I’ve actually spent a bit of time in the garden this week, partly tidying up, partly starting on my quite lengthy list of things that need doing in winter. It looks like the weather is set to turn wet again next week so I should probably keep at it over the weekend. The sun is rising now into a clear sky and an hour ago the moon set in as spectacular fashion as I’ve ever seen.
Winter work. Just in this view are several things that were on my to do list. I moved the Miscanthus back and to the right, then cut down the Fuchsia ‘Lechlade Magicien’. It has been gradually dying from honey fungus; I dug out the section that had been cut down some months ago. White mycelium under the bark and black rhizomorphs around and among the roots confirmed the diagnosis. I also dug out the very rotten Schefflera root that it had spread from. I’ve planted Hedychium ‘Stephen’ in the space, hopefully that will not be attacked.
I was going to dig out the small apple tree but changed my mind, for the time being at least. On the other hand I’ve added the Mahonia to the list of things to move; it’s very yellow and isn’t going to flower, hopefully it’s just in too much sun and hasn’t also come under attack. I’ve a shadier spot lined up.
I grew Arthropodium cirrhatum ‘Matapouri Bay’ from HPS seed in 2019 and since making an impressive start has been set back by winters and mauled by slugs since. Thinning my bamboo has created a bit of a space which will give it overhead protection and perhaps be dry enough to harbour less slugs. I keep looking enviously at Thistles and Kiwis pictures of her rock lilies; I have seen them growing well in South Devon, it should be possible here if I can find the right spot.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Navajo’. What makes for a good display of flowers on a camellia in winter is for the flowers to last a while, not get blown off the day after they open. That way you get lots out at once. ‘Navajo’ is outside the front window so I mostly see it from inside but pictures from that angle get reflections from the glass and a backdrop of the builders dumpy bag and pallet of paving slabs next door.
Begonia ‘Mishmi Silver’. It may not have escaped your notice that as well as having a thing about Camellias I also have one about Begonias, in particular the ones that can be planted in the garden, even if they get lifted for the winter. I dug this one up and potted it a few weeks ago, at which time flower buds were just showing. Mid December seems an odd time to be flowering but a plant from North India is going to be a bit confused by finding itself in Cornwall. It just seems extraordinary to me that this is a plant that was collected in the wild, not some carefully bred hybrid.
Begonia sizemoreae. I read somewhere recently that this extraordinary plant is another recently introduced species found growing in fairly low altitude forest in North Vietnam. As crazy as it seems, I will probably plant this out in a shady spot next summer, just to see how it does. It seems to be a vigorous grower so I may be able to take a cutting before I put it out but I have a hunch it’ll be just fine. I can always get another from Dibleys. Obviously it will have to come in again in the autumn. I could just place it outside in a pot I suppose. It’s standing on an upturned 20L pot.
Strictly speaking, the last two aren’t in the garden, so I’ll finish with something that is. Euryops pectinatus is fairly reliably hardy with us but this one is in a large pot standing on the rotting stump of one of the Eucalyptus we had taken down some years ago. It really is looking good for the time of year and is still producing a trickle of flowers.
I suppose I’d better get out there and shift that Mahonia. There’s a few more items on my list should get done today too, I’m in danger of catching up with myself. The Propagator posted at crack of sparrows, I wasn’t around to see it but it’s where the links are.