12:22 06/09/2020
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Thats enough introduction - on with the plants!
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... out in the garden.

18th October 2020

Galanthus peshmenii 'Kastellorizo' .
The tail of summer has wagged back and forward this week like an excited dog. Gloomy weather at the start of the week gave way to a couple of bright, dry days and I snatched the opportunity to finish the mowing. I'm hoping for another opportunity in a couple of weeks so that I can create the illusion of perfect mown order. If I manage it then the garden will appear tidy until March with little further need for attention. If I don't manage it then it won't matter, the worst has been controlled.
The autumn snowdrop season is brief and the variety is limited, however it seemed worth showing a picture of 'Kastellorizo' while it was flowering. Collected in the 1970's on the eponymous Greek island where it grows in the pockets and fractures in north facing limestone cliffs by the sea. It has a poor reputation for hardiness but it seems to be doing well in the Nerine house.
With the autumn snowdrop season in full swing I had the courage to glance over the snowdrop beds. The very earliest of the G. elwesii cultivars could have started to show noses above the ground. There was nothing. Perhaps the spring snowdrop season will be long enough without needing a rushed start. If it has survived then 'Remember Remember' should appear in the next few weeks and gently ease the thought of winter out of the way.

18th October 2020

Colchicum 'Waterlily' .
On the sunny side of the house I have a large tub of water where Nymphaea 'Pygmaea Helvola' grows. It has had a good season with plenty of tiny, delicate flowers to delight me. For a moment I am enchanted by the thought of waterlilies and then somebody showed me a picture of the flower of Victoria amazonica resting on a tropical pool like a wilting red cabbage. All waterlilies are not as tiny and delightful.
Colchicum 'Waterlily' approaches the boundary between delight and floating cabbages. I am very fond of it. In my eyes it always falls on the delightful side but fall it always does. The thin stem is barely strong enough to support the single cultivars, this double is rarely seen in its upright position. A gust of wind or spatter of rain will be enough to leave it wallowing on the ground like a beached whale. The flower continues in good condition even after it falls, but I can see the point of view that describes it as a monstrosity. A couple of days of still, sunny weather mean that I had a few standing upright when I went out with a camera. They won't be there now, dull gusty weather yesterday will have toppled them.

18th October 2020

Impatiens gomphophylla .
The summer delivered a long warm spell that helped Impatiens gomphophylla to make good growth. After some time struggling in a pot I finally planted it on the south wall of the house and then worried that it might be too bright and too dry for it to prosper. Robust growth during the year has helped to calm my concerns.
I have spent most of the summer attempting to capture the appearance of the orange flowers nestling among the leaves without great success. Finally on Friday I got lucky, a low beam of sunlight illuminating the flower in just the right way.
After a number of grand ideas and false starts the border on the south wall is settling down into a random mix of things that might be tender but are certainly precious, at least to me. My original intention, to try out some of the hardier Proteaceae, foundered in the spring of 2018 when they all died. I have since planted Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset'. It seems to be the hardiest of the genus and it survived in gardens locally so I think it should make it. It isn't the prettiest of them but it would be nice to have at least one that was reliable.
I replanted Leucadendron 'Burgundy Sunset' because it is worth trying again. It may not last for very long but the deep purple foliage is amazing enough for me to replant it every couple of years if I have to. It is surrounded by young Nerine seedlings because they had to go somewhere.

18th October 2020

Nerine bowdenii .
I have arrived at that moment that every hybridist must face. Why did I grow so many? With Nerine there is a long gap between sowing the seed and having to find space for the flowering plants. I have been sowing N. bowdenii seed for years and it hasn't been a problem until suddenly the first of them need large pots as they start to flower. In the early years I was not very discriminating in the parents I chose, and a lot of the seedlings are pink in a way that is both exciting and ordinary. As they flower I am trying to plant them around the garden where they can provide a thrill of pink through the dark days without causing problems. Unfortunately it isn't going very well. I keep seeing details that I like in them. Plants that should be put out are being kept for another years "assessment". Even I know that I am kidding myself. Some dry, gardening weather might help to ease the congestion.
This seedling represents one of my rare considered moments. I decided to try and raise some dark flowered N. bowdenii forms. 'Isabel' is the best of the cultivars available commercially so I have raised a dozen or so seedlings from it, hoping for something good and dark. They are all dark, which is pleasing. There are all good and I would cheerfully keep them all, however none of them is better than the parent. Back to the drawing board. I'm sure they will enrich the garden.

Acorus Alocasia Anemone Arisaema Arum Asarum Aspidistra Begonia Camellia Cautleya Chlorophytum
Clivia Colocasia Crocosmia Dionaea Disa Drosera Epimedium Eucomis Fuchsia Galanthus Hedychium
Helleborus Hemerocallis Hepatica Hosta Impatiens Iris Liriope Nerine Ophiopogon Pleione Polygonatum
Polypodium Ranunculus ficaria Rhodohypoxis Rohdea Roscoea Sansevieria Sarracenia Scilla Tricyrtis Tulbaghia Watsonia

To find particular groups of plants I grow, click on the genus name in the table above. Click on the "Index" box at the top of the page for the full list.
I have a lot of good intentions when it comes to updating this site, and I try to keep a note about what is going on, if you are interested.
If you want to contact me, the address is incompetentjohnMONKEYjohnjearrard.co.uk
When typing the address in, please replace MONKEY with the more traditional @ symbol! I apologise for the tiresome performance involved, but I am getting too much spam from automated systems as a result of having an address on the front page.
Perhaps my MONKEY will fool them.

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