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

16th September 2012

Roscoea tibetica x auriculata seedling
I have been out in the garden taking pictures and enjoying the whispering of autumn in the trees. The plants of late summer are making a surge as though trying to get up enough speed to get over the bump of winter and through into next spring. I haven't noticed the leaves falling from the trees, but I have noticed them crackling underfoot. The weather continues to help out with enough light rain to keep things moist without lowering the temperature. I had assumed that the week would be filled with hot soup and damp shoes but it hasn't happened. I put a thicker duvet on my bed and then couldn't sleep because it was too hot. The garden is still fresh with flower.
The Roscoea were all planted out last year and next summer I will have to go through them all confirming the names. At the same time I planted out a mass of seedlings, and they are now producing enough flowers to perplex me. The label on this one says R. tibetica x auriculata but I'm having trouble believing it. The flower shape and the form of the plant resemble the R.tibetica seed parent, but I can't understand where I got the yellow flowers from. I have some late flowering R.cautleyoides forms such as 'Last Emperor' that might have scattered a stray seed or two, but the flower shape is wrong, and this is very late. Even an emperor would be greeted with a raised eyebrow if he was this tardy.

16th September 2012

Crocosmia mathewsiana x paniculata
The Crocosmia have continued their slow recovery after a few years of destructive winters. Most of the large flowered cultivars have been hit and the yellow flowered forms have more or less vanished. It was quite a surprise to see this in flower. It comes from Mpumalanga province in South Africa and is rare in cultivation and possibly not very hardy. It has broad pleated leaves and is assumed to be close to C.paniculata and the other species with pleated leaves. I have never seen it in flower, and this hybrid is as close as I have come to growing it.
The flowers of the species are described as having a short tube with the branches of the scape pendulous at the tips. Neither characteristic is really evident in the hybrid.

16th September 2012

Hedychium densiflorum seedling
The Hedychium have repeatedly demonstrated that they want more sun than I am currently giving them, and it is primarily the shortage of sunny positions in the garden that is keeping me from planting them out. They seem to flower earlier and on shorter stems in full sun, and if they flowered earlier I might have more success in producing seed on the evergreen ones (after several years hand pollination I have about 6 seedlings coming on). The deciduous species are a different matter, and self pollinate easily. I have tried cross pollinating them several times and I think I have a few successes.
I have been rather impressed with this seedling from 'Stephen'. It is quite compact and has a creamier flower and a denser spike. I am assuming it was crossed with one of the smaller H.densiflorum forms but the original label was swallowed up by bramble seedlings. I tried to retrieve it along with the plant but rapidly lost enthusiasm for the endeavour.

16th September 2012

Scilla lingulata
Spring bulbs emerge in a fanfare of trumpets from the bare soil. The anxious anticipation that builds through the winter emphasises the bursting promise of their appearance. In contrast autumn bulbs are just there one day. I was poking about in the pots hoping to find some sign of growth in Galanthus peshmenii when I spotted this little blue spike. At this time of the year the leaves are just starting to emerge, and lie flat on the ground. The name "lingulata" (like a little tongue) is apt. Later in the winter they will elongate.
The species comes from north Africa and it seems to be at least as hardy as the north African Narcissus species. I haven't tried it outside, but it has coped with significant frost in a cold greenhouse for several years.
Scilla is a genus that is becoming a shadow of its former self, species are whizzing of into other genera in a blue blur, and this one is now included in Hyacinthoides.
The first flowers have also appeared on the Colchicum and been nibbled by rabbits, which should give them some serious indigestion!

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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