We live in exciting times. Last Saturday we had an earthquake. I felt a vibration in the buttocks. Read later about some people getting into an absolute panic because their cups of coffee spilt. The headline “Parts of UK Overwhelmed by Underwhelming Earthquake” was appropriate. The Swansea fault usually moves every ten years; this shift was overdue. We can go back to trying to stand matchsticks upright on the table again now.
I had planned a couple of weeks off. But despite not being here, I managed a post last week before disappearing in the direction of an Alpine Garden Society show. I returned home to an earthquake and one hundred and thirty emails. Those of you who are WordPress bloggers know about WordPress subscriptions where every time a blogger posts something you get an email and every time someone comments on that blog you get an email. I must remember to turn things off on Saturdays as the number of contributors to this meme thing grows and the emails I receive as a result grow almost exponentially as our glorious leader, Mr Propagator, replies studiously to every comment.
But I am faced with another absentee Saturday and, sustained by the fact that my post last week, which may have been written the week before or, indeed, tomorrow, attracted such interest, I am contributing, in absentia, once again. This week, though, I’m avoiding poop art, camera complications and general wotnot, and concentrating on some plants, for a change. There’s been some serious waking up in the garden and things have gone from bare to all flowery in no time.
If only to show that I do actually grow things here!
1 Lachenalia bulbifera
No, this isn’t a renamed Corydalis but a plant that originates from the Western Cape area of South Africa. It’s a rather odd plant to grow which is why I grow it. It’s H2 which means it doesn’t like frost. But it flowers around now when it’s frostiness all around at its most frosty. At the end of spring – in the diminishing frostiness – it will die down and go dormant. But during this dormancy it needs to be kept dry until the autumn when you mimic the arrival of seasonal rains in its home country by starting to water it. This triggers it into growth in time for the frosty season.
So this little baby gets my sinky pot treatment. I sink a pot into the ground – this reserves the hole – then have a few pots the same size into which I put plants. This little treasure can then be popped into its pot on warmer spring days and returned to the greenhouse if it’s going to be frosty overnight. It spends its dormant season in a growhouse without any water, its ground pot being filled by something else. It then spends time outside getting watered by the rain through autumn before the daily in-and-out of the greenhouse starts.
Climate requirements aside, and especially if you grow it indoors rather than my fussy outdoor approach, its an easy plant to grow but you’ll have to hunt around for it. It may be sold as a potted plant but is more commonly sold as bulbs or smaller bulbils in late spring which are best potted up as soon as you receive them. Bulbs should flower the following spring. Bulbils may take a few seasons to flower but you may be lucky. It’s a bit unpredictable like that.
I think it may relocate to Edifice2, Simply because Edifice2 is nearer the greenhouse. On the other hand, I would need to unlock the garden gate a lot to get it out and then in (or in and then out if you’re that way inclined). I will cogitate.
2 Iris reticulata ‘Alida”
Blue is a nice cheery colour on a cold spring morning and on a spring evening. But Alida isn’t an Iris reticulata any more. The reticulate Irises have now been put into a separate genus “Iridodictyum”. Thomas Stone tells me that the Iris genus is about to be split into 18 new ones. Except by us gardeners who will continue to use our well-known and understood Gardeners’ Latin names. Yes?
3 Iris histriodes ‘George”
Now technically Georgie boy is a a reticulate Iris but he isn’t in the reticulata group or family or whatever it’s called. So he may be an Iridodictyum or may be something else by the time you read this. But who cares, he’s a lovely purple colour which goes well with the blue of Alida.
4 Corydalis solida subsp. solida ‘Beth Evans’
I hope if they change the name of this plant, they’ll simplify it! Why do we need “solida” twice? I used to work with a Beth Evans though she was definitely not a plant. This Beth is a new acquisition from last week’s AGS show. She is definitely a Corydalis and not a Lachenalia and is just starting to show flowers. This is the time to buy a Beth (and her partner George Baker – named after a mountaineer and not an actor) as plants are often offered for sale which are not true to form and may be pale, washy colours. She’s destined for Edifice2 along with her two sisters – identical triplets.
5 Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Burning Hearts’
I’ve got a “Bleeding Hearts” already but wanted a ‘Burning Hearts” for its larger, redder flowers. It also tends to be smaller overall which will be good for Edifice2, for which you may guess I’m ordering plants now. Couldn’t find one locally so I ordered one as part of a large order a while back. The nursery said it wasn’t ready when they sent the rest of the order so they would send it later. Well they’ve now sent it. It arrived this week. Yep, it’s clearly ready.
To be fair the nursery have guaranteed it will appear and grow strongly once it warms up a bit.
6 Paeonia cambessedesii
What a mouthful. My second acquisition last week (I was rather restrained as my main intention was to meet people and drink coffee and consume cake whilst looking at the show rather than the plant sales).
I know nothing about it other than what the tray label indicated – a dwarf variety with a yellow-centred, deep rose-pink flower over purple-tinged foliage. It’ll go in Edifice2.
I also came away last week with a bottle of bubbly and an Arum. Both raffle prizes. As the Arum was handed to me I wondered where I was going to plant it. Certainly NOT in Edifice2. But I’ve been thinking that maybe those Iris/Iridodictyum could move to Edifice2 and the Arum could go next to the pond. It would like that and there’ll be no issue with it spreading. It can fight with the Epimediuns and Alchemilla Mollis which will otherwise overwhelm the Iris/Whatevers in a year or two. And I won’t have to lie on the ground the next time I want to take a photo of George and Alida. Yep. Problem sorted.
Now you may be wondering what’s going on with Edifice2. Well I’m covering that in a separate short series of posts. You may have missed the first two which you’ll find at:
Episodes 3 and 4 will appear on Tuesday and Thursday next week. I’m not going to six Edifice2 again until I start planting it up. I may not even then. If I don’t soon have lots of planty things to feature I’ll go off and sulk somewhere.
Now why not pop over to Mr Propagator’s blog of the day and delve into the links (in the comments) to the growing flock of Six on Saturdayers which, if you wait until later, may even include Gill Heavens.
See you next week when, maybe, I’ll relent and give you some emergings. Or maybe not.