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

9th February 2009

Liquidambar styraciflua 'Worplesdon' .
I don't think the snow has escaped anyones notice this week (although they tell me that Plymouth has yet to be submerged in it). It arrived here on Tuesday and the temperature promptly went up, and kept on going up until wednesday evening, by which time it was all gone. If we have to have snow, that was about the right amount. Made a snowman, watched the village kids sliding down the hill, had some hot chocolate, went to bed and when I woke up it was all gone. With luck it will get the hint, and not come back!
While it was all happening, the garden was fascinating. I waited all last autumn for a short moment when this Liquidambar caught the sun on the red leaves. It was pretty, but never quite spectacular. This dusting of snow looks far more impressive, though it only lasted a few hours in this state. Makes me wish I had planted a 'wedding cake' Cornus a few years ago, but I didn't!

9th February 2009

Helleborus torquatus Montenegran Double .
The snow was impressive, but it would be a mistake to wallow in it. We have had more sunshine than snow this week and although there has been a determined chill in the air, spring continues to unfold from the soil. The Hellebores were all weighed down with snow, and one or two stems snapped, but mostly they have bounced up again as soon as the snow melted. These double forms of Helleborus torquatus are seedlings derived from Elizabeth Strangman's 'Dido' . I have two of them sheltering under an Ash tree where they are almost invisible, but happy enough. If I could, I would have raised a thousand seedlings to plant around the garden, but I have yet to get any seed to set.
I have a few more Hellebores to put out in the beds, but at this time of the year many of the young and non-flowering plants have not appeared above the ground, so rather than risk digging them up, I will wait for a few more weeks.

9th February 2009

Asarum splendens .
In the greenhouse, the Asarum have started to grow. One or two have suffered from the cold, but most are on the move. The flowers swell up like wrinkled ballons at the soil surface, and then suddenly burst open. Asarum splendens is one of the vigorous ones, currently pushing its rhizomes out through the bottom of the pot.
They all need splitting and repotting, and it really has to be done this year (I avoided it last year by making excuses and cutting down trees, which was very macho of me, but didn't get the job done).With luck, it will increase their vigour without giving them too much of a shock.

9th February 2009

Galanthus nivalis 'Lady Elphinstone' .
All the snowdrops fell flat on their faces when the real snow arrived. I have quite a lot of 'Lady Elphinstone' now (it makes nice strong clumps, all you have to do is wait 20 years!) and I have been scowling at it for a couple of weeks. She is renowned for having a green complexion when she should really be yellow, and all of this years flowers have been green. Usually, the second flower from the bulb is yellower than the first so I have been glaring, and waiting. Finally, I have found one performing as it should! There is a rumour that some forms are yellower than others, but all I ever hear from other growers is the sort of whining I have been doing about how green they are , so I think they are just rumours.
Clumps of double yellow flowers and other pipe dreams. It will keep my mind off my cold feet as I repot the Asarum !
(And I have softened the scowl).

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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