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

13th September 2009

x Amarine 'Wildside' .
It has been a bit of a bulbous week. Dry weather and sunshine have started off a glowing autumn, and flowers have been popping up all over. The Nerine start as small shoots at the side of the bulb, and suddenly they are in full flower. This hybrid from Wildside Nursery (Amaryllis x Nerine) produces larger flowers than the Nerine in a pinker shade of pink. The next step will be to get hybrids with broader petals and the same fragile pinkness as Amaryllis, though I haven't seen it set seed yet (but I haven't tried very hard to persuade it either).
The decent weather means that garden plans get changed at the last minute - I was planning to finish the benching in the greenhouse yesterday, but the ground was dry, so I dug out some stumps instead. It has to be done in the meadow before the Narcissus start to emerge, so if it isn't done now it will have to wait for next summer. There are a couple of cherry trees up there that I wouldn't miss as well, but I'm not sure I have the energy at present.

13th September 2009

Bessera elegans .
An entirely new bulb for me - I have seen it in the catalogues but never tried to grow it. I think I am turning into an old fuddy-duddy. It lacks the comfort of familiarity so I have shunned it rather, like a phytophobe in a foreign meadow. In this case, foreign means Mexico so I should really have got my act together sooner. (I treat Spigelia marilandica in the same way, and I really need to get over it - perhaps I'm just humming-bird-pollinated-o-phobic, I'm sure there's a word for it, please don't write and tell me!)
I saw this one at last weeks NCCPG (I mean Plant Heritage) sale at Rosemoor, grown by Forde Abbey Nursery and it is so wonderful that I overcame my timidity. Astonishing scarlet flowers on strong thin stems, I have also heard rumours of purple and coral forms, but have never seen either. The long strong leaves are (I think the kindest word is) lax, possibly decumbent, prostrate, floppy, sprawling, ground hugging or flat but not offensively untidy. It would be wonderful scattered around the garden but I doubt it would like my winter wet.

13th September 2009

Zephyranthes 'Bangkok Yellow' .
A hybrid Zephyranthes that can trace it's roots back through the hands of a number of plantsmen to a market stall in Bangkok. Tony Avent thinks it is Z.citrina x Z.candida and I can't comment because every time I grow Z.citrina it turns out to be Habranthus tubispathus, and I have grown a lot of stocks from a lot of different people. The species are very mixed up, I'm not sure whether to blame hybrids or bastards.
Once again this year I have been paying close attention to the plants as they flower, and once again it hasn't left me any wiser. It may be the next step down the road to lunacy, but I think I am going to have to build a greenhouse for them and grow one bulb to a pot until I have them sorted.
In the sunlight this afternoon, this one was not looking all that yellow but I have just been out to see it again, and in the evening light it has a distinctive clotted creamyness that stops (a long way) short of buttery yellow.

13th September 2009

Gladiolus oppositiflorus ssp. salmoneus .
I have a pair of shoes that were the unrecognised delight of my pedestrian life. Isn't it a pity that we only recognise it as they start to break down? They were comfortable and convenient and supportive without being clingy. Well, soon they will be unwearable and it is a tragedy.
And so to Gladiolus, which are a delight of my horticultural life and which I try to recognise. Every year I seem to find more of them to grow, and they all have a moment of wonder supported by a season of rather ordinary foliage. A couple of them came and went in the summer in a flash but there have also been wonders for winter, spring and now autumn.
I first saw this a few years ago in a local nursery as a mass of pots packed with flowering bulbs, and I didn't buy one (kicked myself for a long time about that). I finally obtained a single bulb sprouting rather pathetically out of a three inch pot, but it has prospered, and is starting to perform. Wonderful salmon pink flowers, it has done well in a pot, but I think it would take a bit more summer wet than I supply. I'm hoping for enough seed to grow a sensation.

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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