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

10th May 2009

Nothoscordum gracile .
Out comes the sun and strange things start erupting from the ground. I was sent seed of Tulbaghia capensis and this is what came up. I have been hoping that I would stumble over a decent name for it if I waited long enough, but nothing has arrived, so I asked the question on an Internet Forum , and this is the answer that came back. I was confused because it doesn't smell of onions, but one of its synonyms is Nectaroscordum inodorum which explains it!
I also learnt that it is a pesky weed and impossible to eradicate if it gets established, but fortunately it is still in a pot and it will be staying there. I am not planning to let it set seed. It is quite attractive, but I would rather have had the Tulbaghia!
The first qualms of summer crossed my mind in the week. The Hellebore seed will be starting to ripen, and although I didn't go and check it, I will have to next week or I risk losing it. Last years seedlings have been potted, so there is space to sow it at last.

10th May 2009

Dactylorhiza sphagnicola .
This was the first of the Dactylorhiza orchids to flower. It has spent the winter sitting in a tray of water, and I have worried about it suffering from a host of malign rots or swooning with the vapours or otherwise absenting itself from spring, but it has stayed and increased so I am happy.
The Northern Marsh Orchid, Dactylorhiza purpurella, should have prospered under the same conditions but in this case the vapours got it. When I went looking for the tuber, there was nothing but an empty space beneath the compost so next time I try it I will keep it a bit drier.

10th May 2009

Gladiolus angustus .
The legion of Gladiolus continues to march through the season. This is the most recent and is a winter growing species from the Western Cape, though it is so late in the season that many of the European spring flowering species have beaten it into bloom. Before long the large flowered hybrids will start to flower and I will ignore the genus for the rest of the year. I admire the large flowered cultivars, but their sole role is to be thrown at audience members by Dame Edna Everage. Just heavy enough to connect, but not heavy enough to stun or seriously injure.
For some reason that escapes me at present, I am not yet accompanied through life by an audience in need of Gladiolus pacifiers, and I resrict my choices to the species and smaller hybrids.

10th May 2009

Roscoea cautleyoides 'Early Yellow' .
The best new thing of the week has been the return of the gingers, and that is saying a lot, because it has been a good week all round. I have been twitching for a week or two waiting for the new shoots to appear. Rationally, I know they will come but every year I get a moments doubt that I might have killed them all while dormant. The Hedychium have done nothing to relax me - winter temperatures cut them all down to ground level and I have been walking up and down looking for the new red shoots as they appear. Fortunately most of them have started to grow now. I will have lost a few, but the bulk of the collection has survived.
With luck (and patience) the Roscoea will follow suit - every day sees a new one appear and the pace can only increase.
This year, 'Early Yellow' has been the first to flower, though it has been followed by a couple of other forms of the species, and a lemon yellow seedling of R.humeana. By the time they finish, the Hedychium will be going mad, and then it will be Christmas again!

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.
If you want to contact me, the address is infoMONKEYjohnjearrard.co.uk
When typing the address in, please replace MONKEY with the more traditional @ symbol! I apologise for the tiresome performance involved, but I am getting too much spam from automated systems as a result of having an address on the front page.