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JEARRARD'S HERBAL


That's enough introduction - on with the plants!
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... out in the garden.

14th July 2024

Spathoglottis ixioides
For the last two years summer has been stressed by high temperatures and the threat of drought. This year isn't working out quite like that. I have come close to lighting the stove on a couple of evenings, and it is only the thought that it is July (and the fact that I have put away all the clutter) that has kept me from doing so. There have been enough sunny days to be pleasant and enough rainy days to feel cold. The garden is wet, the water tanks are full and the biting insects have taken to the wing. A couple of evenings scratching in bed returned me to long trousers yesterday, even in the sunshine.
The greenhouse is awash with the colour of Disa and I am soaking it up like a sponge in a trifle. However the most absorbing orchid has been this little Spathgoglottis. I bought it three years ago and despite a yearly cycle of leaves/no leaves I have never been quite sure that it was alive. Certainly, there was life there but it didn't zing with the quivering astonishment of living. I had a feeling that it might be dying in small increments.
I think that I was wrong. I think that it is producing a flower spike. The anticipation is almost unbearable. I worry about molluscs, I worry about cold drafts, I worry about suffocating mosses. I'm showing it now because I can't bottle the excitement up any longer. I need to sit among the Disa for a rest.



14th July 2024

Hemerocallis 'Shooting Star'
The garden is much quieter. The spectacle of spring has finally ended. The last sparkle from the firing of a glitter-cannon has fallen to the ground and it is time for the serious performance to start. The Hemerocallis have taken to the stage, odd flowers in unexpected places. 'Shooting Star' is being surprisingly spectacular. It is an old cultivar with poor flower shape in a fairly ordinary colour but it has great poise. I have it planted on a slope where I look up to it from the path. In that position the tall flower scapes and arching habit are shown to best advantage. It is an accident, I don't plan these things, but it is a happy accident and I have the good sense to appreciate it.
Lower in the garden I look down in a blob of 'Burning Daylight'. It is a much more compact, floriferous cultivar with uncompromising yellow-orange flowers. The word "blob" fits it perfectly, it snuggles down into the border like a comfortable chair defying decor.
In their own fashion they have both found ways to do the Hemerocallis thing perfectly.



14th July 2024

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Pink Sensation'
Not far from the shrill sunset of 'Burning Daylight' I have a pink Hydrangea. I wasn't expecting a pink Hydrangea when I planted it, It has come as something of a surprise. The observant among you may have thought that perhaps the name 'Pink Sensation' might have alerted me to the possibility but it didn't. The reason isn't entirely the megalomaniacal myopia of the gardener. My garden is on a slightly acid soil and my Hydrangea are blue. That is why I plant them. Years ago I saw an amazing display of deep blue flowered Hydrangea shimmering seductively under trees in a garden and I wanted them. I planted every cultivar I could get my hands on. They all turned blue quite rapidly. They are still wonderful. A little over-exuberant, but still wonderful. 'Pink Sensation' thrilled me. I wondered what colour it would turn into, certain that it would be a blue sensation.
Well, it didn't. The little flowers in the centre of the bracts turn blue but the bracts stay pink. Shocking, obstinate, little-old-lady pink. I think it is wilful and wonderful. 'Pink Sensation' is a pink sensation. The obvious and inevitable is somehow unexpected and astonishing.



14th July 2024

Prospero obtusifolium
I have bright colour in the garden. The greenhouse is full of Disa and Hydrangea are shouting a spectrum of insults at the Hemerocallis which are responding with acid sarcasm. It is very loud.
Teddy Roosevelt often said "speak softly and carry a big stick". It isn't the loudest noise in the garden that has the most impact, it is the quietest sounds. I have to allow for the possibility that it might be the big stick. I have a dead Liriodendron that is going to fall at some point. That's a big stick that won't speak softly and is certainly going to have impact. However, that isn't the point.
The Spathoglottis hasn't even flowered and it occupies an unhealthy proportion of my waking attention. The first Prospero has flowered. The autumn bulbs are getting ready to mark the end of summer. I noticed that the Colchicum leaves have died off in the last fortnight. I have to start clearing the ground to prepare for flowers. There are Cyclamen under the trees and at any moment there will be autumn snowflakes in the Nerine house.
I could worry about winter, or I could stand between 'Pink Surpise' and 'Burning Daylight' laughing at their unexpected invective.
Speak softly, laugh loud, sit in a comfy chair.



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Acorus Alocasia Anemone Arisaema Arum Asarum Aspidistra Begonia Bletilla Camellia Cautleya Chlorophytum
Clivia Colocasia Crocosmia Cymbidium Dionaea Disa Drosera Epimedium Eucomis Fuchsia Galanthus Hedychium
Helleborus Hemerocallis Hepatica Hosta Impatiens Iris Liriope Nerine Ophiopogon Orchids 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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