Yesterday the temperature was well up in double figures and there is no doubt the pace of things in the garden is picking up. I went out expecting very little to have changed from last week and found twice as many items as I needed. I’m not complaining, winter is plenty long enough and I’m always desperate for spring to get going. It’s always a protracted business with setbacks along the way; patience is called for.
It takes a certain sort of person to favour Muehlenbeckia astonii over an Iris reticulata that is flowering for the first time in many, many years. I am that sort of person. I thought it was hanging on to a few leaves from last year but no, it thinks spring is here and is breaking bud. The biggest of the new leaves are about 4mm across so I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was greening up and since I pretty much grow it for the bare stems you could say that it’s coming to the end of its season of interest.
The various succulents that I included last week were well received. I take that as encouragement and you probably shouldn’t encourage me. This is Agave montana, collected at altitude in Mexico by Nick Macer and bought from his nursery, Pan Global Plants, several years ago. It was overwintered under cover for a couple of years but has been outdoors all year for the past six or seven. It has weeds and I’m really not keen on weeding it. The other thing is Aloe aristata, which also lives outdoors.
Chrysoplenium macrophyllum. In summer this is buried beneath Astilbe and Impatiens in what passes for a bog garden (filled in pond). It’s surviving rather than thriving and even in flower is interesting in an very understated way. I should pot a bit up and look after it, see what’s it’s made of.
Arum italicum ‘Pictum’ or as it seems to be now, Arum italicum subsp. italicum ‘Marmoratum’. I don’t have this, it’s growing in a friend’s garden and was looking superb yesterday when I called for a coffee. She gave me seed in the autumn which is sown but not doing anything yet. The pot of seed made a less interesting picture.
A few years back I was going round Tregrehan with a bunch of other people and admired a six foot bush of Sarcococca wallichiana loaded with high gloss, pitch black fruits. With permission, I picked a few and managed to raise a few plants. This is the first to flower and as you can see, it was so well worth the wait. The flowers are scented, but not as strongly as the usual species you see. I need to see if I took a picture of the fruits.
I have crocuses.
For yet another week. The six flowery things at the top were decoys, the six that might have been. Some are slated to appear in a later episode, some not.
Check out The Propagator’s six for links to many more sixes. Full of spring is coming optimism no doubt.