Saturday, March 25, 2017

Trough Day


Eyes light up on the arrival of the cement mixer.


Wouldn't have gone so smoothly without Peter.


 Two onlookers Cynthia and Otto giving the odd direction or two.


 Everyone is busy


"And I am in my best clothes" was the quote.


Yours truly giving directions


Such concentration from Joy, Fermi and onlookers.


Margaret giving Jon a hand.




Some of us looked very stylish.


Faye struggling with her moving container.


Lorraine with her oval pot she carried all around Prague, well she couldn't buy plants.


A very in-depth conversation with Susan, Pam and Marg.


 
Debbie getting her hands in there.


Our President Di getting that surface smooth, I think a good day was had by all, already talk of another small trough day for next year.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Note from Our Friends in Canberra.

Sitting here on a very rare, wet afternoon in Canberra I thought I might
share some pictures of what's out at the moment. It's been one of our worst
summers on record both temperature and rain wise. The garden has suffered
and our pockets are a lot lighter after the last water bill. I believe we
have the most expensive water in Australia, but the plants are worth it. 
How nice it is to get to autumn. The Sternbergia is beautiful to see nestled
between two English Box plants. We've had that batch in for a few years now
Nice to see the yellow and can't wait for the Daffodils (and snowdrops). The
Colchicum I believe is byzantium, (please correct me if I'm wrong). It's a
bit droopy after the rain yesterday. I can see lots of other crocus just
starting to show themselves after the wet also. Amazing what a bit of rain does.
The Brunsvigia is not ours. It's owned by a close friend Maureen Howe. She's
had it for a few years and can't remember where she got it from. We've never
seen anything like it. Maureen is a person that you pass on bulbs to her if
you can't get them to flower. We had a F. Imperialis from Otto that Maureen
has flowered previously. She has a garden with over 120 maples, mostly
weeping that not many get to see. A stunning garden.
We're coming to the Melbourne International Flower show next week.
It's been on Dariens bucket list for a while so looking forward to it.

All the best.
Col & Darien.




Brunsvigia Josephinae

Brunsvigia Josephinae


Colchicum byzantinum now called Colchicum cilicicum Col, according to Brian Mathew book on Dwarf Bulbs. Lovely to hear from you Col and Darien. 


Sternbergia lutea

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Small Trough Workshop



 These are two of the small trough's I made at our last trough making day, we are holding another workshop this Saturday 25th March at 2.00pm at the Olinda community house next to the Olinda swimming pool Melway's Map Ref 122 A7. You will need to book if you are thinking of coming along.
Or you can put your name down in the comments and I will see it and add your name to our list, there is a small charge $25.00 for non members, and you need to bring a couple of old salad bowls, or small dish.
This square shaped small trough was over a 17cm square salad bowl.


Sempervivum arachnoideum growing in the trough above, I thought you may be interested to see it up close. I always had trouble believing these sedums were Alpine until I saw them growing in the Mountains of Spain and that changed my mind. They do love full sun to get these cobwebs all over them.

Saxifraga minutifolia growing in another small trough over a round 12cm shaped salad bowl.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


Colchicum byzantinum



 Colchicum byzantinum alba? above and below most books describe this Colchicum as cilicicum but I purchased this Colchicum from Rod Barwick in Tasmania as Colchicum byzantinum alba, so I'm not sure which it is but they are all lovely.




Colchicum byzantinum? pale form in our new garden above, with our native bee, the bee's are very dark in colour, and below without bee so you can see the stamens and filaments.


Flowers just opening up below, there is so little reference books or web information as to which is which in the Colchicums, I wish some one would do a reference book on just Colchicum.


Colchicum byzantinum (below) when reading E A Bowles book on A Handbook of Crocus & Colchicum this form of C. byzantinum is correct as the styles overtop the stamens and are tipped with with a very conspicuous crimson crook, I'm sorry the crimson colour has finished but you can defiantly see the crook in the top flower of the photo below.


