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

4th May 2014

Erythronium 'Pagoda'
A dry and productive week in the garden. Wet weather can be a little tiresome but it does allow me to put off things I don't want to do. It has been noticeable that the wet periods have been shorter and the gap between them has been longer. The consequence is that I have been unable to avoid clearing up some of the fallen timber about the place. It gets cut to length and stacked tidily out of the way. A short sentence that seems to bypass sweating, fatique and back pain, the hidden attributes of a bank holiday weekend. They are hereby restored. The sun is shining, it's a lovely day in the garden and I am perfectly content to sit here for a while and write this.
During the winter a couple of trees came down at the top of the garden and landed on the Erythronium. I had the sense to remove them immediately, knowing that if I delayed the Erythronium would come up through them and get damaged. This is my reward.
Raised by L. Slikker, who hybridised E. tuolumnense and E.californicum 'White Beauty', it has been the most vigorous and effective of the hybrids I have tried under the trees, making a dense carpet of lush leaves and producing masses of yellow flowers over many weeks.
It is a sister seedling to 'Kondo' which is nowhere near as good. It puts me in mind of Cinderella and her ugly sister, without the ugliness.

4th May 2014

Arisaema thunbergii ssp. urashima
In the greenhouse the Sarracenia flowers are expanding. It's a thing that Sarracenia do very well. Two or three years ago they expanded so far that they displaced the hardy aroids, which had to be rehoused among the bulbs. It isn't a good arrangement, there is a mismatch of wet and dry seasons, but there wasn't anywhere else to put them. Slowly I have been planting out all those that are hardy and I am left with a collection of starved pots containing things I can't think what I am going to do with. Among them are a lot of Arisaema that I should probably plant out but don't have the confidence. How many Arisaema plantings do you know in the open garden that prosper for more than a year or two?
I was given a few small offsets of this Japanese subspecies and they have now reached flowering size. Evidence of their toughness rather than my growing skills because they spent most of the last year under the bench. I have enough to keep one indoors and try the others in the border outside. If I mark them well and they can avoid falling trees, they might become magnificent. I am still not convinced.
Meantime the re-organisation of the bulb house continues and a space has been put aside for the Arisaema.

4th May 2014

Pleione Fiona Hall
The Pleione have also been expanding. I have a small corner of the greenhouse put aside for orchids and it is now comfortably full. If the Pleione continue to expand something will have to move out.
Fiona Hall is a grex involving P.formosana, P. bulbocodioides and P. yunnanensis. In recent years Pleione have been lifted from the uniformity of pink-and-white, thanks to the diligent attentions of breeders. The genus now presents a range of yellows, reds and oranges which are fascinating and new. The next twenty years will reveal if it is their novelty of their beauty that attracts me.
A number of early hybrids are already falling by the wayside and I suspect that Fiona Hall will slip from lists before long, but it is a good little thing (at least my plant is, perhaps it also has ugly sisters). It has a rich even colour, in a shade of pink that is unlikely to offend. Nicely shaped flowers held on upright stems, it has been a quiet pleasure in the greenhouse.

4th May 2014

Cymbidium 'Shamrock'
The first benefits of a mild winter are starting to show. The Cymbidium all spent the season under the bench (because there's no room in the conservatory) and when I put them away I noted all the emerging flower stems, quite sure that they would be destroyed by the cold. It didn't happen and the shoots went on to develop into perfect slug fodder in February. Fortunately I was fast off them mark when I saw what was happening and the first flowers are opening.
I was given Shamrock as a back-bulb division a few years ago and this is the first time it has flowered.
The name suggested that it would be a green flower and I have not been disappointed. If the name is correct then this is a grex raised from C. Castor pollinated by C. hookerianum, raised by McBean's and registered in 1929. That is about how long it takes for a new hybrid Cymbidium to trickle down to me.
McBean's are still raising new hybrids. They mounted a beautiful display at this years RHS Orchid Show. Perhaps next year I should treat myself and buy something new!

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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