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

21st February 2010

Asarum splendens .
Although it has been another cold week, the relentless march of spring continues, and there are fat little buds all round the garden. About half an inch of slush fell on Friday night, so I woke up to a white(ish) garden, but it was green again by the evening.
In the greenhouse, the Asarum are stirring. This one is a fairly easy grower, and produces wonderful wrinkled inflated buds that elbow the compost aside as they expand and open. I have a couple of different clones, but I have never managed to get seed to set. Some variation in the silvery leaf pattern would be very useful.
Up in the woods, the Lesser Celandines seem to have produced every possible leaf patern imagineable. A few years ago I rescued some dark leaved seedlings from the edges of the compost heap (to avoid spreading them too far round the garden) and planted them in the woods. I got really close selecting a couple today with fabulous leaves, but there are too many dark leaved cultivars already so they stayed where they are (and I have no doubt I will have to fight off the urge to select them again next year)! I should plant more duplicates from the collection up there, and leave them to get on with it.

21st February 2010

Crocus sieberi .
This is one of the commonest of the spring Crocus but there is a delight about them in the sunlight that is quite wonderful. I planted a few surplus bulbs under an old sycamore a long time ago, hoping they would naturalise, which they haven't. I had in mind a carpet of Crocus tomasinianus under a cherry tree that I took for granted as a teenager without realising quite how much care it took to make them look quite so casual. It hasn't worked here, and 20 or so bulbs I planted in the woods to see if they would take off seem to have disappeared (or at least I have seen no signs of purple among the fallen leaves).
I have been so absorbed in sulking about the deficient purple carpet that I have almost missed their highlights. In a fit of irritation a few years ago, I planted two pots of bulbs on top of the boundary 'hedge' and now they are luminous as the low sun shines through the flowers. Good enough to plant two more pots of bulbs in flower yesterday. I may even remember to poke in some dry bulbs in the autumn (stranger things have happened).

21st February 2010

Helleborus x hybridus Apricot .
It has been a Hellebore week (though I have been distracted by a hundred other things). I went to the Hellebore sales day at Bosvigo House yesterday, and despite the fact that I have plenty of my own seedlings, I still managed to find a yellow I wanted (deeper in colour than any of mine) and a double green like a fat jade waterlily.
This apricot is one of my favourite plants in one of my favourite colours. I added a couple of similar young plants last year, to make a larger clump and help in the production of cherished little seedlings. So far, my own seedlings have veered recklessly towards spottiness, or else to a rather insipid pink (which I would otherwise ooze smug satisfaction over, but they aren't apricot - grrrr!)
Last year I made an effort to sort the plants into colour groups, and I am hoping that it will make a difference to the effect. At present I am still peering at the undergrowth trying to remember what it is that I am expecting to come up. Another couple of weeks and all will be abundantly clear.

21st February 2010

Lachenalia 'Namaqua' .
The Lachenalia seem like a distraction from the 'real' business of spring, since they sit in the greenhouse safe (I hope) from the potentially stormy tempest of the season, but there is a link. Since the first Narcissus of autumn I have been cheering myself with the sense of 'spring in waiting', and every new shoot has been important. However, as a person who would hardly count it a garden without a greenhouse, the thing that really cheers me is the first time I go into the greenhouse and feel the heat hit me. It was this morning!
Seeds to sow, plants to pot all the excitement of the growing season - and the Lachenalia !
I have grown them for year, always scurrying with them in winter to a warmer, and unfortunately darker, location. A couple of years ago I decided that they needed light more than they needed heat, and so far they have prospered. I was expecting last winter to damage them, and this year they have been frozen solid again. Although the leaves have been frozen, and there has been some damage, the flowers have continued to develop. One more example of being needlessly fussy in my winter precautions.

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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