Thats enough introduction - on with the plants!
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... out in the garden.
9th May 2010
Cymbidium kanran .
Another cold week. Spring has been on hold, which is no bad thing. Flowers are at least lasting more than a day or two, although it has also been windy which hasn't helped.
I have been thrashing around in the herbaceous border pretending that nothing else in the world needs attending to so there are problems building up elsewhere,
but I think I have solved the borders problems for this year. Pictures will follow if I turn out to be right.
This Cymbidium has been sheltering in the conservatory while it flowers - all the others have gone out into the greenhouse. Which brings us to the problem of names.
This came as C.kanran and I have spent the last half hour with a key trying to identify it. In this case, while I am sure the key is an excellent one, my eyesight
isn't up to the detail required (inflated papillae on the labellum - present or absent?) and I'm not yet ready to tear a flower apart to bring a decent lens to bear on
the problem. Therefore - I am going to continue to call it C.kanran though it is wrong in a number of small details. It keys out as either C. tortisepalum ,
though the flowers aren't 'right', or C.cyperifolium ssp. cyperifolium which seems to closest match but the hanging flower spike is a bit of a worry.
Whatever the outcome, it is a pretty small plant.
9th May 2010
Hyacinthoides non-scripta 'Bracteata'.
Years ago I scattered a mass of bluebell seed up in the woods, and even as I did it I knew I would one day regret it. They are lovely, but they are also
very invasive. At the time I though I had sown them in a gentle and even fashion. Every year as they flower they demonstrate that I was mistaken. I seem to have dropped
all the seed in a handful of large clumps across the space like the weedy equivalent of a giants footprints (if the giant had spent the morning getting dizzy
in a funfair and then decided to hop home through the woods).
Fortunately, I have this little leafy form to distract me from gargantuan ramblings. I have finally managed to find a suitable location for it where I can be sure to
collect seed. It would be nice to have a woodland full of them though I think the sitting tennants will make it a difficult task.
9th May 2010
Geranium reflexum .
I have grown dozens of Geranium phaeum forms over the years , and the hybrid G.x monacense , but I have never grown this species before
(the other parent of the hybrid). For a number of years I have been retreating from hardy geraniums, but there is a lot of space in the herbaceous border
so they may be staging a comeback!
From Italy, Croatia and Greece it is surprising it isn't seen more commonly in cultivation, though it has often been confused with other things. As
the flower matures the petals will reflex fully. I am hoping it seeds about, though it will probably do unspeakable things with G.phaeum
and make the situation even more complex.
9th May 2010
x Homoglad 'West Coast Hybrid'.
Gladiolus is the most wonderful and complex genus, and from time to time small bits fall off of it, much like my first car. Every now and them the
fallen parts get re-absorbed which is a trick that the car never mastered. In this case the genus Homoglossum fell off for a while,
produced a range of pretty hybrid seedlings (Homoglossum watsonianum x Gladiolus tristis ) and then rejoined the crowd.
As a consequence, these are really only hybrid Gladiolus, but that description implies a fat floriferousness that is entirely missing.
They tend to produce long floppy leaves, a habit they inherited from Gladiolus tristis and the flowers are few, straw coloured and short lived,
but when they flower, Glad days!
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.
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about what is going on, if you are interested.
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