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

25th December 2011

Narcissus 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation'
This Narcissus is an old chestnut, but if there was ever a season for chestnuts, this is it. Another mild week has allowed the magnificent spectacle to continue. I am enjoying the season of good will but the daffodils occasionally test my resolve. As well as the group I have in the meadow, I planted a sack of 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation' in the verge outside the house for the village to enjoy. I have been really pleased to see a scatter of flowers out there in time for christmas. I have even coped with the idea that a few of them will get picked by passers-by, although I hope they leave a few for others.
My patience is a little tested however when the contractors charged with maintaining the open spaces in the village chose friday this week to mow them. To give them their due, they have tried to mow around the individual flowers, but they have removed all the buds still to come. They will follow it up by mowing all the leaves off in february and slowly but surely they are destroying the daffodils. The best laid plans, and all that.
Merry Christmas to them.

25th December 2011

Galanthus 'Moccas'
Mild weather continues to be a delight. I spent yesterday scrabbling around in the mud (it's what gardeners do, there's no getting away from it). I took a break at mid-day to take photographs of some of the winter flowers. The sun was shining, birds singing and so on. I was thinking 'Do it now, while it is lovely and tomorrow you can lie in bed all day if you want'. It was a lovely day, but yesterday it wasn't.
And today it is.
I don't know how the passing of a day changes things, but it has done.
I woke up this morning full of good intentions, and prepared to fill up on a lot of other things as well, but the garden was calling. Overnight a lot of things that were in bud have opened and although it is a bit overcast, todays pictures are a lot more interesting.
I have a handful of snowdrops open today. I could have filled this page with them, but I wanted some colour as well. I have been watching for the emergence of 'Moccas' for the last few weeks. First sign above ground a fortnight ago and yesterday I looked all over for an open bud. Today I found one hiding behind a tree. I didn't plant it there, but the rabbits scrabble about through the year and a few bulbs get dislodged. Most of the collection is now planted up in the woods, so I have to keep an eye on it or they will all get hopelessly mixed, but it is a slow process and I think I can keep on top of it.

25th December 2011

Helleborus x hybridus 'Crimson Ruffles'
Most of the Hellebores are fat with promise but not yet indulging themselves fully. I was looking for something new to show, and almost overlooked 'Crimson Ruffles'. It is a seed strain from Robin White that manages to combine a series of good characteristics. The colarette flowers are a reasonable reddish colour (there isn't a genuine crimson, but we're gardeners, unbridled optimism is part of the deal), it has early flowers on short stems. It's a good thing.
I have two of them, and I mean to grow some more seedlings but it hasn't happened over the last couple of years. During the last weeks of autumn I made some changes to half of the Hellebore bed, so now I have somewhere to plant out seedlings it will be easier to grow some more. I have several trays of stunted hellebore seedlings in the greenhouse, because I haven't had space to prick them out ot grow them on. Hopefully, problem sorted.
I am trying to make the border into a ribbon of flowers through the top of the garden, from january until the end of april. It is a very slow process, but having somewhere to grow seedlings on is a step forward.

25th December 2011

Galanthus 'Modern Art'
The boundary between autumn snowdrops and spring ones is probably not possible to define but there is a conceptual gap. The autumn ones act as a reassurance that spring is coming even as the decay and destruction of autumn dominates the garden. They have never done well in the ground here, so I grow a few in pots and leave it at that. The spring snowdrops are all about the earliest signs of a new year starting and are full of optimism (and romaticised hogwash). 'Moccas' has always been my earliest, but I have added others in recent years that are even faster off the mark. I have an unexpected G.elwesii growing in a tub. A little clump of 'Reverend Hailstone' has opened in the last few days, but I was surprised by the appearance of 'Modern Art' so early.
I bought it last spring at the RHS snowdrop show because I had been impressed by it the year before. It is a very 'green' snowdrop, and so I expected it to end the season rather than start it (the green snowdrops are usually later). Perhaps it is just delighting in being unexpected.
It may well be that I have to let the parish council's mania for tidiness overwhelm my daffodils on the verge, but perhaps I could get away with some early snowdrops out there. I'm not prepared to offer 'Modern Art' up to their tender mercies, but I could probably spare a few 'Moccas' and some ordinary G.nivalis to cheer the short days of february. Let's see if I'm still feeling benevolent when the time comes.

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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