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

30th August 2009

Acis rosea .
I has been a grey and overcast week, and it would be easy to think that nothing much was happening. The roads are packed with summer holidaymakers, but in the garden the autumn is burgeoning, there are flowers and new growth bursting out all over.
Acis rosea popped up in the greenhouse, and is the most delightful tiny little thing. The genus has recently been split off from Leucojum, but there have been suggestions that they will soon have to be recombined. I have only had it for a year, and this is the first time it has flowered. I was told they were sweetly scented, but I haven't detected it myself. The species is found in small areas on Corsica and Sardinia.
I have been more or less ignoring it in the pot since I got it, but now it has flowered I have been looking for more information, and there doesn't seem to be much out there, which suggests that it isn't all that successful in gardens.

30th August 2009

Habenaria radiata .
I am always delighted when Habenaria radiata flowers. When I was younger I managed to kill it repeatedly and so it's survival from year to year is a matter of delight, and the flowers are a quite extraordinary bonus. I keep it in a pot under the same conditions as the Sarracenia and it is slowly increasing, though I can't exactly claim to be over-run with them!
They grow naturally in China, Japan, Korea and Russia, and are declining throughout the range.

30th August 2009

Hedychium gracillimum .
Almost by accident, a few years ago I obtained a small rhizome of Hedychium gracillimum, and it has been another one of those plants that has teetered on the brink of oblivion in the collection here. It originates from a small area of northeastern India and is one of the species that needs to be warm through the winter. It has been slow to get going in the spring and as a consequence it doesn't manage to produce flower buds until late winter, and even on a windowsill they fail to open.
It dies back alarmingly in January, as though the strain of winter has finally got the better of it and the first time it happened I was convinced it was dead, and popped it in a heated propagator in a last ditch attempt to save it. Fortunately, it is just a seasonal grower and a spell in the warmth in spring does it a lot of good. This year I forgot it was in there until june, by which time the new growths were bent almost horizontal by the lid, but as a consequence of the extra heat has immediately produced flower spikes in the greenhouse, so I get to enjoy it in flower for the first time.
When it comes out of the greenhouse in a few months it may well go straight into the propagator for the remainder of the winter, and maybe I will eventually have enough to start splitting it!

30th August 2009

Mahonia nitens .
There is something irresistible about Mahonia - I have a bit of a thing for the Berberidaceae anyway, but the Mahonia have something special (even the bad ones, and there are a few!) Over the years I have grown a few, and killed a few, but we are in a wonderful age of new introductions so there are plenty of new ones to try out.
Roy Lancaster has just written a review of the new introductions from China (The Plantsman, March 2009) and I was so impressed with the bright red sepals of this one that I took the first opportunity to obtain it. It is still sitting in a pot, but the flowers have been a charming addition to late summer. I am still slowly changing the layout of the garden, but I am starting to get to the point where I know how much space I have for new things, and with luck I will find a safe home for it during the winter. I assume it will be capable of producing some curious orange flowered hybrids, so there is plenty to look forward to, and I will be taking care to keep the birds off the promised "bloomy purple-black fruits".

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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