Home Index Web Stuff Copyright Links Me Archive


Thats enough introduction - on with the plants!
To navigate this site, use the links above, or the detailed links at the bottom of this page.

... out in the garden.

6th February 2011

Cyclamen coum .
I don't think I was alone in sighing with relief last week when the weathermen promised "changeable" weather. It has duly arrived, slightly misty, overcast and warm. Strong winds have been a bit of a feature and the garden is looking neatly combed. All of the snowdrops are facing in the same direction as though something interesting is happening over there, and I am missing it, but gossiping bulbs aside the garden is looking good. The cold spell in December has held the very early flowers back, so a lot is happening at once and for the first time in a couple of months I have a lot more pictures than I know what to do with.
I have a rather washed out form of Cyclamen coum in the greenhouse which has been in flower for a month and is no more than a technical delight, like a pre-packed trifle or a "fresh" scented lavatory block. Foolishly, I bought it because it has silver leaves without regard to the flowers. In the garden I had a bit more sense, and planted the most aggressive pinks I could find. In the dead of winter they push up through the leaf litter and yell at me as I pass. There are a lot of delightful new strains being selected, but at the start of the year I want a colour that will curdle blood.

6th February 2011

Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno' .
A good week for helping the snowdrops along. These double snowdrops are nestled among the Hellebores and appreciating some extra light and air (I cleared a lot of unwanted overgrowth last autumn). I started planting them three or four years ago and they are making nice clumps just as the first Hellebore flowers open.
It is not a form of the common snowdrop that I particularly like. For a long time I had a single clump under a Fuchsia, just to say I had it really, but it produces large shining white flowers in vigorous clumps. I think I may have judged it a little harshly.
It is quite variable. The plants among the Hellebores have come from a variety of sources, and some more variety will be added this year (if I find any cheap enough), so I was interested in this clump. It has a lot of large white outer tepals scattered through the flower and makes a bold show. I will be keeping an eye on it next year!

6th February 2011

Galanthus 'Lady Elphinstone'
Part of the charm of 'Lady Elphinstone' is her vexatious nature. The promise is always of golden flowers nodding in the breeze. The reality, at least here, is that yellow marked flowers are a rarity. I have found one so far this year, and here it is!
I have wondered if later flowers from the clump are more likely to be yellow, and Bowles says that they become more reliably yellow when they have settled in thoroughly. It has to be mentioned that he lived to a very great age. My bulbs have only been in the meadow for 20 years so perhaps I just need to be patient. A good yellow flowered double would be a delightful thing but if I knew it was yellow I wouldn't have to creep around on my hands and knees checking. Where is the fun in that?

6th February 2011

Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys'.
A pretty willow that produces these noteworthy black catkins in early spring. It seems to be quite erratic about timing. This year I think the cold spell in December has persuaded it to open as soon as there is some warm weather. In other years I have had to wait until March.
It is a common enough plant and a little bit large for the display it gives - for the rest of the year it is just a greenish blob that expands beyond the intended limits, as willows inevitably do. I always wonder why I am so fond of it.Perhaps it is just the oddity of black flowers. I do certainly have an affinity for oddity. I have had it for a very long time and I think I have just grown accustomed to having it around. I bought it from Hilliers in 1978 when they were still a specialist nursery, before they moved their focus to garden centres with cappucino bars. It was quite a rarity in those days and I parted with more actual pounds then than I would be prepared to now.
For many years I have also extolled the beauty of the brick red anthers when they emerge from the black catkins, but I don't recall seeing it looking really good since I left the east of the country. It needs the sort of shining spring day that we just don't get in the wet south west.

Acorus Alocasia Anemone Arisaema Arum Asarum Aspidistra Begonia Bromeliads Camellia
Carnivorous Cautleya Chirita Chlorophytum Clivia Colocasia Crocosmia Dionaea Drosera Epimedium
Eucomis Fuchsia Galanthus Hedychium Helleborus Hemerocallis Hepatica Hosta Impatiens Iris
Liriope Ophiopogon Pinguicula Polygonatum Ranunculus ficaria Rhodohypoxis Rohdea Roscoea Sansevieria Sarracenia
Scilla Sempervivum Tricyrtis Tulbaghia Utricularia Viola odorata Watsonia

To find particular groups of plants I grow, click on the genus name in the table above. Click on the "Index" box at the top of the page for the full list.
I have a lot of good intentions when it comes to updating this site, and I try to keep a note about what is going on, if you are interested.
If you want to contact me, the address is infoMONKEYjohnjearrard.co.uk
When typing the address in, please replace MONKEY with the more traditional @ symbol! I apologise for the tiresome performance involved, but I am getting too much spam from automated systems as a result of having an address on the front page.