14th September 2013
One of the greatest delights of owning a garden is the camouflage effect, allowing one to conceal
insanity undel the label of horticulture. I am happy to be concealed.
From time to time the insanity bursts through and becomes visible and here it stands, in the shape of
Leucadendron argenteum. The Silver Tree is a wonderful small tree, growing to about 10m tall
and comes from the lowland slopes of the Cape Peninsula. Some Cape plants are hardy in the milder
parts of the UK, some are borderline and Leucadendron argenteum probably isn't either.
I have a nice bright and airy Agave house, an adventurous enthusiasm for the Cape flora
and now I have a Leucadendron. I have it planted in a stiff soil derived from granite, but
that is the only similarity to its natural habitat. My cold house will probably not offer enough protection
to nurse it through the winter. I will try to keep radiation frosts at bay and there is a slim chance that
in a greenhouse the sun will provide enough heat to give it a chance of recovery.
At present it is all just speculation. The young plant has established and started to grow. As far as I can tell it is healthy
(the Proteaceae are all a bit susceptible to phytophthora diseases).
It can be grown on Tresco, and there are one or two by the coast in the extreme south west (the sort of garden where Pelargoniums
prosper year round).
Shining silver leaves, camouflaged insanity.
19th June 2015
2nd December 2017
18th August 2018
After several delightful years it was finally killed in the frost5s of March. I hoped
that it might produce a low shoot, but it is dead.
18th August 2018
So I have replaced it with a new seedling.