Home Index Web Stuff Copyright Links Me Archive


Thats enough introduction - on with the plants!
To navigate this site, use the links above, or the detailed links at the bottom of this page.

... out in the garden.

27th May 2012

Roscoea cautleyoides 'Early Yellow'
Am I the only one who forgets things, or is a necessary talent for a gardener? It has been a week of change and everything is different and new and slightly perplexing. And exactly the same as it was last year when it was different and new and slightly perplexing. Perhaps it is just me. Winter is a quiet season when nothing needs watering and summer is a frantic season when there isn't time for anything else. The change-over happened this week and I had forgotten what it was like. A couple of days without rain has me peering anxiously into water tanks and poking around in pots. I had forgotten about weeds as well. A fortnights warmth and a splash or rain last night and the Red Campion has turned into an unstoppable tide. Nothing for it but to enjoy the colour and wait for some spare time to appear.
Fortunately I had also forgotten how keen plants are to please. This Roscoea has popped up like a little puppy saying 'me,me,me...' and is delightful. It would also be drowning in pink but I got as far as this last month before something distracted me from the weeding. It might have been something important, but it was probably just something shiny. Fortunately I have forgotten.
All of the yellow forms of Roscoea cautleyoides look like this, there is very little variation in the shade of yellow but the flowering time varies. This is the first, and it can sometimes appear in April. In about a fortnight there will be another dozen or so names in flower (distinguishable only by reading the label) and then 'Last Emperor' will appear in August. When I bought 'Vanilla' I had hoped for something a bit paler, but it wasn't to be. It doesn't seem to be scented either, so I assume it is another case of someone confusing 'vanilla' with 'plain'.

27th May 2012

Dendrobium kingianum (Red Karl x Red Terror)
I wish I could grow Dendrobium. I have trees that I could festoon with delight, but it isn't going to happen. D.kingianum survives in a cold greenhouse, and I am hoping that D.moniliforme will as well but that is about as far as I will be able to go. As a consequence I have started to collect together colour forms of the ones I can grow and they have been a rather gentle pleasure through the madness of the Pleione season. I assume that this red one is a seedling and that it originated in Australia (where the species is native), but I don't actually know anything about it. This is the first year it has flowered and I think I would have got a good display but I split it during February and lost some of the developing flower spikes.
This is a much deeper colour than any of the others I grow. I'm not sure I would go as far as red but it is striking.
I have changed the compost I use for them this year to something more 'composty' and less 'orchidy'. It will either give me magnificent new growth or they will all rot off at the base. I could have done a trial first to find out, but life's too short. After a few months I would have forgotten what I was trialling anyway.

27th May 2012

Clematis 'Mrs George Jackman'
I bought some Clematis cuttings last year, quite convinced that I would find somewhere to plant them by the time they had grown. Now I have flowers and I think I am going to have to plant them in big pots for a while. I have some small shrubs I was hoping to grow them through but they need a couple more years before they can cope with a Clematis. I will probably end up planting them under large shrubs and hoping for the best. I tried it with 'Warsaw Nike' a few years ago and now I have a very satisfactory stem snaking up through the trees like a ships anchor cable. I have no idea what happens at the top, I can't see that far but it is a very satisfactory stem.
'Mrs George Jackman' was raised by Jackman's of Woking in 1873. It will produce a second flush of smaller flowers in the autumn so I think I might have a Camellia it can grow into. At present some of the larger Camellias are being draped in flowers by Clematis montana trailing down from the trees above, but I would rather the montana stayed at the top of the tree so the lower growth will all be pruned off once it finishes flowering.

27th May 2012

Ixia viridiflora
A rare plant in the wild in South Africa, this is probably the easiest of Ixia to grow in a pot. It is very simple from seed, and I keep hoping it will spread itself around but I haven't found any wanderers yet. The colour is quite unexpected and seems to be better with some very light shading. I try to keep it moist and well fed while it is in growth. If it gets too dry the flower stems seem to attract greenfly and then there is very little seed set. I hadn't noticed the flower spikes developing so the flowers were a surprise this morning. The spring bulb season is over, so I have more or less abandoned the bulbs to their own devices while I struggle with weeds outside. In a couple of months I will clean all the pots up in time for the autumn season but until then there are a few summer flowering bulbs that will have to struggle with a covering of annual weeds. The thin wiry growths of this Ixia may have had to fight their way through other stuff, but they aren't going to be ignored.

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.
If you want to contact me, the address is infoMONKEYjohnjearrard.co.uk
When typing the address in, please replace MONKEY with the more traditional @ symbol! I apologise for the tiresome performance involved, but I am getting too much spam from automated systems as a result of having an address on the front page.