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

14th August 2011

Hemiboea subcapitata
Start Stop, Start Stop, Start Stop I have had a week of it. Not that I'm complaining bitterly. Starting anything is filled with hope and optimism and stopping something is almost always a relief. It would have been nice to have some content between the two events, but we can't have everything.
Enough rain to keep things looking jolly - and enough to reach the ground under the trees and finally moisten the Cyclamen. I have been trying to decorate the house, and I can't work out where to start, so I have spent some time in the garden waiting for inspiration.
In the greenhouse, the Hemiboea has started to flower. I finally have enough to risk one outside, and now I can't make up my mind how much shade to give it, so there's another job I will put on one side while I think about it.
In the greenhouse it has been an excellent little thing, the only slight drawback is that there is a bract at the base of the flower that is rather obviously brown and dead by the time the flower opens. It is still charming, and lovely and welcome and all the rest of it, but rather like a dog with only three legs , I can't help thinking "Oh dear" every time I see it.

14th August 2011

Impatiens omeiana
The horticultural world is currently plundering the genus Impatiens for its booty, and some buried pirate treasure has been unearthed (along with a certain amount of rubbish). Impatiens omeiana has been one of the really good new plants from the recent wave of chinese introductions. Over the last couple of decades a number of different leaf shapes and colours have appeared, all with the same pale creamy flowers in August.
This one came to me as I.ernestii and seems to be just another variant on the theme. The leaves are longer than usual, and have a silvery white mark along their length in place of the more usual yellowy-green, but the difference is not great.
They have all done much better since they were planted out - life in pot's was getting a bit much for them. They are greedy, vigorous, expansive plants and they need space to spread into. It seems to tolerate dry shade quite well, and I have taken to wandering round the garden tucking little bits under bushes to see what happens.
All of this is going on because I have to take another window out of the house to repair it, and this week is definately not the time for it. Impatiens are a way of keeping busy when I should really be doing other things.

14th August 2011

Hibiscus syriacus 'Lavender Chiffon'
Hibiscus is a funny genus. It is split between difficult plants that everybody wants to grow, and easy plants that nobody can be bothered with. Hibiscus syriacus falls on the easy side of the divide. I grow a few out of a sense of duty. I keep thinking that if I grow a few easy ones, a passion for the genus will ignite and I can storm forward into tropical splendour. Unfortunately the hardy ones are, well...unfortunate!
Something about the colour range is never quite convincing. The flowers that are open always seem to be overwhelmed by the decaying remains of previous flowers. I want to love them, I want to be excited, but it never quite happens. My few are destined to fill space in the herbaceous border but it is characteristic of my response to them that I haven't quite done it yet.
It may happen tomorrow - I am still looking for essential little jobs so that I don't feel guilty about the things I'm not doing. I am currently felling three cherry trees that are in the way (nice idea at the time, but it didn't work) and while I have been leaning over them some charming little insects have found the narrow strip of bare flesh on my back between my trousers and my shirt, and bitten an itchy red belt for me. Currently driving me to distraction, so there's another job I will have to finish another day.

14th August 2011

Philesia magellanica
Down in the greenhouse there are a wealth of surprises in store. I have hardly been down there this week so there was plenty to find. I cut this weeks selection of pictures down to 11 before I realised I couldn't choose what to leave out. I got as far as realising that the Philesia was going to be included regardless and then I spent an hour looking at the last 10 pictures wondering which 7 had to go. Oh, the endless troubles I have to wrestle with, how would I ever cope if I had real problems (and now I have started laughing at myself which is the first time this week I have escaped taking myself seriously, so thank you for your patience in sitting through this, you have been very kind).
The Philesia may look a little surprised at its survival - in my garden, survival is not its usual habit. The flower has appeared on a large plant at the right time of the year so it was to be expected, even though it was not expected. Rumours are that the plant creeps slowly among the trees in the moist forests of Chile and scrambles gently up the trunks into the lower branches. I haven't seen pictures, and I haven't seen a plant that looked happy outside in a garden - the best I have ever seen grew in my back garden years ago before the leak in the drain to the septic tank was fixed (an operation that destroyed it). Seems to be happy in a shaded greenhouse and I currently have no plans to expect any more of it.

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.
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