Benign day today, gales tomorrow. We had a couple of frosts during the week so there’s a lot of mush about but we’re now back to the more usual succession of weather systems coming in off the Atlantic. It’s not so much that nothing is happening outdoors, just that it’s the same few things going on for many weeks and I’m trying very hard not to be repetitive. The Camellia ‘Navajo’ is looking so good though that I’ve sneaked it into a picture of something else. I’ve put in three inside items though, so they’re not strictly in the garden but they’re not strictly in the house either.
Chamaerops humilis. This is pretty much my response to a request. Tony pointed out that you never hear about my Chamaerops. I have included it a couple of times but the last time only as a clothes horse for snow. I looked it up on Wikipedia, like you do. Interesting entry, it has a fascinating relationship with a weevil for pollination. Also, I discover, there is a blue leaved, high altitude form from the Atlas Mountains that has been recently introduced to cultivation. I want one.
The one I have is 3 or 4 feet high, perhaps a little more in width. Most of that is leaf, the stems, there are several, are a foot or so tall with the vicious spiny leaf stalks coming from them and supporting fan shaped leaves. We’ve probably had it 20 years, it’s incredibly slow. Once a year I go under it to weed and remove old dead leaves; it always draws blood. Hopefully it’ll outlive me and some other poor sod will have to dig it out.
Kalanchoe ‘Dorothy’. We bought this at our local garden centre about five months ago and it hasn’t changed much. A massive head of flowers on a single stem with a few fleshy leaves at the bottom. It’s in the front porch so it gets lots of heat and sun by day, quite cold by night.
Teasel. I may have mentioned somewhere that a neighbour is growing teasel and I was expecting it to seed into our garden. It hasn’t quite worked out because the seeds have not been eaten by goldfinches nor have they fallen onto the ground on our side of the fence. They’ve germinated in situ. I suppose at some point the whole seed head will fall and I’ll have a clump of seedlings. Maybe the seeds on the underside fell out, I’ve not looked for seedlings on the ground.
Crassula argentea. Jade plant or whatever you want to call it. We inherited/liberated this from our deceased next door neighbour and nursed it back to health. Still not completely on top of the mealy bug but it’s happy enough to be flowering. Like the Kalanchoe it’s in the front porch and I wiped off the rain to take its picture, only to get reflections instead, so I took another shot through the open door.
Tropaeolum tricolor. I saw this at one of the Rosemoor flower shows in the spring and bought three bulbs from Avon Bulbs in the summer. I planted them, wasn’t sure how moist to keep them or where best to put them. They’re in my new glasshouse, frost free, fairly dry and I wasn’t expecting anything to happen until spring. Got a bit of a surprise this week when I saw it had shoots several inches long and growing very fast. I need to sort out some kind of support for it before it gets tangled round itself and everything else within reach. It’s a nine inch pot and I’m wondering if it’s big enough. The flowers are on the plant at Rosemoor, from 23rd March.
Miscanthus nepalensis last had an SoS outing two years ago but has looked good the last week or two, especially on the rare occasions it’s dried out a bit and caught some sun. In sun it goes fluffy, that picture was taken on Monday. It’s wet again now but is still good for getting somewhat abstract shots. It flowers late, I was beginning to wonder if it was going to do anything.
Another six completed. Three more sees out another year and gets us to the other side of the shortest day and a bit more besides. I feel we’re already moving beyond tales of things dying and being cut down into new shoots coming up and the promise of spring. Gardening as a partial antidote to pessimism. For more new shoots be sure to check out theThe Propagator’s blog and the links from its comments section. Have a good week.