September 5, 2007

Chilly Mornings and Tea

Ever wonder what green tea looks like as a plant? Here, Camellia sinensis, or the true green tea tree, which is a Camellia, blooms on a chilly September morning. Mmmm....I want tea.

Nature is so powerful, that I could not hold beack the Cyclamen from blooming. Usually, I start watering the bulbs around the first of September, but these C. graecum are already blooming. In fact, around the world many Cyclamen graecum are blooming early. This is one Cyclamen species that prefers to stay a little damp in the summer, at least it's 'feet', since it has strong anchor roots that prefer not to go dormant. This year I carefully repotted the bulbs, but was careful not to disturb the root system or root ball, and in fact, simple slid the root mass into a slightly larger pot (these nice new Guy Wolff pots which I recieved over the summer!). More postings on Cylcamen later....Of note, the recent fires in Greece, where these are native, are indeed natural, and the cyclamen boom there should be better than normal, regardless if the fires were started by arson or not. Many cyclamen, and bulbs, native to summer-dry areas are designed to survive fires, and even thrive after the competition of grass and shrubs are burned off. Many seeds of such bulbs even need smoke exposure in order to germinate.

These first chilly mornings signify the coming of autumn, and thusly, the Nerine sarniensis crosses have received thier first treatment of "fall rains', to trigger them into growth for the winter. This time I used rain water with about 5% nitogen in it, mimic the first African thunderstorms, to see if this will stimulate these nototiously hard to grow bulbs to send up thier dorman buds.

In the rock garden, a few sprigs of Zauchneria californica are decorating my desk this morning. This plant is thriving in the summer raised bed next to the greenhouse, and apears to be either self seeding or spreading into a large mass after 5 years. Acquired at a NARGS plant auction, this zone 7-8 plant apparently likes it's situation in my zone 5 garden. Micro zones, do exist, as we all know, but I am sure that Global warming is helping!

Another NARGS seed sale item, I think this is Sythyris or something like that...at least that is what the lable says, but it is wearing off.......any ideas anyone? About 4 inches tall, in the rock garden.


  1. Anonymous4:11 PM

    Gorgeous photographs. May I inquire where you obtained the tea plant? I'd love one of those.

  2. Anonymous10:20 PM

    You have some of the most vibrant and amazing photo's on this blog! Thanks !


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