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

14th November 2010

Fascicularia bicolor canaliculata .
It has been a strange week. Winter is undeniable, but autumn is clinging on with determination. None of the things I am trying to get done has progressed at all, but a lot of things I've not got around to yet have solved themselves without needing my help. It has been a strange week.
This prickly Fascicularia is showing the benifit of a bigger pot. I have a few of these hardy, prickly bromeliads, and they all need new locations but it is one of those jobs that got started and then ground to a halt. This flowers for weeks and weeks in the autumn but somehow I haven't managed to catch it looking really good yet - wet windy days always seem to destroy the flowers before I get there. Maybe next year (only a few weeks now...)

14th November 2010

Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Purpureus' .
This Osmanthus flowers in the autumn, once the illusion of summer has been thoroughly shattered. That is the general plan, anyway. I bought this from Macpenny's in Bransgore in 1983 and as far as I am aware this is the first time it has flowered. I can't really blame the plant - it has had a few setbacks. It spent the first five years in a pot slowly cultivating a miserable demeanour. I planted it out where it grew large and lush. Then it had to be dug up and moved, which it resented and it has taken another ten years in its current position to forgive me.
Flowers like a peace offering from a disgruntled friend. It is in the Oleaceae, so it's a perfectly reasonable olive branch.
The foliage isn't especially purple, the growth is rather thin and the leaves have lost the distinctive holly shape but fragrant flowers in November are worth having. They are substantially more than the typical form has ever offered!

14th November 2010

Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn'.
I am a bit surprised to have Viburnum flowers to show - this is a shrub for the depths of winter and we are still only paddling in the shallows but I'm not going to turn up my nose at them. They are scented strongly, rather than beautifully, but if you are walking around a garden on a snowy day in January, the difference is academic. Surprised to see them because it was only planted last year. I thought that this season would be devoted to lush whippy growth that would act as a foundation for the stark ungainly habit the plant assumes in maturity. I was wrong (at least about the flowering).
The hybrid was first raised by Charles Lamont in 1933, and one of his clones is still available ('Charles Lamont') but he didn't think it was any improvement on the parents. 'Dawn' was raised shortly after at Bodnant, and 'Deben' was raised by Notcutts in the '60's. I can't tell the three clones apart except by reading the name on the label.

14th November 2010

Ranunculus ficaria .
The promise of spring is a lot longer lasting than the spring itelf, which sometime seems to happen over ten days at the end of March. This first Celandine has appeared , following on from the first snowdrop and shortly before ther first Hepatica (it's in bud, you may get it next week). I had leaves on the earliest of them at the start of October, but this is the only flower bud showing. It grows on a seedling I raised several years ago - I can't remember the parentage (without checking the label) but I have always regarded it as worthless.
However , it is the only one in bud during November. I need to check previous years pictures, but I have a feeling that it is the same plant that has performed in November for the last couple of years so there may be an advantage to my lethargy when it comes to slinging out the worthless ones.
Or I may be wrong. I will pot this one up specially, put a label in it to alert me to the possibility of autumn flowering, and then wait for the disappointment to arrive. Good new plants are almost as rare as cheerful plant breeders!

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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