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

10th October 2010

Gladiolus crassifolius .
A spell of unexpected autumn sunshine has kept me in the garden, so this Gladiolus has shot up in the greenhouse almost unnoticed. I sowed the seed in 2007 and it flowered for the first time last year but it was a little weak and came into the category of interesting South African Bulbs (in the way that some people have an 'interesting' appearance).
This year it has been stronger. The clumps of leaves have been, if not lusher, at least more profuse, and there are a number of spikes of these pretty flowers. They are not large but it was a pleasure to find them during a quick shower.
(I'm afraid it is a small flower, not a large spider).

10th October 2010

Impatiens omeiana 'Ice Storm'.
All of the hardy Impatiens should have gone out into the ground this year, but I just haven't had the time. Now I am hoping that they will forgive me leaving them in pots through the winter, and I will plant them out next year. I did plant out a few small cuttings of the I.omeiana forms and they have all prospered far better than the plants inside.
'Ice Storm' is a green leaved selection, sometimes with a rather silvery sheen, that I bought locally as I.franchina. There are a lot of new introductions of the species coming from China at present, and names within the group are still not quite stable but this one is distinctive. Vigorous without being invasive, and reliably perennial it is a significant new introduction to the ranks of the hardy Impatiens. (Sorry, I've spoken to too many nurserymen this week, so my head is full of cautious superlatives).

10th October 2010

Arisarum vulgare ssp vulgare.
The little mouse plant, Arisarum proboscideum is a wonderful little patch of springtime nonsense. I have it growing in the rough grass outside the front door where I ignore it for the most part, mow it if I'm passing, and generally do nothing to encourage it. Still it amuses me with its little brown flowers every spring.
This one is not so tolerant. I have never managed to keep it alive outdoors, and I have killed it once or twice under cover, though not recently (and I hope that isn't tempting fate). It grows in well drained situations in southern Europe and is said to be common, though I don't recall ever seeing it, but it grows and flowers through the winter so perhaps I have never looked at the right time. The small green and white flowers are striped like exotic sweets from a fairytale with just the slightest suggestion of a wicked witch lurking in the background. One of those plants that has undoubtedly grown better since I stopped being so very careful with it. The first time I had it I used a gritty loam compost in a clay pot and kept it in a slighty heated greenhouse. I was going to say the first time I grew it, but it didn't grow, it barely lasted six weeks and I kept the pot for a couple of years folornly hoping that something might sprout from it.
That's another thing I don't do any more!

10th October 2010

Canna .
A repeated experience is the burgeoning vigour of a pot of foliage with an impressive name that turns out to be something else altogether. I suppose I should realise by now that any covetable name attatched to a vigorous plant is probably wrong. Somehow my optimism over-rides my common sense, and I can only be astonished by my repeated ability to overlook the obvious. Which is all a long preamble to explain why this is not Canna iridifolia.
The true species is rare (or absent) in cultivation, though the hybrid C. x ehmannii is often found under the name. If I was feeling wicked I could show you a series of photographs from the country's most august gardens where they have got it wrong. I'm not that wicked. Everybody wants to believe they have the real thing even when the error is staring you in the face.
My plant, for example, had broad purple tinged leaves right from the seedling days. It had nothing in common with the tall narrow leaved glaucous plant I was hoping for. It didn't stop me treating it as the most precious Canna I had ever grown, so I'm not going to sling the mud of foolishness at anyone else - it would stick a little too close to home!

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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