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

28th November 2010

Camellia 'Snow Flurry'.
A cold slow week where nothing much has happened until it snowed!
We were supposed to get a light scattering of snow on Friday night as a low pressure system moved south across Wales but it didn't quite work out that way. While I was asleep, the snow just carried on south until it hit us and deposited a couple of inches on the garden. A couple of miles further south and west all they got was the promised light dusting, so it was quite localised.I'm not sure if that is a good or a bad thing. I made a snowman.
The Camellia in the garden haven't really started yet - the C.sasangua forms are still too small to flower (and too overgrown - kept meaning to clear the weeds, didn't get around to it). I grow 'Yuletide' which should manage its scarlet single flowers by December, but I haven't had a bud on it since I planted it out three years ago. It was an impulse purchase, and I'm sure I won't regret it, but nothing yet.
This is 'Snow Flurries' which I have had for a couple of years, but only got planted out this summer. I photographed it yesterday in the snow and overnight we had the first sharp frost of the year so this morning it is yellowed and about to fall. I have no idea what the temperature fell to, my thermometer broke off the greenhouse wall in the wind a week ago - it's days of recording catastrophe finally ended.

28th November 2010

Crocosmia 'Golden Ballerina' .
The snow caught the last flowers in the herbaceous border and made some odd combinations. This hybrid Crocosmia is very like C.aurea in shape and colour, but it seems to be hardy. I have grown a number of selections of C.aurea and they are all dead now (with the exception of one plant that never flowers and probably isn't the real thing) following two extreme winters.
This one is a good substitute, and has been producing occasional flowers for months now, but I think this will be the last.
The remainder of the herbaceous border came to an end last night. The Dahlias and the Fuchsias are just blackened mush, a few Nerine flowers out there have been destroyed, so all there is to hope for is Iris unguicularis. I saw some in flower in St.Ives during the week, so there could easily be buds forming, but I am getting a problem with rabbits grazing the leaves down to the ground. I may have to act.

28th November 2010

Aspidistra daibuensis BSWJ 312b.
Plenty of reasons to hide in the greenhouse this week. I saw this in flower earlier but only had time for pictures this morning. Bright light bouncing off the snow so there were no problems with exposure (well, I was a bit cold, but you know what I mean) so I can't explain why I have taken the picture from such a preposterous angle (and now I am warm and dry again I'm not going out there to try a second time).
This is a Crug Farm collection from the side of the South Cross Highway in Southern Taiwan. They describe the location as well drained and densely shaded, which matches conditions in the conservatory quite well. It has expanded to fill a large pot, and will probaby produce a division to try outside next year. It has resisted the cold under cover without problems so far.

28th November 2010

Lachenalia bulbifera 'George' .
The first of the Lachenalia to flower here, and only just open. I am showing it now in case the weather next week finishes them all for the year. The leaves get destroyed by a hard frost, so although the bulbs survive, they are seriously weakened. However, they have managed where they are for the last couple of bad winters so I'm not going to do anything reckless like moving them this year. I might try covering them with a bit of fleece, and some of the duplicates will go under the bench where they will be warmer (a good thing) and darker (not a good thing). It is a form of spreading the risk - the ones in the sun will get frosted and the ones in the dark will go mouldy. Difficult to be optimistic when you have cold toes.
A friend with a nursery has given up on Lachenalia because they flower before anybody is about to buy them, a local cut flower grower has dropped them because they get damaged too easily, and the bedding plant market tried them and gave up because they have a short season in flower (when forced for the summer market). It is a pity that a genus with such a great range of characteristics still hasn't found a niche market that pays, despite the sums that have been spent on breeding new hybrids.
This is 'George', a recent selection of a species that varies from orange-scarlet to red. Unfortunately my plants were raised from seed, and I think it is a clonal cultivar so they don't really deserve the name.

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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