Thats enough introduction - on with the plants!
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... out in the garden.
20th July 2014
Disa Riette M
The garden has been gently roasting in the sun all week. I find myself skittering from the shade of one tree to the next, and given the heat
and my general decrepitude skittering does not come easily. Promises of spectacular rainfall over the weekend have come to nothing. I have been lingering
in the garden sundries sections of superstores wistfully eyeing up new hoses, nozzles and connectors. I have plenty of all of those things but they still
exert a fascination on the desperate and dessicated. Just looking at them makes me feel cooler, though I suspect a ragged old bloke lingering among the
plastic fittings will never actually be cool.
The Disa are unashamedly hot. During the winter I built a door for the doorway into the greenhouse (I had been meaning to put one in the gap
for years). The intention was to cut down the through draft so that the temperature went up. It has done the job. It has very very done the job.
Disa Riette is the grex formed from the hybrid D. Watsonii x D.uniflora. I was given a group of seedlings a couple of years ago and
they are flowering for the first time. I meant to pick out the one I liked best and reject the rest, but I like them all. This is "M" and there are a fair
number still to come. When I built the door I also extended the Disa bench and I'm going to need it.
20th July 2014
The second big project of winter was to sort out the bulbs. The Eucomis had all been in small pots for too long. I had been feeling guilty about it
for eighteen months, so the problem had been there for a couple of years at least. I was determined to get them all repotted before they started to grow
last year. In the event I got there before they finished for the season.
This year they are all warmer with new roots growing into new compost and they are looking better than they have for years. Some are still a bit
unsteady in the pots but the bulbs are already growing larger and by next season they should have outgrown the indignity of the last few years.
Eucomis zambesiaca is one of the smaller growing species, with compact heads of white flowers at the start of the season.
In the heat it has grown taller than I have seen it before and it is using a lot more water.
20th July 2014
The bulb house gets warm through the day. It is easier to stand in the doorway and enjoy things from a distance. There is plenty of time to study
the detail in the evening while holding the end of a hose (it is a boring job, but it does allow time to look at things).
This Gladiolus was originally distributed as G. garnieri from seed collected in Madagascar but the name and the appearance have never quite
matched up. Current thinking is that this is a hybrid of G. dalenii collected as seed from the fringes of cultivation in Madagascar.
Whatever its origin, it has proved to be a good garden plant. It is hardy, flowers reliably and increases steadily. The first flower lasted for a day or
so in the heat, it would have been much better outside. The second flower lasted long enough for me to get a picture. Another plant that is appreciating
being repotted. I am hoping for a much better display next year.
20th July 2014
Watsonia pink hybrid
Watsonia have had a good year. They appreciate the heat of summer and this year they got an early start. This pale pink hybrid (W.pillansii Pale Pink
x 'Stanford Scarlet) was planted out a couple of years ago when I needed to find space for some pots of seedlings. It was stuck in the ground
with the thought that I would sort it out later, if any of them were any good.
It established well and although there are a couple of different clones in the clump, they are so similar it isn't important. One is slightly paler and significantly more
vigorous, so eventually the weaker one will die out without any need to meddle on my part. It has been in flower for three weeks and I think I will have it
for a couple more before I have to start saying how satisfying its leaves are again.
Last year I self-pollinated it to see if I could extract a bit more variation from the progeny. I still have the seed lying around somewhere.
Now the bulb house has been organised, there is at least a chance it will be sown.
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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