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

16th May 2010

Narcissus 'Pippit'.
Things change in the garden, and the almost random nature of that change never ceases to surprise me. I can have grand plans or small plans and I can have both the skill and the pig-headedness required to make them happen, but suddenly at the last moment events seem to seem to coalesce into a form of their own. It is very satisfying.
For as many years as I can remember I have grown Tulipa 'Apeldoorn' in the front garden. Every year I buy a few more and a few from previous years flower. It is a small splash of perfect red followed by a rapid decadent decay, all sprawling broken petals and shiny black hearts. Nothing subtle or underplayed but a magnificent full throated tragic floral opera. Unfortunately, a couple of years ago 'Apeldoorn' was replaced by an imposter in the bag of bulbs I bought. No soprano scarlet passion just a rather tedious goblet of cheap tomato juice. I was incandescent with rage, in a way that is impossible to communicate.
I planted some Narcissus 'Pippit' as a way of expressing my defiant anger (normally I restict the garden daffs to 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation' and some species) and their cool elegance has lanced the angry blustering boil. I still have a single renegade tulip flower, and as I write this, I have gone down and knocked its head off with a stick.

16th May 2010

Tulbaghia montana .
The Tulbaghia were flowering right through into December last year, and after a winter break they are again coming to a crescendo. This one came to me as T. leucantha and it has taken a while to get the name corrected. It forms great masses of tiny white flowers with an orange corona. In the greenhouse here it is exposed to very low temperatures, but it is always dry - sometimes rather more so than it would like. Despite the long term neglect it seems to perform year after year and fills the greenhouse with early season beauty and oniony pungence.

16th May 2010

Scilla verna .
This is the season when the garden is filling with show-stoppers and it is very easy to overlook to commonplace and wonderful. Scilla verna is a fairly common plant on the cliffs around here. For the most part they are mid blue, but I have seen both pink and white forms occasionally. Like so many of the spectacular clifftop floral displays, they are declining. Mostly they are being trampled out of existence by walkers stomping along in arctic survival boots but I guess people like to look the part, and the cliffs can be wild and remote. I have been told that there are places so remote that the closest house is as much as 100 yards away . I suppose survival blankets and emergency flares are a sensible precaution. And some ready cash comes in handy as well, since there are ice-cream vans stationed every 200 yards along the path!
I seem to have ranted quite a lot today, but otherwise it has been good. Spent the day planting things in the herbaceous border that I haven't grown for years and it has made me wistfully nostalgic. Out with the old, on with the new!

16th May 2010

Ranunculus repens (Pale Yellow).
Unfortunately, this isn't new it is another re-run of old times. I have a lot of forms of creeping buttercup. They are weedy and wonderful in equal measure. A couple of years ago I sat them all in their pots behind the house, meaning to find space for them in the garden and promptly forgot them. Now I am clearing out the assorted stuff from the back yard and they are all reappearing. A couple of variegated ones have already been moved into the border. 'Nearly Orange' has found a home under an Acer, and then this morning I found this one. I have several lemon flowered cultivars, and they have all trailed about into other pots. The label on this one says 'Joes Golden' which it most certainly isn't, so I will look back on old records and see if I can determine a name for it. 'Orkney Lemon', 'Gloria Spale' and one of my own finding are all in the frame.
Or I might just live with its anonymity.

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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