for her.