Thats enough introduction - on with the plants!
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... out in the garden.
22nd September 2019
Colletia hystrix 'Rosea' .
When the dry weather of summer ended the relief was overwhelming. I had been hoping for a crash of thunder, a tidal wave passing down the hill,
some significant moment of change. At the time I thought I was looking for a seminal moment of change, some relief from the inexorable
and imperceptible rotation of the season. Now I am more inclined to think that I was looking for something definitive, some certainty about the
season. One more wishful fiction to cling to.
We have had a return to the dry conditions. The warmth and sunshine that have gone with it have been delightful. The garden has been soaked
enough to withstand the stress and I have coped with the watering in the greenhouse. The only worry is the thought that it might continue,
the climate has been so strange. What if this is the dryest winter since Tutenkhamen got dessicated?
Well, in that case I will grow more Colletia. This one is still growing in a small pot by the back door. I put it down there on my way
through the house once and never picked it up again. It is very prickly, it does nothing to encourage me. It has been watered twice. Once this
year and once last. Or perhaps it was the year before, time flies. Whatever, it is drought tolerant!
22nd September 2019
Colocasia gaoligongensis seems to come from the other extreme. I think it would prefer a moist soil but I can't always oblige.
I have a suitable place for it in mind but it has yet to become a physical reality. For now it remains in the greenhouse. Not because it is fragile,
not because it is tender, but because it is always easier to leave planting it for another day.
I am sure it will be hardy here and I know that it will tolerate some stress but with winter rattling towards us it is very easy to put it off until
Despite my lethargy, it flowers with enthusiasm every autumn. The strange yellow flower has a rich, fruity smell like a ripe banana
or perhaps a banana fritter. It scents the greenhouse in erratic wafts, pleasant but not charming. Not really floral, more honeyed with a hint of pig sty.
Not unpleasant but not relaxing. It sets me on edge. I might have trodden in something.
22nd September 2019
Eucryphia moorei .
Delight in the autumn garden lies in the small things. The tiny Cyclamen are creating pink interstitial moments in the mat of ivy leaves.
I could remove the ivy, it is a spreading menace, but I delight in the pink flashes in the gaps like the ticklish spots in a crocodile's scaly armour.
Eucrypia moorei is an honorary member of the society of small things. It is a large tree now, but the flowers are small and far away.
I have started to look up into the canopy in anticipation long before they are due. Sometimes I can see the little round buds forming, mostly I think it
is blurred eyesight and self-delusion. I enjoy the belief that I have seen them at the start of September, whatever the reality.
The flowers are clearer, but not much. I see the shower of small flowers as they open. They look like a misty haze through the long lense on the camera.
They could easily be a touch of condensation in the mechanism. I console myself that it will all be much clearer on a computer screen
and when it isn't, I enjoy that even more. It's a small thing, quite intangible. Completely intangible as it happens. I took the long ladder out there
hoping for a closer, sharper picture. All I got was the blurred consequence of a frightened gardener up a long ladder against a tree blowing
joyfully in the wind. The sporadic screaming wasn't recorded in any of the images. I won't be doing that again.
Now I wait for time and gravity to deliver the broken flowers to the ground. It is a poingant autumnal moment when I see them.
22nd September 2019
Nerine 'Salmon Supreme' .
I haven't been the only thing screaming in the garden, though like Edvard Munch's iconic painting, the Nerine have been doing it silently.
I have no doubt that a moment's research would produce a credible history behind N. 'Salmon Supreme' but I am reluctant to do it. It was
one of the first cultivars that I grew decades ago when ignorance and innocence were still playmates. Now they have uncoupled, the former going
from strength to strength, the latter much diminished. I grew it, I was very fond of it, but I didn't manage to keep it. I bought it as a dried
bulb from a catalogue and now I have a better understanding of the damage done in that process. I remember it flowering but it probably didn't
establish in the pot. It didn't look much like this either, and that is the reason I don't waste too much time chasing its history. Rather like
Dr. Who, several different clones have adopted the commercial role of 'Salmon Supreme' over the years. I have at least two of them in the
greenhouse at the moment. They have all been salmon (in a distinctly orange fashion) and they have all had stout flower spikes, so 'Salmon Supreme'
is not an unreasonable description.
Or an item from a 1980's menu.
Latest Update:Schizocarphus nervosus
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