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

29th August 2010

Crocosmia 'Amber Sun' .
All of the Crocosmia were finally planted out this summer and have immediately started to produce some lush new growth, and flowers to match although I am not expecting any great performance until next year. As a consequence I am forced to face some of the problems of naming that provide the genus with its opportunities to perplex!
Would you describe this as 'Amber Sun'? Gary Dunlop (who bred it) describes it as a "warm soft orange" and when I read the description I though 'oh yes, I know what that means'. Not so sure now. This seems to have a yellower base to the tepals, but I think I would call the orange 'Seville' (or possibly 'Jaffa', but not the cakes). It was really impressive in the garden with the sun shining through it.
Out on the hedgerows at the moment, there are enormous patches of naturalised Crocosmia. It is a devilish weed but I was driving round a corner on a little lane yesterday and was enveloped in a tunnel of glowing orange, which was spectacular. Strange how this noxious weed is tolerated, while Japanese Knotweed is treated as the living personification of environmental evil.
I have always found the orange of the naturalised Crocosmia (or the fires of hell, as I shall now think of it) as being of a single tone, but when wearing my sunglasses the different shades are much easier to distinguish, which makes no difference to the identity of 'Amber Sun', but I thought it was interesting.

29th August 2010

Begonia 'Starburst'.
There is a danger that I will become tasteful this week. I have a birthday party to go to later when I will smile and tell people how lovely they are, so I needed a bloated object of ridicule to keep my feet on the ground, and what should I stumble across...
In Begonia terms, this is neither as bloated nor as ridiculous as they can get, but it will serve it's purpose. I have grown a few cultivars from tubers this year (though this is a seed grown strain). They cheer me up, carrying the idea of fragile petals to abundant excess, and carrying it all off with aplomb while drooping and swooning and falling all over the place. Nonsense horticulture at its best!

29th August 2010

Puya mirabilis RCB RA-L-3 .
This spiky little tuffet ot terror has be pushing up for weeks now, and I have been moving at around the greenhouse every few days, trying to find a spot on the bench where it has sufficient headroom. I finally admitted defeat last week and stood it on the ground where it attacks my ankles but immediately flowered. The pale green is of the gooseberry-confection sort, although I have seen forms with a pale turqoise shade that is rather appealing.
As it has moved around it has left a small portion of itself behind stuck into my hands. Fortunately the marginal spines on the leaves are broadly triangular. It is the reverse of icebergs, the small portion buried in the flesh is dwarfed by the larger portion exposed above the surface and they are removed as easily as they became embedded. This was collected by Bob Brown in Esciope Gorge, Salta Province, Argentina at 1800m.
He must have very tough hands.

29th August 2010

Zingiber mioga 'White Feather'.
Subtlety is a rare attribute among the gingers. These large pale flowers would probably go unnoticed in the garden but they are perfect in a pot. This is the first time this cultivar has flowered, the leaves have erratic white marginal variegations.
Eventually it will get tried in the garden but I'm in no rush, the green one isn't out there yet and I'm going to test it for a few years before I risk the variegated form.

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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