Thats enough introduction - on with the plants!
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... out in the garden.
14th June 2009
Clivia Belgian Akebono .
It has been a strange week for weather - it started off rather cold for June and everything I had watered last weekend has stayed wet - in the case of the Hellebore
seedlings, rather too wet. By the end of the week the temperatures have gone up again and everything has dried out at once.
My standard tactic when the weather is misbehaving is to hide in the greenhouse and wait for it all to pass, and that was where I found this Clivia.
Not a surprise to find it perhaps (after all, I put it out there) but a surprise to find it looking so good.
This is a modern seedling that combines the best aspects of the Belgian strain of Clivia (good compact flower spikes, early flowering from seed, vigour)
with the marvellous Chinese Akebono variegation. When I got the seedling it had clearly inherited all the good Belgian genes, but the Akebono variegation was rather
slight, and I thought that I would have to raise another generation of seed from it to get a good plant, but this year it has divided and all the new growths
are coming up bright yellow green and looking splendid.
14th June 2009
Habranthus robustus .
I could have shown some of the Cornus this week, but they will get better in the next week (which is a way of avoiding saying that I didn't get any decent
pictures this week - I went out there in my shorts and was fought off by the brambles that have grown up around the trees - I came away feeling rather feeble!)
Habranthus robustus is a wonderful large flowered bulb that originated in Argentina, but it has spread throughout the world and is becoming a serious pest.
The black papery seeds spread easily and are produced with an abundance that makes the fecundity of rabbits look positively monastic.
The bulbs are amazingly tolerant of drought, and will flower immediately after rain, making sensational displays.
I have always grown it in a pot, and I love it dearly, even enough to forgive it when it turns up (from China) labelled Lloydia oxycarpa!
14th June 2009
Habranthus tubispathus .
I watered rather heavily last weekend, and flowers from the Rain Lilies are a welcome and inevitable consequence. I used to grow this as Habranthus andersonii
, under which name it slowly invaded all my pots of bulbs but has since been controlled and renamed. This is probably the form of Habranthus tubispathus
that is now called texensis (or sometimes Habranthus texanus). A species that produces copious seeds and then sheds them with an enthusiasm that
borders on recklessness.
It was a week of seed being shed! Last weekend I checked the Hellebores and the seed was not ready to harvest. Suddenly at the end of the week the weather
turned hot, and when I went up to check the Hellebores yesterday evening, the seed had already been shed. Once again I have spent a happy evening crawling
around on my hands and knees trying to scoop up spilled seed (with a spoon). All being well, I have managed to rescue enough to produce next years
seedlings - the remainder will just have to germinate where it has fallen.
14th June 2009
Anomatheca laxa albomaculata .
A pretty little bulb to end with. I have been growing a few new Anomatheca from seed - the rarer species have germinated rather poorly. I think I have lost
A.grandiflora, though the winter cold may have been the deciding factor. A.viridis flowered in January, and is so completely green that even in the flower
starved weeks at the start of the year it managed to pass un-noticed until the seed heads formed.
The bright red form of A.laxa is a wonderful thing and it is only pig-headedness that makes me grow the white one. This year I seem to have more of the red and
less of the white. Untangling the colours has become almost impossible, they seem to wander between the pots at will. Last spring I sowed some seed
of L.laxa albomaculata from the Alpine Garden Society and I was expecting some errant colours, so I am very happy to see these white flowers with a red mark.
There is also a blue flowered form, but I haven't got my hands on it yet!
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.
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about what is going on, if you are interested.
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