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

19th December 2010

Eucalyptus pauciflora ssp. niphophila .
We were lucky yesterday (when I took this picture), the sun came out and the remaining snow was softening into a sort of shining sludge. I spent to morning clearing branches that were overhanging the space that will one day be my new woodland garden when I came upon this perfect little white flower on the ground. This is usually how I experience Eucalyptus flowers, either as a scattering on the ground or as rather larger branches after a storm. I tried a few pictures of the 'snowlover' using a telephoto lens but the best I could manage was a blur of white against a cloudy sky. I will spare you that particular pleasure.
This one seems to flower in flushes rather than at any particular season so I often go looking for the flowers after a stiff breeze and it is surprising how often I find them.

19th December 2010

Arisarum vulgare ssp. vulgare .
The early cold weather has held back all the earliest of spring flowers, and we are still a long way away from spectacles of snowdrops or daffodils. There isn't very much colour in the garden and is is mostly white or very pale. This Arisarum has managed to produce one last flower at the end of the autumn season and it has survived some significant freezing in the greenhouse. A lot of the plants that I might have expected to be showing flowers by now are still dormant, so without hangers-on like this I would be reduced to showing pictures of interesting leaves. Fortunately the winter solstice is only a couple of days away. The garden always seems to cheer up once the days begin to get longer.

19th December 2010

Impatiens kilimanjari ssp. kilimanjari
Overnight we had another fall of snow. As I boiled a kettle this morning I opened the front door to watch it falling. A quick trip to the greenhouse to take photographs, but there is an inch of snow on the roof and no light so in the end I have crept back indoors where a few of the really tender plants are hiding.
This Impatiens has been flowering without a break since I got it at the end of summer. I am very fond of its hybrids with I.psuedoviola so I was keen to try the species. It is in the conservatory, which isn't heated, but my propagator is out there, which warms the place slightly. I am worried that a hard radiation frost will still penetrate far enough to destroy it and perhaps it is time to put a cutting in the propagator as an insurance.

19th December 2010

Streptocarpus 'Kim'
At the same time I got the Impatiens I bought this Streptocarpus. It is a floriferous single deep purple with almost black shades in the flower. I mention that because I have yet to take a photograph that captures either the colour or the elegance of the plant. In this case I stood it under a grow light (the Heliamphora that usually occupies the position was temprarily relocated) to see if it helped. It didn't.
I have finally accepted that I am not going to get a decent picture this year. The plant has stopped throwing up new flowering stems so I thought it was time to show the last flower even if the colour isn't quite right. All of the other cultivars are indulging in cabbagy leafiness on the windowsills, with the exception of one unnamed plant that has been left under the bench in the greenhouse to see what happens. It is worth knowing if they will stand the cold, but I haven't had the courage to check how things are going yet. It will be easier to face the disappointing mush in the spring.

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.
If you want to contact me, the address is infoMONKEYjohnjearrard.co.uk
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