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

26th July 2009

Begonia grandis sinensis .
A week full of unexpected obstacles and opportunities. I am still levelling ground with the digger, so the rain that was threatened was a problem, but it didn't materialise so I made a lot of progress. The rain arrived this morning, and as a consequence this page was very nearly filled with waterlilies, and that is a long story...
Usually, I would have a stack of pictures ready by the weekend, but this week I have been busy, so I have taken some this morning in the greenhouse to escape the pouring rain. This Begonia has just started to flower and it is looking good under cover. I grow a couple of forms of "evansiana" ( which is now properly Begonia grandis ssp grandis ) and it performs well, but never makes me happy. Perhaps I have never quite got conditions right, but it is an interesting rather than favourite plant. This subspecies is a very similar plant in all respects, but it seems to get exactly right all of the little details that B.grandis grandis gets slightly wrong. Perhaps I'm just being picky!

26th July 2009

Eucomis bicolor .
Most of the Eucomis grow just inside the greenhouse door, and at this time of the year I am greeted by the smell of the flowers as I go in. The individual flowers are very pretty, but I think they are probably fly pollinated, the smell was clearly not intended to attract butterflies.
I grew a lot of seedlings a few years ago, but got bored with them and planted them out in the garden (where they are slowly being strangled by brambles). The few I kept in pots are showing significant variability in flower and some have much nicer markings than others, so I should really make an effort to select the best.
Last weekend I was at Kew doing some photographs of waterlilies, among other things. The Waterlily house was packed with people and so hot that a manned expedition to the surface of the sun no longer seems impossible (given some factor 20,000 sunblock and a few pairs of asbestos NASA sandals). I have never seen it so full. Long story short(er), I was doing some reckless close ups when the lense on the camera siezed solid and refuses to unlock (I have tried everything short of tickling it with a Dodo feather) so that is the end of that camera! You would have had to look at a the pictures of waterlilies I managed to take before the catastrophe, but a new camera arrived in the week and by next week I will probably understand how to work it!

26th July 2009

Gladiolus garnieri .
This Gladiolus has done well in a pot - I have managed to divide it into several plants and they are all coming into flower now. It is said to have originated in Madagascar but I am having trouble convincing myself that it is different from the widespread G.dalenii (one parent of the modern garden Gladiolus). The summer growing Gladiolus species are all producing flower spikes at the moment so there will be flowers for several months yet, but the first leaves of the winter growing bulbs are just starting to push through the ground. I woke up to drizzle this morning, and leapt out of bed to move the digger away from the newly excavated soil before it turned into a mud bath, and took the opportunity to check for Cyclamen flowers. Nothing showing yet under the trees, but I don't think they can be far away and they will herald the autumn.

26th July 2009

Zephyranthes 'Confection' .
A gigantic flowered hybrid that has performed well - I bought a number of new American cultivars last year and their performance has been variable. This one has produced large pink edged flowers and 'Confection' suits it perfectly. I don't have bursting potfuls of flowers yet but it has increased and the few flowers have been welcome. Some of the others have been a bit feeble - they have come through the winter, but not produced much more than a few dull leaves though they might have been building up subterranean reserves. Seed of some new species that I sowed in spring is just germinating and if past experience is anything to go by, will be wrongly named!
If things go according to plan, next week I can return to gardening with a spade rather than a Massey Furgusson.

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.
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