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

8th November 2009

Bomarea distichifolia .
It seems to have rained all week - there have been a couple of days when I have set out with good intentions, but it seems that good intentions are water soluble because shortly after I get soaked to the skin they get abandoned. Who would have thought life would be dominated by an existential solution!
I'm going to leave that there!
This Bomarea is a recent addition to the greenhouse. I know the genus from the climbing herbaceous species that always promise so much, but never quite seem to deliver (at least not here), and I have a long term objection to plants that resent root disturbance (I'm a bit meddlesome and I change my mind a lot). As a consequence, if I had seen this on a list I would have ignored it but fortunately I saw it in the flesh and I was hooked. Low clumps of foliage that don't climb, the small orange flowers are interesting rather than impressive and are followed by small orange berries that are equally decorative. It comes from Ecuador and Bolivia at elevations of 1500m to 3600m so it should be hardy here, and it is a cloud forest species. This one needs repotting into a larger pot to keep the moisture content more stable. The flower colour varies from orange to yellow so I am hoping that seedlings will show some variability.

8th November 2009

Hedychium 'Kanogie' .
By this time of the year the Hedychium have divided into two groups, those that have performed spectacularly and those that are promising but relying on a spell of good weather (and will probably disappoint).
This one has been a disappointment in previous years, but it has finally produced a bloom for me. I got it from Plant Delights in North Carolina, but the origins of the cultivar remain obscure. It is tall, with good orange flowers that are rather tightly clumped at the head of the cone. I have just repotted it to give it some space to expand and I hope to have space to plant it in the garden eventually (the herbaceous border is going to go - I just don't have the time it needs to maintain it).
If we get another month of frost free weather, some of the 'promising' canes will make it into flower but this is the season for not counting my chickens before they hatch.

8th November 2009

Ipheion sessile .
I was pleased to get some bulbs of this during the summer. I have an attraction to the Ipheion because they seem to perform at odd seasons. They have unmistakeable oniony foliage without having oniony flowers (which I can admire in other peoples flower arrangements without really needing them in the garden - they have lovely leaves and lovely heads of flowers, but rarely manage the two things at the same time). Having said that, this one is rather like a small onion!
There were a couple of interesting events in London yesterday, and I got there early, so I was able to spend an hour in Wisley en route. Naturally, they had a burgeoning pot of this Ipheion in the alpine house demonstrating that each bulb produces several flowering stems and makes a significant impact (I have three flowers, but I'm prepared to be patient). A second advantage of the visit was the sunny weather enjoyed by the south-east.

8th November 2009

Pelargonium sidoides and Pelargonium rodneyanum .
When I was a mere stripling horticulturalist with an enquiring mind and a full head of hair, there were no reliably hardy Pelargonium being cultivated. That was when I developed my affection for P.endlicherianum, and I am slowly discovering a few more that are hardy if they can be kept dry. Not much chance of that here of course. The dogs have turned my limited front garden into the 'Northern Mud' and the rest of the garden has sunk into 'The Great Southern Sludge' so I don't think I will ever have any of the species outside, but in the greenhouse they do well.
P.sidoides has been producing its maroon flowers since may and I have started to overlook it, it has been so reliable.
P.rodneyanum is a tuberous species from Australia that seems to be surprisingly easy to grow. I assume it appreciates cultivation in the UK where it escapes its major predators - kangaroos and wombats!
A few Pelargonium hybrids have been raised from some of the hardier species - 'Splendide' has been in all the nurseries this year, but so far I haven't had one that survived the winter under glass. Plenty of room for future developments!

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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