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

4th December 2010

Hacquetia epipactis .
It is unusual enough to get snow here at the end of November, but it has stayed all week, which is almost unheard of. The garden has survived, but all the young shoots and flowers that were appearing have been set back. In the village there has been an occasional crash as snow has slipped off of rooves, but if you hear a grating noise as you read this, it is the sound of me scraping the bottom of the barrel to find something to show!
This Hacquetia has been a success in the Hellebore borders and I would be happy to have a bit more of it. It was more or less dormant at the end of autumn, so it fits in well with the Hellebores which got mowed in October to get rid of the overgrowth around them. The variegated form, 'Thor' is still dormant, but the plain leaved form has managed a few early flowers.

4th December 2010

Utricularia livida No2 .
The greenhouse has been my refuge when I have gone out into the garden this week (and I haven't been out there very much). There has been a couple of inches of snow on the roof, so although temperatures have dropped, there hasn't been a radiation frost, so I still have a few flowers to show.
Utricularia livida is a widespread and variable species. This one is rather pretty, with a darker lilac mark on the base of the labellum, and the identification 'No2' doesn't really do it justice!
It will eventually be upset by the winter cold, but it will be in flower again by May and continue for the rest of the year. I have grown it for several years and it has always been reliable.

4th December 2010

Nerine 'Amy Doncaster'.
The Nerine are also hanging on despite the weather. Snow on the roof has protected them but it has melted now, so I have to go out with some fleece in a moment in an attempt to protect them - if the leaves get frosted it will set the bulbs back and I will have fewer flowers next year. Probably more important to protect the Lachenalia, which are also undamaged at present, but it is looking like a clear night.

4th December 2010

Mahonia x media 'Charity' .
The Mahonia are performing reliably, and I had hoped to show M.lomariifolia, but the flowers are perched on the top of long leggy twigs and there wasn't enough light this morning to get a decent picture. It hybridises freely with M.japonica and a large number of very similar cultivars have been named, which presents a problem.
Many years ago (when knights were bold and the greatest threat to virgins was dragons) I planted a series of these hybrids in the garden and over the years I have forgotten which is which. I haven't yet tracked down good comparative descriptions, so I have 'Buckland' and 'Lionel Fortescue' but I wouldn't presume to say which was which. I am reasonably convinced that this is 'Charity', with long drooping strings of flowers. My current theory is that 'Buckland' is the one with shorter upright strings of flowers, and that 'Lional Fortescue' has flowers in clusters, like little fat fingers clenched in a fist, very similar to the M.lomariifolia parent. I am quite prepared to be corrected!
Time to find a torch and cover over the Lachenalia.

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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