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

16th October 2011

Crocus speciosus
Autumn has handed us a gentle week, which is not a thing that can be relied upon. I started setting light to bonfires last week, and it has continued. If it is lying around in a pile, I have set light to it and I have less clutter as a result. I think it is probably some strange genetic artifact that stimulates me to pile things up, and then wonder what to do with them. Some nest building urge from a prehistoric ancestor perhaps. Whatever the reason, the bonfire season resolves it, and leaves little rings of scorched earth around the place as a momento.
Crocus speciosus is a surprise in the greenhouse. I have tried it outside, and it doesn't last very long. I haven't worked out if the growing conditions are wrong, or of rodents are eating the corms, but they never appear in the second year. It is fairly reliable in a pot, although I should repot them every year to maintain vigour, and I don't. A number of forms have been named but stocks follow the usual horticultural convention (of total confusion and misnaming) so I would hesitate to identify any of them. It shouldn't really be a surprise, but the buds push up out of the bare compost and open in a day or two, so although their appearance could have been predicted it is always unexpected.

16th October 2011

Ranunculus ficaria
It has been a season of other preoccupations. The seemingly endless process of repairing the windows in the house continues and leaves little time for gardening. I had an hour off yesterday to weed the collection of Celandine forms before the leaves made too much of an appearance. Small shoots are already showing, and I got about half way through before I lost heart. A rather large and established stinging nettle in the middle of a precious clump meant I walked away in a sulk. Often a good thing to do when you don't know how to tackle a problem. I woke this morning feeling fortified and determined so spent another hour up there with a kitchen knife and a never-say-die attitude. I have done enough to get me through the winter and to mean that I am sitting writing this with wet knees. I should really change my trousers but I won't.
There are a few seedling Celandines down in the greenhouse, waiting while I work out what I am going to do with them and they have been showing leaves for a couple of weeks now. This flower was not expected. This particular seedling also flowered early last autumn and I think it is going to be saved from the compost heap for that reason. As Celandine flowers go, this is nothing special but this is October, and that makes all the difference.
I actually have one and a half flowers to show, but there is a slug somewhere in posession of the missing half so I have left that bit out.

16th October 2011

Pseudogynoxys chenopodioides
A few months ago I planted out a variegated Nightshade and I have Senecio vulgaris (Groundsel) growing around the base of it. It is a familiar and pesky weed of my childhood but I was pleased enough to see it here. My garden is too wet for it to survive for long so I haven't seen it for a long time. I imagine it came in with the Nightshade rootball. It will die again without needing any attention from me, and I almost showed it here because the Senecio are all quite fun, and it's a novelty, at least to me. It got left out because I can do better.
This flame-orange daisy attracted my attention when it was called Senecio confusus. The long twining stems were wandering about Derry Watkins nursery 'Special Plants' and I brought one home with me. Once here I discovered that it had wandered as far as Pseudogynoxys but I don't hold that against it. I didn't manage to overwinter it, and I didn't manage to germinate seed, so it is only through the kindness if a friend that I still have a plant. I will try to overwinter it again, but I am starting to think that like the dear old Groundsel, it's just not going to survive in this garden.

16th October 2011

Lapageria rosea var albiflora
I was in the greenhouse speechless at the beauty of this Lapageria and as I sit here my head is filled with all the wonderful Lapageria moments I have had, and I am still speechless.
So that's how I'm going to leave it!

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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