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

1st March 2009

Camellia 'Brushfield's Yellow' .
1st March has always been a turning point for me. Months ago the process of bringing things in for winter started, and I have had months of cowering from the potential for cold. 1st March has always been a trigger day to start moving things out again. The tougher Fuchsia can go out (haven't done it), I should check the Dahlia (haven't done it) and bring the Rhodohypoxis out from under the benches (haven't done it). A beautiful spring day I should spend some time just enjoying - and I did plenty of it!
The Camellia have started their spring assault on the senses. 'Brushfield's Yellow' is an odd thing, yellow in parts, but pure enough as a white to escape the appearance of frosted flowers. The same shape as the despicable 'Debbie' , which is also in flower and looks like something that has dripped onto the floor undeneath a candy-floss machine.

1st March 2009

Helleborus x hybridus 'Double Queen'. .
Another warm week has helped the Hellebores towards a seasonal crescendo, though there are still plenty of good things to push up out of the ground. I always try to select the earliest flowering plants for the garden, so that I can enjoy them in January, but there are always a few that try to sleep until summer. This plant comes from the 'Double Queen' strain - I have a couple of white flowered plants with distinct spots, and I hope that at least one of them will turn out to be a good mother plant. It might just be my imagination, but the 'Double Queen' strain seems to be improving rapidly year by year. Early examples were rather tedious grubby colours (and there are still a lot of pinks even uglier than the Hilliers Double Pink strain, which is saying a lot), but now there are some good whites and spotted forms among them.
Dry sunny weather has also been perfect for sex, though when it is between Hellebores I suppose I should call it pollination. I think it still counts. Certainly I have aches in some very strange places!

1st March 2009

Helleborus x hybridus 'Crimson Ruffles' .
I have shown this here before, but it has been just sensational today. A new strain of seedlings from Robin White at Blackthorn Nurseries. The red colour of the petals is rather variable between seedlings, and the dark ruff (of petaloid nectaries) are paler in some, but I haven't seen one yet that fell short of beautiful.
Fortunately I had the sense to buy two plants when I saw them, so I can raise some more (if they deign to set seed). I would buy some more if I saw them!
Down between the greenhouses, I have rows of pots of last years seed springing up like mustard and cress so there should be plenty to look forward to. My own advice to Sarracenia growers has always been to keep the seedlings moving, and I should remember to take it when it comes to Hellebores. If they spend too long in the same pot, they stagnate and the growth rate drops to zero. There will always be a few feeble seedlings that don't grow enough to repot with the others, but they are best discarded rather than hold them all back until they are ready.

1st March 2009

Ranunculus ficaria Orange seedling .
The Lesser Celandines are starting to look good - another group of plants that had been in the same pots for too long! I finished repotting them all about three weeks ago, and already they are booming. This is the first seedling I have raised with orange flowers, and so is cause for a small celebration. Its parents are 'Coppernob' and 'Double Mud' so I have put it aside to be self pollinated. The next generation have potential to do almost anything, but it should be exciting. I have some yellow flowered seedlings from the same cross, but somehow they don't seem so interesting.

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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