We had one frosty night this week, then the rain rolled in again. It blackened some hydrangea leaves and Hedychium ‘Tara’ is looking less chipper, though still standing. As far as things happening, there really isn’t anything new, what I put in last week is still true and this week’s six could have been done a week ago but weren’t. My current most tangible way of marking time is to check the progress of the Webb Telescope deployment, which I do too often.
There are signs of life in the garden, in the shape of bulbs coming up, though nothing to match the two daffodil flowers I saw by the roadside on a walk earlier in the week. Amaryliis are leading, leafy clumps six inches or more tall. Crocosmia, Camassia, bluebells, snowdrops and crocus are just showing. I’ll start with another.
Nerine bowdenii. I moved all my Nerines last spring and they weren’t happy about it. They didn’t produce much foliage and there were barely any flowers. I thought I might be going to lose a lot of the bulbs but it seems not. Lots of new shoots are beginning to emerge. At some point I think I’ll give them just a little fertiliser to help them along. I’d been making plans for alternate plants but now I need alternate plans for the alternate plants.
Crassula ovata. This is making a reappearance since it’s now in full flower and when I posted it in early December, just starting to open, it drew a lot of comment. Sue painted the back wall of the porch and now when we go out there it doesn’t smell too good. I don’t want to blame the Crassula but I think it is possibly almost as bad as the paint. Looks good though.
I was given a Primula a couple of years back, mainly because the giver thought it was ‘Wanda’ and I thought it wasn’t but wanted to put them side by side so the difference would be clear to see. It’s safe to say that at least one of them isn’t ‘Wanda’. The pretender is lighter, redder, larger and earlier. One of the plants of it is producing frilly flowers, which sounds quite interesting but I suspect is not at all a good thing. Should I dig it up and destroy it? Sterilise the soil? Is it something nasty? If so, what? I need to get a decent picture or two and send them to the RHS to scrutinise.
Polystichum proliferum is a very handsome fern of the “looks like dozens of others” type. What makes it interesting is that the “proliferum” epithet refers to its habit of producing young plantlets at the tips of its fronds. Sometimes these touch down naturally and root, sometimes they need a little help. I will be giving these some help in coming days.
Coronilla valentina ‘Lauren Stevenson’. A selection made by Cotswold Garden Flowers, which I bought along with some Chrysanthemums a year or so back. It has flowered continuously and is beautifully scented, but it doesn’t seem very well rooted and has been rocking and rolling in recent winds, more of which are due tomorrow. I’ve put in canes and tied it up, I’m not ready to lose it.
Which brings me to my Camellia of the week. Most Camellias have no scent. A good proportion of the autumn flowering sasanqua types are odorous but it is not really a perfume, though it isn’t unpleasant. a few species have good scent and one in particular, C. lutchuensis, has been used quite a bit to raise spring flowering, sweetly scented hybrids. C. ‘Fairy Blush’ is one such, raised by Mark Jury in New Zealand as a chance seedling of C. lutchuensis. As I recall, Abby Jury somewhere described not registering it for breeders rights as one of their biggest mistakes as it has become one of their most popular varieties, not least because it seems immune to petal blight. I sometimes get asked to recommend smallish camellias; well here’s one. I bought it in 2020, along with C. lutchuensis, the species, and both are still in pots, so I have brought them under cover to protect their roots from frost.
It’s raining. I have a builder coming to look at the drive in five minutes. It’ll like be the only time I go out today. The Prop has done his thing (six post) and is off to do his other thing (running in the rain). If only.