Thats enough introduction - on with the plants!
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... out in the garden.
22nd May 2011
Rather a frantic week because I have been away for a couple of days and things don't stand still and wait for me to catch up. A drop of rain would have been nice
but it didn't arrive until last night. It didn't seem like a lot, but it filled up the water tanks so I can relax for a few days.
While I have been away the garden has been rushing into growth. A couple of weeks ago I was pleased to see the first shoots on this Dahlia and now it has
produced the first flowers. I raised these from seed a few years ago and they are deeper in colour than others I have seen, but there are
a number of slightly different strains about and this isn't distinct enough to be special, but still quite nice.
22nd May 2011
Roscoea 'Harvington Royale'
The Roscoea are now emerging after a long winter. The earliest if the R.cautleyoides have gone past the first flush of beauty (if
that's what you call it when the heads are filled with dead flowers).
Roscoea humeana has followed it in the same lilac or yellow colours, but with much larger flowers. Most of my plants flower on short stems
as soon as they break the surface, but Hugh Nunn at Harvington Nursery has bred some selections that flower from the top of tall leafy stems.
This one has rich purple flowers and is a good new addition to the forms available for gardens.
Last year I started planting Roscoea outside, and discovered that rabbits are very fond of eating them so I took a break over winter.
I have now fenced off a section of the shade border, and started planting out again. Hopefully they will prosper in new homes.
22nd May 2011
Pleione x barbarae
The Pleione season has finished, I have cleaned the old flowers from the plants, and the new leaves are well developed, but this single plant
has just produced a flower. It is a natural hybrid between P.bulbocodioides and P.grandiflora. The hybrid is said to be very
variable. I don't know if this is a late flowering clone or just a freakish late flower - perhaps it will flower at a more conventional season next year.
The Pleione have been doing better here since I started treating them like hardy Dendrobium. Kept dry through the winter and not watered
until the flower buds are showing, they are then fed and watered generously until the leaves start to yellow in the autumn, when they are dried off again.
Since I changed the management I have had bigger pseudobulbs and more flowers than ever before. It's a simple change, but it took me 30 years
to make it, which I find quite shocking. I have adapted to name changes faster than that!
22nd May 2011
And finally something common and weedy. Last year I was wondering why there weren't more selections of bindweed grown in gardens. Granted, it is a pestlential weed
but it flowers freely through the summer and it is easy to grow.
I have to admit that my interest was spurred on by my failure to flower some annual Morning Glory from seed ( I sowed them too late). As a consequence I started
looking around for the largest flowered forms of Calystegia I could find and for pink and bicolour forms to trial in pots.
Outside the bindweed is just starting to strangle things in the herbaceous border but in the greenhouse these buds have just opened. It has made a good clump of rhizomes
and the stems have run up a cane to make a tidy pot.
This one has large flowers with pale pink ribs - possibly it would be a darker colour outside but it is really quite impressive. I am hoping
that I can raise some variation from seed and maybe find something that isn't quite such a pestilential weed. I doubt I will ever convince anybody else that
they are worth growing but perhaps I will stumble across something special.
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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