Home Index Web Stuff Copyright Links Me Archive


15th October 2023

Nerine 'Australian Afterglow'
It has been nerine week. The nerine house is looking wonderful though it is rapidly passing its peak in the warmth. N. 'Australian Afterglow' has escaped the worst of the heat by flowering outside. I thought that the wind might have caught it because in the greenhouse it can be a bit floppy, but exposed to the elements it has stood up well. It has been outside for two winters now without damage. It was always an impressive thing but it is starting to look like a good garden plant, at least down in Cornwall.
Nerine week brings chaotic weather. I have had a few moments to get into the garden, the weather has been mild and the rotation of the season remains gentle. On Thursday it tipped with rain so that the roads flooded and traffic was reduced to a crawl but that was in Worcestershire (looking at Nerine of course). On Saturday the bright sunshine brought out the best of the flower colour, but that was in Exbury. What was it like at home?
I will find out tomorrow. Nerine week is mad.

15th October 2023

Impatiens stenantha
Impatiens is a genus filled with astonishing promise. Some wonderful plants have been introduced to cultivation as gardeners work their way through the species. Some have persisted in cultivation beyond the initial thrill of their introduction. Most have not. A small number of species have shown themselves useful for the garden and although there aren't many of them, they are remarkable things.
I grew Impatiens stenantha for a long time in the shady passage behind the house, where it naturalised well in the cracks in the paving. I was impressed and when a friend wanted one, I gave him the last plant I had in a pot. I had plenty of seedlings. Then the passage had to be cleared for some builders to defile. The Impatiens suffered but I was sure that it would reappear. Unfortunately it didn't happen, I have missed its cheery flowers. I was finally given a plant by another friend and have planted it in the shade at the top of the garden. It has grown well, flowered well and I am hoping that it will also spread well. It's one of the good ones.

15th October 2023

Hedychium urophyllum
Hedychium urophyllum comes into a similar category in its own genus. There are a great many Hedychium and they are all filled with astonishing promise. However, just as in Impatiens, they don't always produce results in the garden. H. urophyllum has been distributed recently and it has been a wonderful thing. It grew well for me in the greenhouse but it was only once it was planted in the garden that it started to deliver unstintingly on the promise.
It has made a good, dense clump with moderate height canes and broad glossy lesaves. The stems are red tinted, the flower bracts are mahogany red and form distintive cones. Unusually for a Hedychium, it flowers for a long period, lasting through most of October.
It would be interesting to plant it with Impatiens stenantha in a combination of plants that had delivered on the astonishing promise of their respective genera. They wouldn't be accompanied by a Begonia. Every silver lining has a dark cloud.

5th October 2023

Camellia sasanqua 'Paradise Hilda'
Camellias are the unlikely stalwarts of this garden. Unlikely because I am not particularly fond of them. Camellia-pink is a colour that jars my senses in the spring when the garden is full of delight. I wouldn't want camellia-pink jam, camellia-pink cakes carry their own warning shades and camellia-pink flowers are generally found growing on Camellia. I am not a great fan but nobody belives me because I grow quite a lot. They may not be the loveliest shrubs but they are very convenient. They positively glow with hard-working utility. The greatest thing about Camellia is that they don't cause any trouble, at least not in this garden.
So I grow a lot of Camellia and as the years pass I am discovering more and more that give me genuine pleasure. I like the strange ones, the perfectly geometrical ones. I like the ones that flower at odd times. I adore the autumn flowering ones. C. s. 'Paradise Hilda' is wonderful. It opened at the start of the week with the thrilling anticipation of a new book. It starts the season of delightful Camellia which runs in parrallel to the Camellia season.
It is a pink Camellia but it isn't a camellia-pink Camellia. It is an exotic-jam and delicious-cakes pink Camellia.