Thursday night was proper cold, a real shame because there are a few more Camellias starting to flower now and it has toasted them. Fortunately I took a few pictures on Thursday afternoon, having seen the forecast. It’s what would have been happening Saturday had the weather been kinder.
Camellia grijsii. As in many plant groups, step back from modern hybrids to the species they were derived from and you get back a simplicity and charm that can sometimes seem like a bit of relief. Not that C. grijsii has been used for breeding in any variety I’ve ever encountered. Still, it has small, single, white and very fragrant flowers on an open bush with small leaves.
Another Camellia, and a repeat of one I included on the New Year’s Day post. It only had a couple of blooms open then, by thursday this week it was a picture, now the flowers are turning brown and hanging like rags. There are more buds to come, but I’ve seen the best of what this year has to offer. I took a picture on thursday, but half of it is in shade from the fence, these were taken on wednesday. It’s ‘Show Girl’, a sasanqua x reticulata hybrid.
I’ve got tulips starting to come up. I’m trying again with the species to see if they’ll stick around rather than disappearing after a year. Then I have three pots of ‘Jimmy’. There might be a lack of imagination in evidence there. There’s certainly a lack of weeding, perhaps you’ll believe me if I say they were frozen in the ground.
Clematis make me nervous. Last year I chopped my viticellas back hard in January and when they tried to grow the slugs had other ideas. Leaving it later, which I think you’re meant to do, means a lot of fresh new growth gets hacked off. This is ‘Polish Spirit’, growing like mad. If I leave it until February to March it’ll have a foot or more of new growth. I see the Prop is planning on doing his next week; I think I’ll follow his lead.
Red tussock grass, Chionochloa rubra. The very old plant we had of this was getting too big and blocking the path beside it. It set very little viable seed but I did eventually manage to get a few going and after three seasons this one is beginning to make its mark. I just looked it up on Cotswold Garden Flowers and I can’t better Bob Brown’s description of it: “A constant pleasure. Never untidy, moves like a ballerina and shines.”
I’ll finish off with another New Zealander, Astelia chathamica. In all the many years I’ve grown this my enthusiasm for it has never wavered. It may be at its best in low winter sun or it may just look better than ever because of the lack of competition, either way, it’s a winner.
We’re getting our front driveway replaced which has set off a chain of discussions about fencing and gates and how much we want to see of our neighbours (and vice versa). Generally, less is better. The work isn’t going to get done until March but I’m already getting stressed about the inevitable disruption. I must get this posted and go have another contemplative look at it all, in vain hope of a lightbulb moment.
I didn’t get an email notification of the Propagator’s latest missive, but he’s done one and it’s here and it’s not to be missed. Have a good week.