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

25th January 2009

Galanthus nivalis .
Around the garden there are snowdrops of all descriptions pushing up and opening their flowers. The forecast for the week was promising rain all the way, but in reality the rain has come at night, and we have had some sensational sunny days. As a consequence of the threat of rain I habe spent most of my spare time this week down in the greenhouse repotting things, ready for the spring growth. A few trips round the garden with a camera on the bright days have been well repaid. This may be the commonest of the snowdrops but it can also be one of the most magnificent and glow in the sunlight.
I have planted a few more from pots this spring, and I have marked some of the clumps so that I can lift and split them during late summer. I have always split them in the green before, but I have never been entirely happy with the results, so I will try it when they are dormant this year. I am treating it as a trial. Many of the less common varieties are going to need splitting next year, and if this works I might try it when they are dormant.

25th January 2009

Hamamellis mollis 'Pallida' .
One of the great benefits of cutting down the trees at the edge of the Hellebore beds has been the extra space created for planting. Much of it will be swallowed up by more Hellebores, but along the edge I want a hedge of shrubs to act as a windbreak. Most will have to be Camellia (because I already have a lot in pots that need planting out - necessity being the mother of design) but there will also be room for a few old favourites. The Hamamellis mollis by my front door was removed two years ago, when I needed access for builders and other dull practicalities, so this is a replacement, where it should be safe from disturbance!.
To my mind, 'Pallida' is the best of the cultivars available, by a long way. The flowers are a lot paler than the typical form and make a much greater impact. It isn't quite as strongly scented (but I have space for the typical one as well - whoopee!). I have also bought young plants of H. x intermedia 'Diane', just in order to have a red one really, and 'Arnold Promise' which is very tall and tough, though rather poor in flower. Years ago I planted a group of them in a clients garden and it was too big, too coarse and too slow to flower, but too valuable to replace once those faults became clear! Hopefully, I can afford the space if it turns into a sackful of unsatisfaction.

25th January 2009

Iris reticulata 'George' .
The forms of Iris reticulata are one of my favourite surprises of early spring. They take no effort at all in pots ,though they don't seem to do so well in the ground here. 'George' is a good reddish purple, and although the flowers don't last very long they make such a powerful impact that they are well worth the trivial effort it takes.

25th January 2009

Ranunculus ficaria seedling .
The Lesser Celandines all adore spring sunshine. They grow well enough on the overcast days, but a day of sun brings out the shine!.
This is a seedling raised here from a deliberate cross between 'Aurantiacus' and 'Double Mud'. This isn't the intended end result (double orange) but it is a lovely plant en route. The seedlings raised from the cross will be pollinated among themselves in the hope of raising some good plants in the next generation. I picked out this pale primrose seedling last year, and it has been good again this year, but I don't think it is distinct enough to keep, except for the double genes it carries.
It is growing in the greenhouse, and for the first time this year I have had to water in there so things are hotting up, even if I am still wearing three jumpers when I go out there!

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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