Colchicum autumnale is flowering at the same time as Colchicum byzantinum and when these have all finished flowering my Colchicum cilicicum all come into flower, which is when Bowles says this is when they flower too. But to quote E A Bowles "C. cilicicum seeds freely and seedlings vary in form and colour, but C. byzantinum of late years has not been noticed to seed , and the garden stock now grown is almost certainly one clone, which increases so freely by multiplication of the corms that, like other garden plants, it may have become sterile." So does this make the white flowering C. byzantinum and the pale form C. byzantinum, Colchicum cilicicum I don't know!


Colchicum autumnale (above)


Merendera montana an easy species for the rock garden, a sunny well drained position is needed for this little bulb from the Central Pyrenees and Iberian peninsula.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Autumn Glories


Allium x nutans 'Millennium'  Christmas present, a lovely compact Allium for a sunny well drained position, this is its 2nd flowering.


Adenophora uehatae this is a gorgeous Adenophora for semi shade, substantial waxy blue bells only
10cm -13cm high but the blue bells are a good 3cms across. From plant Hunters in Tasmania. I think its full title should be Adenophora morrisonensis subsp. uehatae from China as our plant looks different from the AGS web site, Adenophora uethatae bells look narrower and smaller on their site . Flora of China says it also comes from Taiwan shaded scree. From the Campanulaceae family. (Above & Below)



Aralia californica from Craige at Sunnymead Farm, another woodlander the flowers are pretty insignificant, but these berries come out green then change to a maroon red to black. My son has a small dry but moist Creek running through his property and when he was digging this plant up for me to bring to our new garden he took a small division from the side, his would be three times the size of mine. But they will grow quite happily in a shaded position.


Colchicums are all out as you come in the gate.



Three different leaves of Cyclamen mirabile all seed grown from Holland from Cyclamen mirabile 'Tilebarn Nicholas' and below is Cyclamen mirable 'Tilebarn Nicholas its self a beautiful pink leaf. (Below)


I just had to include this beautiful Cyclamen colchicum, talk about happy. I only grow this in the glass house right at the door where it gets a bit of the weather and breeze, heavily perfumed. From seed from Holland. Mine has not set seed even though I have hand pollinated it. Cyclamen purpurascens will not set seed in the glass house either but here in this garden it does, a bit of a mystery really. (Below)





Cyclamen purpurascens alba with 3 flowers this year slow to multiply also from Holland, Green Ice company. (Above)



Kirengeshoma palmate from Ken and Leslie Gillanders in Tasmania 1985, so many years old, but still a very favourite of mine. Growing in a woodland position with moisture in summer and a lime free soil. Coming from Japan.



Friday, March 3, 2017


Allium togashii



Allium togashii from the Bunfight Fermi and Will 2004. I thought I had lost this lovely little Allium only reaching about 15cm in height with fluffy pale pink flowers in late summer. They look fluffy because the stamens and stigma all come out further than the petals on the flower making it look fluffy. The Allium has seeded down the side of a terra cotta pot, thankfully as I thought I had lost it, it is quite rare in Japan where it is endemic from Shikoku, Kankakei and Azuki and is not in any of my Alpine books on Japanese flora. It is grown in other parts of the world though listed on NAGS seed exchange at times. It requires good drainage and plenty of sun well worth trying from seed.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Phytolacca acinos


 Common name Red-ink plant from China, grows to about 1 meter  high and is totally deciduous in winter. The flowers are greenish white, but it is not grown for its flowers, it is the pink stems that hold the black globose berries with 5-16 free or fused carpels on long racemes. Much loved by birds which are not affected by the toxin carried in the berries as it is passed whole through their bodies.
It is not invasive here in our garden, as I have had to propagate it from cuttings in early spring using very soft tips with a # 3 strength hormone powder, I have noticed 3 seedlings  come up this year in our gravel driveway.
Reference book Guide to the Flowers of Western China by Christopher Grey-Wilson & Phillip Cribb.