This sort of weather makes it hard to get enthusiastic about anything, let alone gardening. I wanted to crack on with my fence this week but it’s a mud bath out there so progress has been slow. There has been some though. I also sowed seed of a couple of things. Four more and I have my six.
Bar, double handled shovel and planting spade. I broke the handle on the spade, for the second time. It’s patched up with glue and wire, seems to work. This is my kit for digging holes four feet deep and six inches square. I’m not a fan of concreting posts in, I’ve had to dig too many out to replace them. Three down, three to go on the current job.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Navajo’. This looks like it’s going to be fabulous this year. It’s just outside the front window so we get to enjoy it without going outside. It has a few blooms open, the first nearly two weeks ago, and there are loads of buds to keep the show going for a couple of months. The orange in the background is Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’ and in theory there should be no risk of its flowering season overlapping the Camellia’s. It’s no respecter of theories.
Seed sowing one. Camellia japonica ‘Admiral Spry’. This is one of those camellias that has white flowers, pink flowers and pink and white flowers, seemingly randomly. The genetics behind it is too complicated for me to understand, though Wikipedia does its best in its transposable elements entry. What intrigued me most was that here is a mechanism that allows a form of variegation to be inherited. The plant has been open pollinated so it’s anyone’s guess what the pollen will have come from but there should be a good chance of getting bicolored flowers in the progeny. I was also fascinated by the fact that not only are the flowers usually bicolored but that random red pigmentation feeds through into the ovary and is visible in the ripe fruit as red stripes against green.
Seed sowing two. Nerine masoniorum. This is the second lot of these that I’ve sown. I sowed a potful last month from a plant I had, then bought a larger, later flowering form at the Tregrehan Rare Plant Fair which also produced seeds. The first lot were germinating as they fell from the parent plant and I now have a grassy pot full of seedlings. I have Amaryllis seedlings germinating too, from seed that Tony sent me from America. They’re for a different six.
Begonia bulbils. Begonia grandis ‘Nanjiang Silver’. I have a couple of forms of Begonia grandis which I love, so last year I bought bulbils of a different form from Growild Nursery. When they came I was a bit taken aback at how small the bulbils were and my hopes for anything growing from them were low. I was wrong and I ended up with three plants which this year have produced bulbils of their own, also very small. I have sown them, like seeds. I’m fighting the temptation to collect and sow more of my other B. grandis varieties; I could sell them when we open the garden; why am I fighting?
Rhodochiton atrosanguineus. I am very surprised that this is still looking as good as it is. It’s been a reluctant climber, I kept it in the greenhouse for a long time, training it up a stick, then planted it on our new obelisk where I’ve had to tie it in to get it to grow up. And this is how it repays me, right at the end of October. It has seed pods on it but whether they will yield viable seed remains to be seen; I have bought seed for next year. I can sell surplus when we open the garden.
According to the forecast the weather is going to chuck a bit of everything at us today, but maybe dry up a bit later. It’s still raining and blowing a hoolie at the moment but I live in hope. I just told Sue it would be sunny by 10am, I might get a bit of my fence done, who knows?
I had a quick look at The Prop’s post, he’s the MC for this six on saturday’s gig. If our weather is heading his way he’s going to have a day of decorating.