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JEARRARD'S HERBAL


Thats enough introduction - on with the plants!
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... out in the garden.

19th May 2024

Aechmea recurvata 'Nobilis' .
Suddenly the garden is hot. There have been a couple of times in the week when I have put off doing things until the evening. I moved a couple of Puya in the Agave house. It's an unpleasant job at the best of times but I wasn't prepared to do it while sweating in a t-shirt. In the evening it was cool enough for long sleeves at least. I shed a little blood in the process but only from superficial scratches. I have moved five Puya this year and have learned one simple thing. Get them in the right place first time!
It has been a prickly week. The local Cactus Society held their show yesterday, full of the most amazing things. I nearly bought Billbergia horrida but worried about its temperature requirement and its distinctly prickly demeanour. I don't know why, Aechmea recurvata is in flower here and is much more spiteful. I had just been puya-ed, I was feeling timid.
This Aechmea has been bright for a couple of months and actually flowering for two weeks. It is hardy outside here in a dry place but rabbits eat the leaves. There is an evident price to pay, so it must be delicious.


19th May 2024

Nymphaea 'Pygmaea Rubra' .
Summer wears the deceptive mantle of relaxation. It is too hot to do much and very little gets attempted. That does not stop the jobs accumulating, it just slows progress. Sitting in the shade drinking tea isn't quite relaxation. The pressure builds. The greenhouse needs watering all the time. Just when I think I'm on top of it for a day or two, I find a new corner that is parched and wilting. Will it wait until the morning? Probably not.
I planted out some screaming red bedding petunias to add some screaming tension to the screaming relaxation (and for the slugs). Something will happen (apologies to Joseph Heller).
Beside my tea-seat I have a micro-aquascape. Ok, its a bucket with a water lily in it. The first flower has come as a surprise this week. I have been watching the slow development of leaves. They mark the steady rise in temperature and signal winter survival. I was so fixated on the foliage that I missed the swelling bud. Perhaps I mistook it for a micro-merman in the micro-aquascape.
Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun.


19th May 2024

Pasithea caerulea .
Seasons in the greenhouse are more determined by wet and dry than hot and cold. That isn't to imply that cold doesn't play a part, just that its role is moderated by moisture. My Adonis is crumbling into dormancy for another year. The heat of summer is removing moisture from the leaves faster than it can replace it. It is shrinking before my eyes. Before long it won't care whether it is wet or dry, it will ignore my behaviour and sleep until next spring.
Pasithea caerulea also seems to follow its own star. I have had trouble keeping it and I still have no idea what it is grumpy about. Last year I moved it to a brighter spot in the greenhouse and it seems to have cheered up. It wasn't in the dark before, but there was some light shade in the afternoon. It wasn't happy.
It may be that it simply needs renewing from seed frequently. I didn't get any seed last time it flowered, so I am going to be more diligent about pollinating it this time. The colour is darker blue than the picture shows and would rival the best Pulmonaria. In a weird chromo-spatial inversion, only tiny Tecophilaea could look down on it.



19th May 2024

Rhododendron 'Loderi King George'.
Strange things are afoot. The garden has shrugged off spring like a lizard shedding its skin. The last sign is the papery brown covering over evergreen azaleas. The flowers have dessicated to parchment as they fade, wrapping the bushes in brown paper like badly wrapped parcels. It doesn't last long, but for a short time the border looks very strange.
Rhododendron 'Loderi King George' brings a cooler colour to the family. I'm not very fond of rhododendrons, but I am in love with 'Loderi King George'. There have been times in gardens here-and-there when the scent has tumbled from the early summer bushes and left me transfixed with astonishment. My sense of smell is fading now, but I still get a hint as I pass and the wonder of it leaves me floating around the garden in a cloud of delight. I have four of them in the garden, three of them are astonishing. The fourth catches the wind from the north and isn't best pleased.
There are other Loderi's, I would like to have them all but I have seen it done once and the total was less than the sum of the parts. I'm not much given to caution, or (as the Puya have demonstrated) excessive forethought but perhaps rhododendrons can be added rather slowly.
Rhododendron 'Loderi King George' and the delight of gardens. Neither of them small things at the moment.


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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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