Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dryas and Geum

from Rock Garden and Alpine Plants by Henry Correvon

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Chilly Night.

Oh dear! A cold night with sub-zero temperatures had left the Hellebores looking miserable, they had been flattened by the chilly night air.
Despite the fact that I'd seen this happen before, I was not exactly confident that would recover, and I was relieved to see them regain their posture as the air warmed in the morning sun.
Part of my concern was that they might not regain their good looks in time for my Hellebore Sale on the weekend after next (see details in sidebar), but within hours they were resurrected completely.
The weather forecast predicts warmer weather for the next two weeks, so they should be unaffected by further sub-zero temperatures.

Helleborus 'Pink Frost' got a frosty start to the day.

H. 'Pink Frost' fully recovered as the temperature rose.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Whenever I check the statistics on the dashboard of this blog I find that, inevitably, my post on Helleborus niger 'Praecox' (24 November 2010) is the most viewed.
I suppose this is not surprising as it is the most amazing plant, that in this climate (zone 6b) blooms from November to March.
Of course in the depth of winter it slows down, and although it's flowers are bowed by sub-zero temperatures, it still has unopened buds curled up close to the ground and under the protection of its leathery leaves. Remarkably, these buds take advantage of any mild spells and will open up in the hopes of encountering a passing pollinator.

Today I decided to clean up my plant and removed last years leaves and found amongst the dozens of perished flowers a few that were still alive and in pristine condition

Friday, March 16, 2012

Asarums, one , two and three.

Asarum maximum 'Green Panda' came into bloom yesterday, it is the last of the three Asarums that I grow in the greenhouse, and, to my mind, this is the best way to enjoy these exotic flowers up close.
The idea of growing them in pots and under glass came from my garden buddy Erika, who in 2010 boarded her A. 'Green Panda' in my greenhouse for the Winter. I was so impressed by her plant that I've collected more for my own enjoyment.

Asarum maximum 'Green Panda'.

Unidentified, but still very beautiful Asarum #2.

Asarum splendens.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cyclamen libanoanticum in Bloom.

Cyclamen libanoticum is amongst the last to bloom in the greenhouse. It is worth the wait as the flowers are pale pink with wide petals and a delicate simplicity. The tubers of c. libanoticum are small and seem to like growing in small colonies, enjoying the company of their neighbours.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rosemary 'Foxtail'

I don't know why, but the picture of Rosemary 'Foxtail' in the Richter's Catalogue, doesn't look at all like the two that I have planted together in a single pot. The Richter's image shows the plume like growth shooting out in all directions like an exploding fireworks, whereas the growth of my plants grow down like the other prostrate forms, such as 'Santa Barbara' and 'Huntington Carpet'.
Not that I'm complaining, these are exceptionally beautiful plants with dense plume like growth and unusually large flowers.

These two plants are currently wintering in a black plastic pot, but will soon be transplanted into something more attractive for the warmer seasons.

The flowers of 'Foxtail' are large and are coloured an unusually dense blue.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tender Tiger?

This Spring, just as it did this time last year, Helleborus 'Jade Tiger' has come bolting out of the ground only to have it's tender new shoots blackened by sudden sub-zero weather.
I was beginning to wonder if this precocious behaviour was the result of the genes passed down by one of its parents that would typically be accustomed to a milder climate. I often see the same thing happen with H. foetidus, which can have it's flowers fall foul of Spring frosts but otherwise be completely hardy in my zone 6 garden.
I put this question to Mr. Ernie O'Byrne of /, who kindly responded with the information that 'Jade Tiger' had been developed by breeding H. torquatus with a large double green hellebore and that I'd probably had a couple of years of bad luck with this particular plant.
As it happens I've been able to protect "Jade Tiger' from further damage by covering it at night (see post for Wed. 7th March), and perhaps this cosseting has only added to its early development.

H. "Jade Tiger' as it looked this morning.

A closer look at "JadeTiger'.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

For the Record- Small Narcissus

This is a record of the small Narcissus that I grow in my greenhouse, I only wish the list was longer but there seems to be a sad lack of availability of these little treasures here in Canada.
It is so frustrating to see what can be had in other countries when going through the online catalogues from the U.S. and Europe. Add to that the rigmarole of importing and I am only further discouraged.
If anyone should know of a source for small or species Narcissus, please let me know, I would be so grateful.

Narcissus romieuxii

Narcissus Minor

Narcissus cuatrecasasii

Narcissus Cantabricus

Narcissus bulbocodium

Thursday, March 1, 2012

St. David's Day

Today is St. David's Day, and perhaps an appropriate time to feature my most wanted plant. On this day in Wales people will wear either a daffodil or a leek, both considered national floral emblems, and in fact, it is a daffodil that tops my list of most wanted plants. Narscissus 'Cedric Morris' was found in Northern Spain by Cedric Morris the famous plantsman and artist who was also a Welshman. Later it was gifted by him to Beth Chatto who raised it and named it N. 'Cedric Morris'.
Narcissus 'Cedric Morris' blooms very early, usually around Christmas and the New Year, it is not clear whether it is a species or a naturally occurring hybrid, it stands 25cm tall and is a delicate yellow trumpet which graduates to green as it reaches the stem.

Cedric Morris by Lucian Freud. Obviously painted when Freud was still one of Cedric's students and looking a more in the style of Cedric than Lucian.