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

16th October 2008

Hedychium coccineum 'Yellow' .
The arrival of cold nights has emphasised the autumnal feel of the garden, and the Hedychium have stepped up a gear. The early season flowers are long gone, seed heads are forming, and we have moved into the hardcore of evergreen species and hybrids. There seems to be a tradition of taking any odd flowered evergreen plant and listing it as a form of H.coccineum. This yellow flowered plant is a case in point. The traditional next step would be to trumpet it as a hybrid with H.gardnerianum. The truth is, it is probably just a yellow flowered plant, collected in the wild somewhere and not recorded. Nobody really knows. Fortunately, it doesn't really matter. In time it will get a cultivar name, which it richly deserves. Last year it was a bit weak - it had been recently split, but this year it has been magnificent and every cane has produced a flower spike.

19th October 2008

Vanda 'Tamar View' .
Perhaps this is a warning that the winter is coming, and before long I will have to hide indoors and play with the other warmth lovers. This Vanda came from Tamar View Nurseries three years ago and I did not expect it to survive long - they are notorious for their love of warmth and humidity. I have been proved wrong. In the winter it hangs from a wire in the window in the spare bedroom. It isn't watered, just left to wait. As soon as the greenhouse feels warm when I go out there in the spring, the Vanda goes out, and I spray it with water from the hose as I walk past . For the third year I has rewarded me by flowering at the end of summer, so I might have to rethink my ideas about some of the tropical orchids. I may even start to grow a few deliberately instead of relying in the discount tables of the local retailers.

19th October 2008

Asteranthera ovata .
I grow a few Gesneriads, though most of mine are rather more herbaceous than this. A scrambling shrub from southern Chile where it sprawls around under the shade of moist mountain forests.
For some reason it has always eluded me. I have planned to add it to the garden, but not got any further than that, until I ran into this lovely specimen at Pan Global Plants. Much as I would love to take some credit, it was already in bud when I bought it last week, so the most I can claim is that in seven days I haven't killed it! I would love to have it scrambling around under the trees, and fortunately it is fairly easy to propagate, so that it is a more realistic aspiration than some of my garden plans. The herbaceous border, for example, will need serious second thoughts this winter and the sort of labour that generates new canals rather than floral decorations.

19th October 2008

Begonia sp. Argentina .
This little Begonia came up in a pot of Aspidistra from the USA last winter, and I have been quietly ignoring it. I had assumed that it was a B.semperflorens seedling, all very charming but not a thing to throw a party for.
Leap forward to this weekend, when on a visit to Cotswold Garden Flowers what should I see but my little pink Begonia and a footnote on the label - Hardy! Suddenly it has become a delightful occupant in the pot, and now I am going to have to take care to extract it carefully. I had left it to grow with the Aspidistra, assuming that it would perform for a season and then I could pull it out and throw it away. Now I am going to have to do some potting surgery to untangle the two. If it is really hardy, it will be a distinct addition to a very select club.

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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