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

23rd January 2011

Camellia 'Glenn's Orbit' .
Spring has continued to arrive with almost unseemly haste. So much is going on in the garden that it has been a question of what to leave out this week. The weather has been normal for the season (according to the forecasters) but by happy coincidence the days have been sunny and the cloud has rolled in overnight so it has been sunny all week and the temperatures have stayed up. It is a lucky chance, but it has been good for the garden.
Camellia are not my first love, indeed, the word love is entirely misplaced, but there are a lot of them in the garden and I seem to keep planting. They make excellent evergreens. If they didn't flower they would be more popular than Cherry Laurel as evergreen shrubs for difficult locations, but then they go an spoil it with ridiculous pink flowers. All of the pink ones are pink. Most of the red ones are pink and most of the white ones are pink (with the exception of a few doubles, that are generally brown most of the time). It is only the yellows that are clearly not pink, and also clearly not yellow. As a general principle, they are ridiculous and pink.
'Glenn's Orbit' is a seedling from the rather unfortunate 'Donation' (too pink, too profuse) with better shaped flowers that shatter and fall quite quickly. I don't recall having it in flower in January before and I rather like it, but I will have had enough by April.

23rd January 2011

Crocus chrysanthus 'Fuscotinctus' .
The first of the spring Crocus has been a delight all week. The sun has opened the flowers fully and made a little pot of gold. I bought these last year because I wanted to raise some new seedlings of Crocus chrysanthus and growing a few in pots seemed a good way to start. Unfortunately I let them dry out a bit in early summer, and they set no seed, so no progress on that front (it just seemed like a few decades since I had seen anything new so I thought it was worth a try). The pot has been quietly forgotten at the back of the greenhouse and now it has leapt back into view.
At the same time last year I sowed a lot of seed of Crocus species from a seed exchange, and nothing has come up, so I am doing something wrong along the way.

23rd January 2011

Helleborus x hybridus
It is still a bit early for the hybrid Hellebores but one or two of the earliest are open. The majority are still just fat buds of various sizes sticking out of the ground. This is a seedling sown in the summer of 2007, and one of the first of its group to flower (the second of the group is almost identical). I am hoping that this picotee group with dark nectaries is going to breed true, I had to move the parents a couple of years ago after the bees had produced a series of uninteresting seedlings for me.
I am quite determined not to buy any more parent plants this year, though I might get tempted by a good double blue (mine are a bit on the purple side). I might fall for the charms of a bright yellow collarette, and I am always on the lookout for good pinks. Unlike Camellia, there are very few good pink Hellebores. Most of them are spoiled by spottiness or greenish tints. I have a couple that I like, but they have shown no enthusiasm for producing offspring of the same quality.

23rd January 2011

Magnolia x loebneri 'Merrill'.
Later on in the season I will be able to show this in flower without cheating, but for now this is good enough to share. In the middle of last autumn I had to prune a trailing branch from one of the trees. I didn't like to waste the twigs, which were covered in buds, so I bought a few into the house to see what happened. Over the last couple of months they have swelled slightly, but suddenly they have burst into unexpected flower (I had given them up as a waste of space). It is only chance and lethargy that has preserved them until now, but I am glad I brought them in.
I have carried the vase back into the garden for this picture. It is one of my favourite hybrid Magnolia and a few years ago I planted a row of them along the road boundary where they have been more or less destroyed by rabbits. Serves me right for trying to be decorative.

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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