Thats enough introduction - on with the plants!
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... out in the garden.
15th June 2014
Disa Luke Edwards 'Speckles'
I am distracted by the sound of the microwave oven. I have a large plate of vegetables planned for my supper and they are currently steaming,
hot condensation running down the sides of the glass bowl. That is how the week in the garden has been. Hot steaming vegetables while I look
on somewhat distracted. A couple of days ago I suggested to a friend that an inch of rain would be a pleasant thing. It would certainly have
cleaned up the dirty look I got.
No rain this week and I have joined the legions of zombies who spend the evening fixed to the end of a hose like a ridiculous novelty water
feature, gawping mindlessly into the middle distance.
The Disa stand in sparkling beds of purest rainwater that tumbles in aerated torrents from above (I collect the rainwater from the roof).
At present the resevoir is about half full. Even on the warmest days the little poppets hardly sweat at all, so almost no water is transpired away.
The Sarracenia on the other hand are watered in the same way but have great sheaves of new leaves that sweat like a team of footballers
in Brazil (that is topical, I have been informed). They will need hosing down this evening and I would rather stay in and watch it, but instead
I will water the Sarracenia.
Disa Luke Edwards seems fairly typical among the modern hybrids (registered in 2004) with long stems and large pink flowers. 'Speckles'
has a heavily marked dorsal tepal but I don't know the grex well enough to say if it is typical.
15th June 2014
The Rohdea, Peliosanthes and Tupistra have all come back into the greenhouse after a couple of years in the shade border.
They don't need protection from the cold, but they do like hot summers which aren't reliable here. The current warm spell is a short blip
that will inevitably give way to torrential cold rain driving in from the Atlantic next saturday afternoon. I am having a barbecue in the garden
so there is no way of avoiding it. We will all shelter among the Tupistra with fixed grins and wilting vegetarian burgers and some kind soul
will point out that this isn't a Tupistra it is a Campylandra. My, how we will laugh.
It is a poorly known genus from China that seems to be the temporary home for any small chinese herb with strap shaped leaves that needs a name at short notice.
Recent temporary residents in the genus have since been shipped out to Amischotolype, Curculigo and Zingiber so this is not so much a
natural group as a salad.
The flowers are greyish green and unlikely to attract the attention of flower arrangers (or indeed anyone). The glory of the plant is the rich green
undulating foliage springing from the ground like a graceful sculpture. It doesn't manage that outside, so it has come in.
15th June 2014
Dactylorhiza 'Blackthorn Hybrids'
Every now and then I get Dactylorhiza popping up in the grass. I always take care to preserve them from the mower but they don't ever
re-appear. This year I have a handful and I am convinced they have arrived because of the winter rains. It is a fascinating theory
but they take several years to grow, last years rain can't account for it.
'Blackthorn Hybrids' are also especially good in the shade border this year. For a long time I grew them in pots in the greenhouse
where it was easy to split them when they needed it. A couple of years ago the whole lot went out and have grown into a decent clump. I would split
them again but it is not so easy now and I will think about it.
The Blackthorn Hybrids come from a low bank in the garden of Robin and Sue White where D. fuchsii, D. praetermissa and possibly
D. foliosa have had a party. There is a variation in the colour of some of the plants that have been distributed but they all seem to be
vigorous and perennial.
15th June 2014
The Clivia are expanding almost daily following repotting during the winter. It wasn't perfect timing but sometimes things have to be done
when it is possible, and they are fairly tough (a mild winter helped a great deal).
Clivia caulescens escaped repotting by being to large to handle conveniently. It produces tall trunk-like stems and my plant was grown from
a single trunk sent to me years ago as C. gardenii. Once it had produced new roots, it started to divide and has now filled the tub
with offsets. I don't think I can manage a bigger pot, and it is too good to split up so it will remain as it is until something forces my hand.
It seems to flower whenever it feels like it. Spikes are common in the summer but I also get them in October and March.
By chance this spike has opened while there are still some flowers on C.miniata so I will cross the two and hope to get seed. I am told that
the hybrids are vigorous and tall growing though I bought one a few years years ago as a seedling and it is still a stunted little thing. Filled with the optimist
of a hot gardener in June, my own will be better!
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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