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

25th October 2009

Crocus sativus .
It has been a strange week, caught between summer and autumn. Warm days and chill nights. I finished an extension on the greenhouse last week, and so this week it has been back to looking after plants, potting things I should have done months ago etc etc. All a bit aimless and in between things. Today the clocks have gone back, which should at least move things forward into autumn decisively.
Quite suddenly the Saffron Crocus have burst into flower. Last time I looked I had bundles of leaves pushing upwards and now the flowers seem to have appeared without stretching to the luxury of buds.
I have trouble growing it from year to year, but I am going to try harder this year and see if I can crack the problem. It has previously been grown in the UK on a field scale as a commercial source of Saffron, so it must be possible. The bulbs are now very cheap, I wonder if it would be commercially viable again?

25th October 2009

Hedychium 'Sherry Baby' .
The Hedychium have had a wonderful year. All sorts of things have flowered that I wasn't expecting to perform, however this one has been much more reliable. There are a lot of named hybrids, but I find the dark orange and pink ones difficult to flower, so this one is outstanding for its reliability. It flowered the first year I got it, and has performed every year since. It has remained short growing, even in the greenhouse and survived last winter in a small pot without excessive damage. This would be my number one choice for Hedychium hybrids!

25th October 2009

Nerine 'Amy Doncaster' .
A rather good N.sarniensis hybrid from Amy Doncaster's garden. When I first got it, I was a little uncertain about its parentage because it looked like a fairly typical N.bowdenii form to me, but this year it has a distinctly salmon tinge which makes it stand out. It is also very late in the Nerine season and it should extend flowering well into November.
Although I haven't shown many of them here, it has been a good year for the Nerine and I am trying to track down some more forms to build up the collection. I have also been poking about with a paintbrush to get some hybrid seed. Last years trial produced a few seeds that have germinated and formed some nice little bulbs, so I think I will travel a litle further in that direction.

25th October 2009

Schlumbergera 'White Christmas' .
Another group that have done surprisingly well are the Schlumbergera. I got intersted in them a few years ago, grew as many as I could fit on a windowsill indoors, and then stopped. They were moved out into the conservatory to see it they would cope at lower temperatures, and although I lost one or two, the majority have been fine. Another genus where I think I will be looking for some more to grow (although their bench space in the greenhouse has been temporarily swallowed up by some Cycads, but they will have to be moved).
'White Christmas' seems to manage some early flowers every year. The larger it gets the better it performs, and it will still save a few buds to open in the spring.
And the pressing question of the moment is - how much courage do I have when it comes to the Epiphyllum? I think they are coming inside again this year, but I might try an offshoot in the greenhouse to see if it survives (I tried it last year as well, and lost my nerve in December, so I didn't actually learn anything).

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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