Thats enough introduction - on with the plants!
To navigate this site, use the links above, or the detailed links at the bottom of this page.
... out in the garden.
4th April 2010
Cymbidium iridoides .
A splendid wet week in the garden, the spring is moving at such a pace it is almost impossible to catch up. The wet has been seeping through my clothes every time
I go outside, and I am having to change two or three times daily. I have been damp in all the worst places including (but not limited to) the gaps between my toes,
thanks to the decrepitude of my supposedly waterproof boots. Which brings me to....Orchids!
It is well known that the genus Orchis was named after the supposed resemblance of its paired tubers to testicles and spring is without question
the active season for both.
This Cymbidium has been slowly extending a spike since before Christmas, but it has taken some warm weather to open the buds. The name is still a little open
to question - I got it as C.hookerianum which has clear green petals and this has been distinctly brown streaked for weeks.C.iridoides is my current
best quess, but C.tracyanum is also in the running. It has been growing well in an unheated conservatory
4th April 2010
Australian terrestrial orchids are a strange group. Many of them were briefly available a couple of decades ago, and those that prosper in cultivation
are now becoming available again. For a long time I thought that this was the only Pterostylis that had survived in Europe, but
there are a couple of others, and a few hybrids have been raised in the intervening years though this is probably still the best of them.
It grows quite vigorously in an open compost, moist in spring and then drying out a bit in autumn and winter when it is dormant. It makes dense clumps
that rapidly fill a pot and if it is growing vigorously, then it will flower. The longer it stays in growth after flowering, the stronger it will be
the following year. There is a form described as 'Alba' which is less green.
4th April 2010
Pleione Zeus Weinstein 'Desert Sands' .
A long cold winter has delayed the Pleione, which has turned out to be a fortunate thing. I have just managed to split them, with the flower buds emerging,
and from the look of things it should be an excellent year.
This is a new one to me - I bought the bulb a month or so ago from a local grower, one of a large number of cultivars that have arisen out of the attempt to
bring pure yellow into the more vigorous hybrids. The flower is a bit battered now - I should have taken the picture last week but was busy in the garden
so I put it off (always a mistake). The greenhouse needs watering as well.
4th April 2010
Cypripedium formosanum .
I have a long and ignominious history with Cypripedium, and it has made me rather wary of them, but modern growers seem to have mastered the art
and it is time for me to put incompetence aside and have another try. This is a form of C.formosanum that has been selected (by Robin White)
for its particular vigour. He assured me (in his usual gentle and thoughtful manner) that it was vigorous enough to survive my deficiencies, and it seems he was right.
Two shoots last year, five shoots this year (all flowering). It will need to be repotted this year, and I will have to face my next fear - choice of a compost.
Something I am planning to put off until the dormant season.
Flushed with my success, I bought three young plants of other forms last summer, and so far two of them are shooting which is a lot more encouraging than
the total anihilation that I am accustomed to visiting on the plants. A single nose of C.calceolus that I bought this spring is growing well
and not going to flower, which is probably a good thing. There is a chance that it will grow enough roots to be stronger next year.
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.
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