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

17th February 2008

Helleborus x hybridus Blue .
Last year was without doubt a Helleborus year. I looked through the collection here, and set out to add some excellent seedlings in the colours that were poorly represented. It was great fun, I got some superb new plants, and produced a mass of seed, which has just started to sprout in the greenhouse. The next year or two will be spent pricking out and growing on, and then I expect I will have another Helleborus spectacular. This year I am concentrating on all the small spring flowers that got rather neglected last year, and there are certainly one or two problems to solve. All that aside, last year I obtained a few really beautiful blue flowered Helleborus seedlings, and this wonderful flower confirms that it was worth all the effort. Yodel-ay-hee-hoo!

17th February 2008

Viola odorata 'Annie' .
Back outside the sweet violets have started. Those still in pots have unsatisfactory growth, but a few flowers showing. Those in the woods are looking great, but no flowers yet. In general I am a bit pathetic with sweet violets, and I have a plan to get decent conditions for them sorted out this year - if in March I am showing endless pretty pictures of them and drooling saccharine gibberish all over the page, then you can assume I have succeeded. Plan 1 (growing them in pots) failed - they are too vigorous. Plan 2 (planting them in the woods) marginally successful, but the birds steal the labels so I forget what cultivars they are. Perhaps the accumulated experience will result in a succesful Plan 3. (Anything's possible I suppose.)

17th February 2008

Schlumbergera 'Homebase Orange' .
We have had such a mild winter so far that it would be easy to become complacent, but true to form the end of February is throwing some nasty stuff at us. The weather forecast has threatened four nights of -4C, but so far we have survived two of them without a frost. By Tuesday they are promising warm air and cloud, so fingers crossed. Cold air and a sharp wind made a good excuse to hide in the greenhouse and photograph this Schlumbergera which is just coming to its peak. I have no doubt it has a cultivar name, but it will take hours of research to find it (if it is possible) and much easier to refer to it as 'Homebase (where I got it) Orange (which it is)'. It has been tough and tolerant in an unheated conservatory.

17th February 2008

Hedychium longicornutum .
Among the floral huffing and puffing of early spring, a few seedlings have appeared, and I am especially delighted to have this. I have been trying to get hold of Hedychium longicornutum for years. In my opinion, it is one of the seriously tropical species, which accounts for its rarity . I had a small rhizome sent to me last year from the USA, but it rotted without ever showing signs of life. I have another from a UK supplier which can't possibly be the real thing (I may be forced to eat my words if it flowers) because it has grown in a cold greenhouse. This year I was sent a few seeds from Queensland, and they are now starting to germinate in a heated propagator, where they will stay until the top can no longer contain them. Flowers are still a little way off, I think...

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.
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