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

19th April 2009

Bletilla striata .
Bletilla are rather like swallows in the sense that neither appear until summer is in the air (though days can still be unconfortably cold at the moment). Both have appeared this week. I have only seen one swallow so far, hawking flies rather desperately over some gorse scrub. One swallow may not make a summer, but I only have one Bletilla flower open as well, so the analogy holds.
After the chaos of last week, and a delightful trip to Essex that left me with a box of new plants, it was nice to have some time to settle down and sort things out. I had a smug look at the new terrace (which is still flat!), burnt down a shed (unwanted), and found some more space for the Epimedium, which should keep things on track for a couple of months. All in all, a satisfying week.

19th April 2009

Fritillaria meleagris .
The daffodils have finished in the meadow, and a couple of years ago I planted a few Fritillaria bulbs, to extend the interest a bit. Last year I had three flowers, and this year I have six, so I think things are moving forward. They are quite delightful in detail, or with the sun behind them. From a distance they look a bit like wind blown litter in the grass, but it is a small drawback. The white ones stand out much more (I only wish I liked them).
The grass is growing quite fast now and will have to be cut soon, so the fritillaries might be a mistake, but it was worth a try.

19th April 2009

Scadoxus puniceus .
This Scadoxus has been a surprise. I bought it last year from Tale Valley Nursery (who get a mention because of the amazing things they are producing). I was not at all sure it would take the cold of winter, but it was undamaged in the cold greenhouse and has come straight up into flower.
I was expecting the scape bracts to be brighter red. It may be a confused year, there may be better forms, or it may always be this strange colour. Makes me want to try a few more of the Scadoxus species. I used to grow S.multiflorus (or was it S.katherinae, I never really knew what the difference was) in a warm greenhouse, and I am quietly amazed that it might be cold tolerant.
I have also been surprised at how little damage there has been on the Lachenalia, another South African genus that I once grew in larger numbers, and should revisit!

19th April 2009

x Homoglad 'West Coast Hybrid' .
I have had blue and red (ish) Gladiolus already this spring, so a yellow one (sens lat.) makes a full set of primary colours. When this hybrid was first made (by Collingwood Ingram) it was between Homoglossum watsonianum and Gladiolus tristis. These are similar seedlings from the cross, that originated in the USA, hence the new name. To be technically correct, Homoglossum has now been absorbed into Gladiolus, so these are now pure Gladiolus hybrids, but somehow the old name sticks.

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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