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

31st July 2011

Cyclamen hederifolium
I suppose that it is fair enough to start seeing the first signs of autumn once the summer solstice passes. The week has been warm and sticky as befits the height of summer and I have been forced into shorts, which is a mixed blessing at the peak of the stinging nettle season.
The Cyclamen started to flower under the trees a couple of weeks ago, just an odd flower here and there, and this is the first decent picture I have managed. I was in a garden centre yesterday and was tempted by fresh pots burgeoning with flowers but I will be patient. A little rain (such as has been falling this evening) will give them enough moisture to make a bolder display.
I have planted several with especially dark flowers, and I have always planted the ones with the most intricate leaf patterns but it is becoming less important to me recently. If I took my glasses up into the garden I would lose them, so I don't, and all the fine detail just fades away!

31st July 2011

Crinum 'Carolina Beauty'
One of the unfortunate aspects of weeding the herbaceous border in June was the loss of (amongst other things) bliss ,or more directly of ignorance. Two or three years ago I planted some Crinum x powellii in the border, and because it fattened up in a very satisfying way, I planted all of them out last year. Unfortunately, last winter seems to have destroyed them all and I am left with memories and sludge filled holes. It was only Crinum x powellii but it came from the garden if an old friend and was as caked in affection as it was in the grey clay they were growing in. I still have hopes that an offshoot somewhere has survived and I have more than affection and sludge to cling to.
By a happy chance I was too busy to plant the more select cultivars out last year. I fully intended to, but in the end they wintered in the greenhouse with the consequence that I still have them. It turns out that the road to happiness is paved with good intentions. Who would have thought it.
This is thought to be a hybrid between C.americanum and C.bulbispermum. I wasn't expecting a flower, so this was a great joy to discover. The plant is seriously pot-bound, but that may have saved it's life.
It has a scent to match its delicate charm, but I don't have the words for it. It is a close humid moist evening and everything smells like wet washing so I can only say that it smells exactly as I would have expected.

31st July 2011

Amorphophallus albus
This is an odd species of Amorphophallus, which is in itself a rather odd genus of aroids. The giant Titan Arum A.titanum hits the headlines whenever it flowers in a botanic garden, but there are other species less gigantic but more practical. This one is a mountain plant from north eastern Yunnan and southern Sichuan and has been reported growing to 2,300m. The genus is generally from the lowland tropics, and the small number of mountain species give us our best chance of hardiness.
Tubers of some of these species started to appear on the market when Chinese nurseries began to export to Europe. I bought it from Cotswold Garden Flowers in 2008 and have been very happy with its growth. It stays in its pot in a cold greenhouse through the winter and has survived that last three years without damage, though it has been rather late to emerge this year. On the other hand, this is the first time it has flowered. It produces offsets freely, and seems to fill whatever size pot I put it in. This year I managed to divide off some small ones and eventually I will try it outside, though I think winter wet will probably kill it.
It has a distinctive scent. It is not pungent or repulsive or describable.

31st July 2011

Ipomoea purpurea 'Grandpa Otts'
Every season brings a few new things to surprise and delight. This is my accidental joy for this year. The seeds came as a free gift attatched to a magazine I was given. I grew Morning Glories occasionally as a child, and sometimes they performed and sometimes they didn't, but they always promise so much that it is difficult to resist. Unfortunately, I'm not the most diligent cultivator of annuals. I soaked the seed overnight in a propagator, and remembered them a fornight later when they had dried out completely. Fortunately, a second soaking revived a few of the seeds and although they had germinated and got rather tangled by the time I remembered them again, they did make it into pots in the greenhouse. There they will stay because they love heat and I am not convinced we are going to get any outside.
I have just remembered that it is better to dead-head annuals, I have been so lost in the wonder of these big purple flowers (and I don't think it is a hallucinogenic effect). That will be a jolly job next time I am watering in the greenhouse. There are a couple of perennial climbing Morning Glories that I intend to try the next time I chance across them. I had a friend who planted Ipomoea indica in a greenhouse, and never saw the greenhouse again.

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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