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

27th March 2011

Epimedium flavum OG 93026 .
The week seems to have flown by - the garden is wide awake and even the fuddy-duddys of horticulture are out and about at events, walking around and complaining about the weather (which has been magnificent again).
The first of the Epimedium have started to flower. If I am honest, they are looking terrible at the moment since I moved them all last autumn just before the big freeze, but the new growth is coming up and they will improve. The first flowers are enough to show that I haven't killed them all in the process.
E.flavum comes from Sichuan and would normally be evergreen, but mine was defoliated through the winter. I was surprised to see it in flower - Roy Lancaster's introduction of E.pinnatum colchicum L321 is usually the first to appear, but it is a good start to the season.

27th March 2011

Corydalis solida .
Under the trees the dead wood of winter has started to fall and there are branches scattered all over (not that it matters, there are more spring flowers than you could shake a stick at). Unfortunately the whole place is suffering from bunnification. Not, as you might think, a slow process of conversion into baked yeasty confections, but the constant grazing attentions of rabbits. Down in the meadow a friend asked how I managed to mow so neatly around the daffodils!
Last year I tried a few of the better coloured forms of Corydalis solida outside. Only one put in an appearance this year, and it was eaten before it formed buds. This is a single survivor of a small group of dull lavender coloured forms I planted among the snowdrops and I was pleased to see it, although the colour is almost impossible to find on the woodland floor. On the plus side - it has survived. I have visions of the woodland at Warley Place where the ground is covered with the flowers in an assortment of pale shades through March and April. I think if I can establish a few then they will spread, but the rabbits are not making it easy. I was hoping for a carpet of salmon and scarlet flowers but I may have to settle for dull lavender.

27th March 2011

Cypripedium formosanum
There was a moment in the middle of the week when I thought it was going to be orchid week. I was at the RHS Orchid show last weekend having a whale of a time among the tropical species, but the garden is catching up fast.
This Cypripedium has been a wonder. It is the most vigorous species I have ever come across (8 flowers this year). I should have split it in the winter, but I was worried and kept putting it off. Too late now, I may have to find a larger pot for it shortly.
It comes from Taiwan, and when it was originally introduced it was assumed to be a species for the warm house, but it grows in the mountains in the centre of Taiwan at altitudes of 2,200 - 2,900m. It has been fine here in a pot in a cold greenhouse (which keeps the worst of the wind off in winter, and sun off in summer). It is the only species that has been successful here so far but I am slowly trying some of the more tolerant species and hybrids.

27th March 2011

Pleione San Salvador .
The Pleione have been sending up fat little shoots for a couple of weeks. Last week I decided they needed a good soaking to get started and these flowers are the result.
This one was new to me last year, but it has grown well and this bulb has produced two flowers on a single stem which I have never seen before. There are a lot of very similar Pleione hybrids being produced and it would be easy to grow a greenhouse of puple-pink forms, so it is worth being a bit choosy about the colours.
The San Salvador grex was named by I.Butterfield in 1991 for hybrids between P. Shantung and P.forrestii. Presumably there were hopes of finding a good vigorous yellow hybrid among them - deep pinks like this are quite a surprise. The yellow colour on the lip is a hint that there are better things still to come (I won't be able to afford them when they do, so I'll be happily pink)!

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

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