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

13th December 2009

Aspidistra attenuata .
A sparkling cold end to the week. The rain has finally abated for a moment and the weekend has been filled with sunlight. Inevitably temperatures have plunged though we haven't fallen into frost yet, but the chilly spectre is looking our way. On the plus side, for the first time in months I was able to walk to the greenhouse without sinking into the oozing ground surface.
I finally closed the greenhouse door this afternoon. Temperatures in there are starting to fall enough to chill the Clivia. I have closed the door, so I had to switch the fan on to keep the air circulating or it all collapses into mildew and mush. This is the time of year when the Aspidistra make their biggest mark. The summer foliage has reached its peak and there are a few burgeoning buds. I repotted them all in spring and have demonstrated once agin how much they love to be fed and cossetted.
This fat and elegant flower belongs to A.attenuata, my plant comes from a collection by Crug Farm Plants (BSWJ 377) from an altitude of 1200m in Taiwan and the plant seems to be surprisingly hardy.

13th December 2009

Camellia 'Show Girl' .
Sunny dry weather inspired me to tramp round the garden looking for the usual suspects of mid-winter. This Camellia is a reliable old thing. I always expect to see her by New Years Day, but an appearance in mid december is noteworthy. There are masses of buds on the Camellia this year, so it could be that the profligate excess (and she goes for profligate excess in a big way) has allowed a few buds to mature early. She has a bigger sister, called 'Drama Girl' who is generally slower off the mark, but who has also been inspired to produce the odd flower this week. Just for the record, 'Glenns Orbit' has also obliged, a daughter of 'Donation', and if you don't know 'Donation', well, the Gods have been kind to you.
Quite by accident I was peering wistfully into the western setting sun this afternoon when I snapped to attention and realised I was looking straight at 'Debbie', who is still blissfullfy flowerless. She will spoil the spring with unwanted pinkness but it did remind me to start rehearsing for the now traditional annual ceremony of heaping spiteful invective on her grim saccharine noxiousness (I'm quite looking forward to it!)

13th December 2009

Hedychium flavescens 'Trelawney' .
I bought this from a garden centre a few years ago with a label that said 'Ginger Lily' or something equally vague. I wasn't sure at the time, but I couldn't recall seeing a plant before with such papery ligules, and these are the tiny details that stick in your mind and torture you for years after if you don't buy the plant. (A ligule is a tiny little flap of tissue at the base of a leaf - in the case of Hedychium it is usually a thin green membrane that encircles the stem at the point where the leaf emerges). I have at least learnt over the years to act at the time, and not assume that the uncertainty will somehow solve itself. Enquiries among a few friends clarified that none of us remembered seeing this sort of growth, so I'm glad I bought it at the time , or I would now be howling mad.
Over the last few years I have become more and more convinced that it is H.flavescens, but it has refused to flower until this year, when circumstances seem to have been just right! It is a rather pale form but it is very welcome in December.

13th December 2009

Mahonia x lindsayae 'Cantab' .
The Mahonia are a cheery sort of a crowd to have around a garden. They tend to be winter flowering, and they have an affection for yellow that would probably be tiresome at any other time of year but they are reliable, well mannered and worth a lot more trouble than they demand.
This is a new one to me, I got it from Pan Global plants and it isn't yet in the ground, but I have a space in mind for it. It is a hybrid between the tough M.japonica and the rather tender M.siamensis, which confers rather larger leaves, leaflets and flowers. Good one!

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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