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

1st July 2012

Philadelphus 'Silver Showers'
Another cold and wet week. I seem to have spent it running from one thing to another and the garden has been left to get on with it. Grass needs mowing but I haven't had a dry day. On the plus side, I have been able to plant a few more things out from the greenhouse and there has been plenty of rain to settle them in. A this time of the year I am putting things in the ground whenever the opportunity arrives.
I have had a couple of days visiting gardens and I have been paying particular attention to Philadelphus. There are a lot of them, and the distinctions are not always clear - another one of those genera where I identify them by reading the label. Some of them are beautuiful, some of them smell astonishing and some are "of botanical interest".
When I moved into this garden I built up a small collection in pots and in the end they were planted out in a rush to save time. Nothing changes. In this case I promised myself I would go round later putting proper labels in them (like that was ever going to happen - older and wiser now). This one has survived a small forest of leyland cypress planted to shelter it, and it has survived the falling trunks when the leylands were felled. I am fairly certain I planted 'Silver Showers' at one end of the bed, and 'Belle Etoile' at the other. This isn't 'Belle Etoile' so I am assuming it is 'Silver Showers' but I am open to correction.

1st July 2012

Paeonia lactiflora
I have wanted to grow peonies in the garden for years and have had a number of attempts but it is just too wet for them to prosper. My latest attempt involves planting them with really sharp drainage where they are fully exposed to the (place where the) sun (should be). I am having some limited success. Some plants have survived for several years but not yet produced flowers.
At present the question of identification hasn't really arisen but I am looking forward to a day when it matters. This is my only flower this year. I bought the plant in early spring as it was starting to grow and it was clear that there was a bud developing in the shoot. It has expanded slowly and perhaps it will stay open for a few extra days because of the low temperatures.
I bought it as 'Bowl of Beauty' and it isn't (although the description still fits).

1st July 2012

Meconopsis paniculata
The weather has been producing lush growth and more slugs than I have seen before, including the delightful one that parachutes down from the tree branches on a silken thread. It is quite fascinating, until it hits you in the face as you walk by. It is the most adventurous slug and also the most slimy and gelatinous. I don't think it appreciates my garden, but it loves my gourmet salad.
I haven't had much success with Meconopsis here. Conditions should suit the blue ones well, but they are eaten by slugs the first night they are planted out. I have reluctantly admitted defeat.
M.paniculata produces a beautiful rosette of leaves covered in shining ginger hairs. I had hoped that I would also get a panicle of lemon flowers, but that was a little optimistic. The petals are eaten as soon as they open, and the tattered remains are shed a few hours later. It has been a good foliage plant for a coule of years, and I will grow some more from the seed that is being set, but I won't get excited about the flowers.
I have seen it growing in a couple of other gardens this week, looking equally miserable, so it isn't just me. I have also seen the red flowered for of M.napaulensis looking much better, so I might give it a try. It would be nice to have one member of the genus succeeding in the garden.

1st July 2012

Iris ensata 'Jocasta'
Iris have been much more impressive. I planted all of the Iris ensata forms out last year and they are starting to produce results. I have scattered them through the herbaceous border so that in their season, which is early and short, they will have some impact.I was very pleased with a large clump of the purple 'Kumo No Obi' which is starting to show that I might get the effect I intended. It is a rare outcome, so I was enjoying it. And then I visited Wakehurst Place where an entire section of the bog garden is planted with mixed forms of Iris ensata. It left my little clump looking a bit feeble but showed me that I wasn't being bold enough. Once this planting has established I will be looking for a way to do something grander!
So I'm not going to show a bubbling mass of 'Kumo No Obi' and instead I photographed this single flower of 'Jocasta'. It shows the detailed beauty of the flowers in a way that is lost in a mass (honest, I'm not just being petulant). I can't match the scale of Wakehurst Place or the overwhelming beauty of the Iris bog garden (if you get the chance you should visit, it is worth every penny of the admission charge). I can offer something that Wakehurst can't (well, perhaps just a little petulant). I still have labels on mine!

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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