Too many twos in the date if you ask me. Actually managed to get a bit of gardening done yesterday, mainly chopping down grasses and Epimediums before the new growth gets any higher and makes it impossible. It looks barer, I’m not sure it looks better. A few more weeks will change that though, there are things shooting all over the place. At least with a bit more happening finding half a dozen things is easy enough, to the point I have choices.
I’ve been playing with grafting camellias for a few years, with a modicum of success. This one is Camellia reticulata ‘Mouchang’. Most Camellias can be raised from cuttings but pure reticulatas are the exception. I grew seedlings of a wild type C. reticulata and grafted this onto one in August 2018. It’s only about a foot high and the flower is enormous. It’s in my tunnel of course, along with a few others.
I’ll sneak a couple of the others in, for the Camellia fans out there. These are the species Camellia yuhsienensis and a 1993 registered variety from Nuccio’s Nurseries in California called ‘Sunny Side’. They’ll have finished flowering by next week.
Rosa ‘Betty Sheriff’. There was a great back story to this rose but I’ve lost it. I seem to recall Ludlow and Sheriff collected seed of it in the wilds of somewhere while on an alpine collecting trip. It was distributed and forgotten about. Decades later, they happened upon someone who’d successfully raised it. I got it from the late Nigel Holman of Chyverton. It’s a beast. It’ll grow up tall trees and drag them down. The spines are merciless. Then it flowers and all is forgiven, big trusses of pink blushed white fragrant single flowers. I was visiting my old haunts and collected some cuttings, I have no idea what I’m going to do with them if they root.
Trachystemon orientalis. This is the toughest of plants; will grow in dry shade, wet shade, whatever. Semi-evergreen, with new fresh whopper dopper leaves coming up now accompanied by blue shooting star flowers. OK, it lacks refinement, but where that isn’t required it’s very useful.
Storm Ciara blew out a fence panel between us and next door, Dennis snapped a post and took down the trellis panel a bit further along. The post was concreted in. To get that out I need to remove the panels either side, dig a big hole and lift the concrete out. I decided to wait til the next post goes and I can replace a section of the fence. It only gets blown from one direction so I propped it. Could last years.
I had a tray of Cyclamen seedlings which by autumn last year had become very densely covered with moss. I thought I would see if Jeyes Fluid would kill the moss so I mixed a bit up at a dilution I failed to note and sprayed the tray. It worked a treat but the cyclamen were already leafing out below the surface and I waited anxiously for them to emerge. Nothing happened. I had another poke around and it looked like I’d probably killed the cyclamen as well as the moss. Turns out I hadn’t. In spite of the label saying C. hederifolium, they look to all be repandum, which doesn’t emerge until January. Looking good, there are even some flower buds coming up. Sown 6/9/2017.
I’m going to end with a garden Camellia too. C. x williamsii ‘Debbie’ is quite possibly the second most widely grown Camellia in the UK, after ‘Donation’. Raised in New Zealand by Les Jury from a C. saluenensis x C. ‘Debutante’ cross. Les’s younger brother Felix repeated the cross and raised the virtually identical but allegedly more compact ‘Debbie’s Carnation’. ‘Debbie’ flowers well for a long time and is comparatively weather resistant, a big bonus this year.
I was hopeful I might get a bit of gardening in today, on the forecast it looks like it may be mostly dry, though it’s horizontal drizzle at the moment. It’s my allotment that really needs attention, perhaps I’ll go and put in a few hours up there. It’s a very exposed site, not a good place to be when the wind is up. I might wuss out and read blogs all day. Now, where might I find some of those? I know, I’ll go here: The Propagator.