There’s definitely a sense that things are starting to green up in the garden, though only just managing to outpace the slugs. I went out with a torch one evening in the week, it’s a bit dispiriting to see so many. Chionodoxa have lost almost every bud before they opened and Polygonatum were getting mauled.
Chionodoxa forbesii, I think. I am easily confused by the names of this tribe. Usually I get a dazzling display, improving every year as they seed around. This year I didn’t move quick enough when the slugs moved in. The pink ones I planted this year haven’t been hit quite so hard, less cover for the beasties.
I’m going to do two Camellias, starting with ‘Debbie’, which is a very common variety and none the worse for that. I think I also included it quite recently, so I’m repeating myself. It has a tendency to outgrow its own root system and get unstable, which this did; so I cut it down by two thirds about three years ago and have kept it down ever since. I’m going to let it go back up so it screens us from our neighbours better, then cut away the lower branches so I can grow stuff under it.
As with many groups of plants Camellias attract more than a little snobbery, with some people regarding certain types, usually big, blousy and above all, common; as being beneath their rarefied tastes. That’s OK, it takes all sorts. I doubt very much that you’re reading this, but if you are, this one’s for you. Camellia trichocarpa. Another one I’ve been nurturing for years in hopes it will get big enough and strong enough to risk in the great outdoors.
Epimedium pinnatum colchicum. I chopped all of last year’s leaves off this a week or two back. It needs to be done before the flowers and new leaves get in the way. It doesn’t usually flower very freely but the foliage is a cheerful glossy green and it does well in the dry ground under my big Acer.
Glasshouse cleaning. Sue’s cactus and succulent glasshouse has been getting more and more moss along the glazing bars and I’ve been putting off tackling it. Yesterday I took out one row of glass, cleaned it and the bars and put it back. I decided that was not the way to do it and got my pressure washer out of the shed. It looks a lot better from the outside and is much lighter on the inside.
Seed sowing. Just after I posted last week’s six, a packet came through the door with my seeds from the Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia group seed distribution. Three Rhododendron species, four Camellia species, one Magnolia species and Fatsia polycarpa. By lunchtime they were all sown; nothing’s up yet.
Back in the autumn I got seed from the Alpine Garden Society seed distribution. Expecting a slow and erratic germination from many of them, I folded several sorts into filter paper sachets and put them into small ziplock bags. I wrote a blog about it at the time. They had a few weeks warm, then several weeks in the fridge and are now back out in the light and warmth to germinate. I’m very pleased to have had 6 sorts germinate so far. I’ve not been vigilant enough, so the roots on a couple had grown rather long, making dealing with them tricky, but I think they’ll be alright. They’ve been pricked off into cell trays.
Today I’m off to the RHS Early Camellia Competition at Rosemoor, part of their Spring Flower Festival that’s on all weekend. I think it should be a very good competition this year, the weather hasn’t been too bad for camellias for the last week, unless you have a very exposed garden. I’ll be back to check out all the posts from The Propagators bunker.