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

27th September 2009

Biarum tenuifolium abbreviatum .
This Biarum has been one of the surprises of the autumn. I grew it many years ago, before I really understood its growth cycle, and it didn't last for long. A couple of years ago I bought this one, and it has slowly grown larger, but I wasn't expecting flowers yet. It suffers through the summer - it would prefer to be bone dry, but it grows on the same bench as the summer growing aroids, and it gets a bit of water by accident. Fortunately, it seems to be quite forgiving.
I am also very pleased by the performance of B.marmarisense. I bought it late last spring, as it was dying back, and when I repotted it all of the growing stems fell apart - I ended up replanting some dying stems, convinced that I had destroyed it. (Everything gets repotted on arrival here - you would not believe the awful media people use in pots). The flower of this one is magnificent, but I am just as happy to see a few green shoots from B.marmarisense to demonstrate that I didn't kill it in spring.

27th September 2009

Gladiolus crassifolius .
I am very fond of Gladiolus species. I have a little bit of time for the giant flowered hybrids, but not enough time to grow them myself. The species that I grow take almost no effort and give me flowers at the most unexpected times through the year.
I bought the seed of this one from Silverhill Seeds in South Africa and sowed it in April 2007. The pot sits in a saucer, and gets watered when I remember. Last year I repotted the whole thing into a large pot, and this year it has come up to flower.
The small white flowers don't seem to be scented, but there are several open at once on the spike and the whole thing is rather charming.

27th September 2009

Oxalis massoniana .
Another one of the satisfying apearances of autumn has been this South African Oxalis. It is slowly spreading among alpine growers and is another one of those things that has a long dry dormancy through summer. It wasn't expected to be very hardy but it seems to survive in a cold glasshouse. It was still flowering last winter when the really cold weather hit, and I thought it was going to be one of the casualties of the cold. The stems died off and I have had to control the urge to check through the compost for bulbs all through the summer (I was quite convinced it was dead).
Fortunately, I left it alone and I have been rewarded by a small but perfectly orange flower. It should continue to produce them until next spring warms up.
On Friday I saw it growing as a big pan in the alpine house at Wisley where it made a great splash of anarchic orange among the rather posed elegance of the massed ranks of Cyclamen, and it was quite delightful.

27th September 2009

Galanthus peshmenii .
The end of summer has a rather flamboyant character. Many of the plants I grow are slightly flippant and will crumble to mush when the cold weather starts. This snowdrop is a rather different thing. It is a representative of the hardcore horticulture that will carry on delivering flowers through the worst of the winter and come to a peak as the first promise of spring arrives.
It comes from Turkey, and was only described in 1994 - material had previously been confused with G.reginae-olgae. It originally had a reputation for being rather tender, and the first introduction was probably not very tough, but more recent introductions seem to be stronger. This one came through last winter in a pot in the greenhouse, and wasn't damaged, though I don't think I am ready to try it outside yet.
This is the first to flower here, and I don't have a lot of autumn snowdrops, so I won't be seeing a lot more until the new year. 'Moccas' will probably be the first (possibly arriving in the last days of december) but there are a few clumps of other cultivars that may surprise me.

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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