Thursday, 14 August 2008


Canna lilies going at it. The size of the rhizomes means I got flowers this year earlier than ever before, last week of July. 

And they come out of this perfectly formed bud, which I'm sure has a technical botanical name that somebody must know...

And they have seed pods which look exactly (I'm sorry) like testicles, though of which particular creature I'm not sure. 

In the back garden, begonias I grew from tubers are flowering for the first time (yup, it took me a while to work out which way up to plant them but after that they did fine).

A fuchsia I thought I'd managed to finish off last winter came back to life, much to my delight.

Euphorbia amjilassa, bought from Great Dixter on a sunny early spring afternoon, starting to really flourish and beginning to flower. The mystery of where exactly it sits in my Local Collection, though, remains. Don Witton doesn't list amjilassa, nor, longifolia, which T&M list it under (they exclusively sell the seed in a nice scheme designed to benefit the Kashmiri village where it was discovered by Kew collectors). Hmm. Enjoy the plant, I tell myself, and don't worry about the label for now.

Another new-to-flower for me, Brugmansia of some random kind I bought in Wyevale for £8.99. If I'd known they were this easy I'd have bought one years ago.

A slightly fargone, but utterly wonderful ginger. Another new-to-me success, Hedychium kewense.

And an old survivor from last year, Celebrity Fuchsia Gary Rhodes. The only time I've ever bought a plant based merely on the name. The breeder, Tony Hickman, was a well-respected old dude who sadly died during the winter 2007/8, so I get to think of the funny time I had meeting him when I look at this plant. 

I took six cuttings of my old rosemary, which I'd had for about ten years and which everybody in the whole street used for cooking. Some of it even went in a bouquet for Princess Diana (that was my neighbour Sanj, not me). All of them died, except one. I got one cutting to carry on the old dear. Very happy about this. 

Proper August flowers. I don't know how anyone makes do without Echinops ritro, it's completely completely essential in my garden. Especially for the lovely bees. I don't know how you tell it's not bannaticus, except by looking at the label. Does anyone else know?

Pure and total joy. Another new to flower. Gladiolus callianthus murielae. Felt like a total twerp last year at the Bulb of the Year lunch while Stephanie Donaldson and Kathryn Bradley-Hole sung its praises. Now I have grown it, I know what they are talking about. What a perfect flower, and smells lovely too.

Caper spurge. A much-mentioned weed in my garden, but much-loved too. What's not to like in all that shape and structure? I could eat it up. Except that it would burn my tongue.

Noel Kingsbury managed to write a whole book a few years ago about how great seedheads are. I don't disagree one bit. And all the better to drug you with, my sweet.

Yeah, okay, I never manage to dig them out completely. One always seems to manage to stay in there. But one's all you need for a crumble.

And here is a final picture facing back down the garden. Black bamboo has collapsed sideways. I put it in so that you can laugh at the mess. 


emmat said...

NB I have just been looking online and I think that ginger is mislabelled. Bloody Wisley, these small nurseries just don't care do they?

VP said...

My garden is littered with similar mislabelled specimens :(

I like your garden view at the end - makes it feel like its absolutely miles to get back to your house ;)

emmat said...

Aww, that's nice. If only it was miles. Actually no I'm glad it's not, I'm bad enough as it is at having everything under control. I still haven't cut back a hebe that got wrecked in one of the rainstorms - still waiting for it to mirraculously resurrect probably.

I think I might complain to Wizzers actually. I don't mind if something from a plant fair is mislabelled, but I think from Wisley they should be tippety top. ALso, it was £12.95! Which is fecking extortion. And it's stapled to the pot, so there's no "a customer must have swapped it" excuse.

HappyMouffetard said...

I do like the Gladiolus - very elegant. Thank yo ufor your donation, by the way - very much appreciated :-)

emmat said...

oh my god, you deserve it totally. Now that i have tried to run 1k, the idea of running ten k seems to me a goal that is beyond all human ability. It's about a pound a kilometre, which I think is entirely appropriate under the circumstances.

Anonymous said...

I like the last shot of your garden with the bamboo :0
I really like the Gladiolus callianthus - that has gone onto my "plants to buy ... sometime list"
Warm regards

Carol said...

I agree, when you buy plants from a "top" nursery, everything ought to be precisely labeled!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I believe the technical term for that Canna bud formation is "spear shaped kind of thingy." You have so many different flowers, not one of which I grow. (Ok, I tried to grow those poppies, but it was a bit of a disaster. They were so lame, & those "breadseed" poppy seeds are so hard to find around here, you'd think they were illegal. Oh, wait, they are illegal.) Not quite, I have a very small Fuschia in a container which is being grown as an annual here.

emmat said...

oh my goodness I had a feeling that's what it was called, but it's really nice to know for sure. It's amazing that opium poppies are illegal in the US - they are such a cottage plant here that I think it would have been impossible to stamp them out. What you aren't allowed to do is cut them in such a way that the sap comes out and can be collected to be made into opium. Cottage gardening, yes, heroin farming, no.

Yes but I go on your blog, and it's full of all these things that I can't grow! Your Olympics post is hilarious; I once tried to compete in deadheading but sadly I got badly injured the first time I tried it and haven't been able to do any, since then.