Having rained all night, it’s due to clear into a half decent day. We’ll see, at the moment it doesn’t look promising. It was forecast so I made sure I had some pictures in the can yesterday. I was thinking I might be able to find half a dozen things flowering even after the cold spell but it wasn’t to be. But look hard enough and there’s always something happening.
Camellia ‘Minato-no-akebono’. I’ve done this before, about a month ago soon after it started flowering. It was really getting into its stride when the cold spell hit but seems to have come through pretty much unscathed. Some of the blooms that were fully open were singed a bit, the rest were fine. The coldest night was -2.8°C, I don’t think it could have taken much more without losing all its flowers.
Last saturday I was bemoaning the non-arrival of some reduced tulip bulbs I’d ordered from Peter Nyssen before Christmas. They turned up the same day and have been planted in 20L pots which have been dropped into the holes vacated by Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’, which had been frosted, cut down and moved up to my tunnel. The trays are to stop cats using them as toilets. I’m quite surprised the Echiums just behind them have survived. When I dug out the Chamaerops that was where these pots now are, I disturbed seeds of Echium that had been there since 2013, and which germinated in large numbers. I potted a few up but can’t remember where I put them.
Chrysoplenium macrophyllum. This disappears for summer under Astilbe and Impatiens omeiana, it’s bedfellows in my ex-pond bog garden. At this time of year it has the space to itself and both flowers and puts out runners which produce new rosettes of big leaves. It warrants the most muted of wows, but it’s better than nothing. It might look better in a week or two and if so, I’ll post it again. Then again, it might look worse.
Yucca gloriosa ‘Variegata’. Just beside the tulip pots in the front garden is a variegated Yucca. Until now it has had a single stem and has flowered and branched to create a chunky dense crown a couple of feet above the ground. Now it has a pup growing at one side. I don’t think I want it there, the existing plant will push it over into the neighbour’s garden. Maybe I’ll give it a year then try to take a cutting of it. Is that something anyone has done? I haven’t looked up yucca propagation but I suspect it’s pretty easy. I need to do some weeding round it too.
Camellia ‘Koto-no-kaori’. Like ‘Minato-no-akebono’, this is a lutchuensis hybrid, meaning it is also scented. It is in many respects a better plant, the foliage colour is better, it doesn’t start to flower so early so is a bit less vulnerable to frost and the flowers have a stronger colour. Somewhat predictably it doesn’t have quite as strong a scent. Even so, if I could keep only one of the pair it would be this one. The flowers are slightly smaller than ‘Minato-no-akebono’ at 6cm across and this is the first to open this season. The name means Perfume of Ancient Capital, from which I infer that unlike here, Japan’s ancient cities didn’t have open sewers running through the streets.
Papaver horribilis. I said yes to this offering from someone with the sort of garden where the thugs fight it out for space and the weak go to the wall. I seem to remember it having untidy semi-double orange poppy flowers, maybe P. orientalis in some very unrefined form. I have had it for a couple of years and don’t remember it flowering but it has spread, presumably by runners, about three feet in all directions, and through all manner of better plants. I suspect that if I try to dig it out I will simply propagate it so I will probably use glyphosate on it, just a quick squirt at the larger rosettes, and hope that it realises it’s not wanted. I’m generally quite good at saying no because once you’ve accepted something people keep asking how it’s doing and saying you had second thoughts and binned it seems unkind.
That’s it for another week. Links to other sixes are here, and here, also here.