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

22nd August 2010

Penstemon 'Phoenix Violet' .
A week of mist and fog is hardly the best backdrop to display this Penstemon (I imagine the Salvia growers are also looking folornly through the gloom hoping for the slightest sign of an incendiary autumn). This one has been in bud for weeks, and I have been confidently predicting that it will end up in the stomach of a rabbit, but it seems to have survived.
I wanted to plant some rich purple Penstemon in the border and this was the closest I could find at short notice. Hopefully by next year I will have some more. The border can look a bit patchy (particularly since it is only half finished) so I am hoping some deep rich shadowy colours will help it all hang together.

22nd August 2010

Dahlia merckii .
These Dahlia have occupied my attention this year - when I redeveloped the border I only found a couple of groups of tubers, and assumed that the winter had destroyed the rest. Through the summer, a number of others have appeared, mostly in unfortunate places, but I am very fond of the species, and they will stay.
This is the first time I have noticed any variation among the species, and this one is my current favourite. It has larger and paler flowers than the others.
None of the more excessive cultivars have survived the winter. Initially I thought that was a good thing, but I have started to miss the ridiculous rioting they bring to the end of summer and next year they may stage a tastleless return. I may tone it down with the ludicrous but socially acceptable 'Bishop of Llandaff' or I may indulge in a big pink cactus. It will probably be the whim of the moment!

22nd August 2010

Hedychium wardii .
A difficult year for the Hedychium. Two cold winters in a row has set them back, and they should have been both fed and watered with more generosity than I have managed so far. I have a plan for an automatic watering system for the summer, but somehow it is still just a plan.
I expect to have H.wardii in flower through August but I was surprised when it managed it this year, growth has been quite slow through the summer. I should have another go at pollinating it with one of the red flowered species, but it's cold and wet and previous experience suggests that it is probably futile anyway. They are forecasting some sun for wednesday which may boost my enthusiasm.

22nd August 2010

Helleborus x hybridus .
... and up in the woods.
It is far too early to start talking about Hellebore hybrids, but have spent the evenings up there this week. It all started off with two large Magnolia grandiflora that were for sale ridiculously cheaply. I had problems getting them in the car, and then I had problems getting them out again. I wanted them to bulk up the winter foliage among the snowdrop plantings, but when the time came to plant them, I realised I had a rather large and unneccesary Ash tree in the way, so I spent a few hours removing it. In the meditative moments that accompany the 'catching of the breath' that is an inevitable consequence of that sort of activity, I realised that I could remove an odd branch or two from the windbreak around the garden, and open a view right across the valley. That seemed like a good idea so I did it, and in the process of clearing away the debris I almost trod on this unseasonal Hellebore.
So here it is, standing as a symbol for my delight in the new Magnolia and the new view (and giving me something calming to watch as I pant and wheeze)!

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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