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

26th December 2010

Mahonia x media 'Winter Sun' .
The strangest December for a great many years is grinding to a close with glacial slowness. I don't remember when the ground was last free of snow and ice and the garden has ground to a standstill. Usually at this season I would have spring bulbs slowly pushing through the ground, and the Camellia buds would be fattening. No sign of any movement so far and I don't see much chance of having either daffodils or camellia before the new year.
There are a number of old Mahonia in the garden that I tend to overlook when the garden is fuller. The hybrid Mahonia x media (japonica x lomariifolia) has been raised a number of times and it sometimes feels as though every seedling has been named, which has led to significant confusion. I planted this one in front of the house when I wanted more privacy, and then I dug the stump out when I wanted more light and air. It has sprouted in a pot and will be replaced in the garden if the ground ever thaws! Raised originally by the Slieve Donard Nursery this one seems to have the largest individual flowers and the coolest greenish-yellow colour. I enjoyed it in front of the house, with luck it will be as good again in the garden.

26th December 2010

Lachenalia bulbifera .
There isn't much hapening in the greenhouse in the cold either. At the start of December I covered the plants on the benches with black polythene to keep the worst of the frost off, and it seems to be working so far, although I am concerned about the consequences if it stays this cold until march.
The layer of polythene has protected the leaves of the Lachenalia and this flower has survived though it is rather bowed down by the process.
These plants were raised from seed of 'George' and have come into flower earlier in the season than I expected. If I had any space on the windowsill they would come indoors but there isn't.
Like so many things, they will have to take their chances.

26th December 2010

Nerine 'Bianca'
Most of the Nerine flowers have been hit by the cold weather and there isn't going to be a lot of seed set this year. I bought this a couple of years ago as a dry bulb from a dutch supplier, and I think it is probably 'Bianca Perla' that has been abbreviated along the way.
Seems to be a form or hybrid of N.bowdenii since it has stood up to the frost and is flowering well before the leaves develop, but this is certainly the purest white form I have. Those that claim to be 'Alba' have always been salmon blushed with me.
Large numbers of new cultivars have been raised in Holland for cut flower production, and they are spreading slowly into cultivation in a wave of beauty and confused identity.

26th December 2010

Sarcococca confusa .
Nothing much flowering in the garden, but this time last year the Sarcococca were in full bloom and the consequence has been the largest crop of berries I have ever seen. There are a few developing flower buds but they aren't going to scent the winter glades with elusive perfume. At the current rate they may open in time for the spring equinox and be lost in the rush of springtime.
I think these are ripe, and I think now is probably the time to harvest them. On the other hand, it is very cold out there at the moment...

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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