Named after the well known Scottish plant collector George Forrest. Rhododendron forrestii var repens usually shy to flower, but because of our cold winter this year Otto's Rhododendron plants along with the Saxifraga's are flowering profusely. This whole plant is totally prostrate only a few centimetres high, the flowers are sometimes produced in pairs with dark green oblong leaves, with purple backs makes it easy to identify.
Ranunculus asiaticus alba from Marcus Harvey seed collected in Crete.
Bergenia 'Bressingham Ruby' from David Glen
A drift of Cyclamen repandum with Anemone ranunculoides flora plena.
Cyclamen repandum album. Cyclamen repandum occurs quite widely on Corsica and Italy, and is self sowing extensively in Otto's garden along with the rarer C. repandum album.
The reason I went to Otto's garden was to photograph this rare Daphne x rollsdorfii William Schacht, given to Otto from a man in Tasmania who thought Otto would look after it. He has, it is now 30cm wide by 10cm high and dark coloured flowers, it was in sun as I was photographing it, so the true colour of the flowers do not show up as they should.
Epimedium davidii a difficult Epimedium to grow, it needs a damp shady position to do well, with a good mulch to do as well as this one, with bricks or stone to keep its roots cool in summer. Don't be misled when told all Epimediums can grow in dry shade, it is not the case with this one. Apologies for the top of the flowers being washed out in the sunshine. I think Clover Hill Nursery sometimes has this Epimedium for sale, but not widely available. Epimedium davidii was reintroduced into cultivation from China by Martyn Rix, one of the authors of the 2 volume books on Perennials and other books.
The last of the Fritillaria's in flower above and below Fritillaria gracilis.
Fritillaria persica a bit elongated by the shade. Middle Eastern species, southern Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Palestine. Likes to have its head in the sun and have its bulbs in the shade of a small shrub, so the bulbs can be kept cool in summer, plant the bulbs in under the shrub, so it can come up through the shrub. We should be growing more of this Fritillaria from seed as it comes from a climate like our own. Lets see more of it in Australia.
Fritillaria whittallii another from southern Turkey growing in limestone screes and in Cedar forests, also should be more widely grown in Australia.
Haberlea rhodopensis 'Stormont's Variety'. Haberlea rhodopensis is little known and grown in Australia they are from Greece and the Balkans, they are easily grown when planted in a semi shaded position wedged between two rocks, or on the edge of a stone wall as with Ramonda's. Haberlea require a little more sun than Ramonda but not much, but the same humus rich soil and moisture. They can be propagated from seed sown on sphagnum moss finely chopped, watered and placed in a sealed plastic bag in a cool position, or leaf cuttings. Stephen Ryan from Dicksonia used to sell Haberlea and bought quite a few large pots to the Bunfight one year, may be he has a few pots hidden away in his Nursery somewhere or can be encouraged to propagate what he has to sell again.
Narcissus triandrus variety Loiseleuri, I'm not sure where Otto got his bulbs from but mine came from The Scottich Rock Garden Club seed exchange, it will not be listed every year but you do need to remember it, when looking at seed catalogues as it is a very beautiful Narcissus triandrus x.
Narcissus 'Solveig's Song'
Primula Boothii hybrid
Rhododendron pemakoense above and below
Rhododendron scintillans it is the darkest of the blue, royal blue, purple flowers
Rhododendron campylogynum (above) A Book by Alfred Evans 'The Peat Garden and its Plants' which I have mentioned before in previous articles has a very good guide to growing small Rhododendrons. Plants are sometimes for sale at the Rhododendron Gardens in Olinda, you need to order your plants well in advance and they will propagate them for you. Craig at Gentiana Nursery, Olinda is another nursery that propagates small Rhododendrons for sale, he propagates them himself.
Lastly it is a sad occasion when one tells you of the passing of several gardening greats Denis Norgate of Norgates Nursery Trentham, Victoria has passed away peacefully in the Nursing home.
My mother and Ray's mother used to have extended holidays collecting plants from Norgates Nursery to take home. They loved how you could walk around the long rows of plants, grown in the ground, pick a flower and take them back to Denis and he would dig up large clumps for you, then they would go home, split up the plants to share with each other.
You may remember Roy's talk on seed raising a few years ago when he spoke of Professor Deno and his detailed publication on seed raising and seed stratification, has passed away.
Also sadly Jan Bravenborer from Green Ice Cyclamen seed which I have bought seed from extensively over the years, has also passed away. Our thought go to the families of these great plantsmen.