How time flies when you’re doing jigsaw puzzles. January down. Hopefully this year will go better than last but I’m not holding my breath. At least the days are beginning to lengthen and the temperature’s up a bit, meaning that a bit got done in the garden this week.
Scale insect. I never like to see brown blotches on the leaves of evergreen shrubs; the years I spent fighting sudden oak death on the nursery have made me super cautious. I spotted a leaf on one of my Camellias that I didn’t like the look of so I picked it off before it had a chance to spread and on the underside it was infested with scale. There was plenty of black sooty mould on the tops of the leaves, I knew it was there really but had been pretending otherwise. I spent a happy half hour carefully rubbing them off between finger and thumb. The leaf blotches are not sudden oak death.
On the subject of pests, I did a bit of tidying up around the garden and was seeing horrifying numbers of slugs. I left fallen leaves where they landed except when they were smothering low plants or on the paths. Now what I’m finding is that the leaves are providing perfect cover for slugs. I’d also collected multiple bags of leaves from another garden, shredded them quite finely and used them as a mulch. Far fewer slugs, but it has made a bit of a mat that the smaller bulbs are struggling with a bit. Next year I’ll shred the leaves and spread it thinner; perhaps bag up some for a top up mulch if needed.
I am growing on several Camellias for the Mt Edgcumbe National Collection and this one is labelled ‘Optima’, which I know is wrong from the leaf. I’d made a guess as to what it was and was expecting it to have small pink flowers but it’s just opened up and is white, and scented. I can now put a name to it, it’s ‘Ariel’s Song’, a hybrid of C. fraterna and C. tsaii. It’s a lovely variety, I have one in the garden which will flower later on.
Camellia ‘Adorable’. ‘Ariel’s Song’ is all subtlety and understatement, ‘Adorable’ is such an intense colour it almost hurts your eyes and I cannot get a photo of it that looks right to save my life. Believe it or not, there are others that are even worse to photograph; ‘Jean Claris’ and ‘Anticipation’, to name but two.
We ventured out yesterday and I came back with three shoots from an apple tree from which I had collected a big bag of windfalls back in about November. I don’t know what it is but reckon it’s too good not to add to my growing family tree. It brings the number of varieties on it to seven, assuming the grafts take.
Chrysoplenium macrophyllum. This is a repeat of something I put in two weeks back. The flowers are fully open now so you get a better idea of its quality. I have this growing in my bog garden and in summer it is overwhelmed by Impatiens omeiana and Astilbes. It seems to be holding its own pretty well and does its thing when the rest are still below ground.
Looking at the forecast, it’s another jigsaw day. As much as it’s hard to get anything done, there isn’t really very much needs doing. Birdwatch weekend, probably should have done it yesterday when there was a bit of sun but it’s on the agenda for today. And repeat visits to The Propagator for my SoS fix. That’s Sunday sorted.