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

13th June 2010

Enkianthus campanulatus 'Albus'.
As the windreaks in the garden started to establish (many years ago) I took the opportunity to plant a few rather lovely shrubs about the place. As I clear out the overgrown trees, they are reappearing and being as delightful as I had hoped. Enkianthus have magnificent autumn colour, and they are one of the rare shrubs that produces it reliably even in my rather moist and mild climate. There was a time when I had a bit of a 'thing' for them and planted a few about the place. Somewhere down the line I stopped doing it, which is a situation I should rectify.
This one was planted under an autumn cherry in an almost painfully careful excercise in understatement. I was SO pretentious back then. Imagine it, moi! Nowadays I just bung things in wherever I happen to find a space.
Pretentious or not, it is wonderful. The cherry is old, and getting rather manky, so it might come out or it might just fall over by itself and allow the Enkianthus to expand to its full potential.

13th June 2010

Prostanthera 'Poorinda Ballerina'.
Again and again in recent years I have returned to genera that I grew when I was young. I think it is something to do with impending senility or the tragic desperation of an old bloke clinging on to his youth, like squeezing into a pair of old jeans that allow ample room for self delusion but no space at all for dignity.
Prostanthera are flippant things, easy and casual and sappy. Over the years I have watched the stern chill of winter suck the life-blood from them, and for a decade or so I have gone without. Perhaps the time for flippant, easy , casual self-delusion has returned. I saw this one for sale last year and was overwhelmed with longing. It has sailed through a beastly winter in the greenhouse, and there are a few other cultivars that have a proven record. Perhaps the greenhouse will again be filled with the scent of mint bushes (which I should emphasise, is not remotely minty).

13th June 2010

Podophyllum versipelle 'Spotty Dotty'.
It goes without saying that Podophyllum are lovely. I was planning to get this one planted out in spring and it goes without saying that I am late. I'm still heading in the right direction, but I'm no longer on the original schedule. Lovely and late. I have a surprising number of friends who also fit that description.
The red flowers on this are quite sensational. I like the leaves, but they fall just short of wonderful, at least with me. There is a hint of unhealthy yellowness about them. I want them to have the warty purple appearance of a fat toad in a dark lily pond but they actually remind me of a dissected toad in an unspeakable jar of formalin locked away in a polished cabinet in a sixth form biology lab, marked "Caution, flammable material." Poor old Podophyllum, reduced to the eternal incendiary gawping of teenagers, all everted entrails and yellowed paper labels.
I think it will be better all round when it is planted.

13th June 2010

Weldenia candida .
This is a favourite plant - it never fails to attract my attention when I see it growing, but it took me a few years to track one down for myself. The flowers could easily lead you to believe it was some strange Iris relative, but it is actually in the Commelinaceae (Tradescantia etc). It comes from Mexico and Guatemala but it seems to be hardy enough. The pure white flowers are produced over quite a long period through summer, and are just wonderful.
I have had it for a while now, but this is the first time I have managed to catch it in flower when I had a camera handy. I don't think it would like the wet weather in winter if I grew it outside, and I'm not quite sure how to propagate it, but I will look into it, because I want more.

Acorus Alocasia Anemone Arisaema Arum Asarum Aspidistra Begonia Bromeliads Camellia
Carnivorous Cautleya Chirita Chlorophytum Clivia Colocasia Crocosmia Dionaea Drosera Epimedium
Eucomis Fuchsia Galanthus Hedychium Helleborus Hemerocallis Hepatica Hosta Impatiens Iris
Liriope Ophiopogon Pinguicula Polygonatum Ranunculus ficaria Rhodohypoxis Rohdea Roscoea Sansevieria Sarracenia
Scilla Sempervivum Tricyrtis Tulbaghia Utricularia Viola odorata 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.
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