February 17, 2009

February Valentines Day Bloom

Sorry for the delay in posting, Joe fell down the stairs Saturday mornings as a nice VD gift to himself, and ended up with a broken leg. OF course, we first spent the day at Logee's Greenhouses, where he walked on it for the day! Plant hunting is indeed a tough sport.
Buddleia asiatica

This Buddleia species was a common cut flower in New England and in the big east coast cities during the nineteenth century ( before air travel allowed flowered to be flown in from around the world). Rarely seen today, this tender Zone 9 Buddleia asiatica not only blooms in cold greenhouses during the winter, it produces these fragrant flowers, which smell not unlike baby powder. This plant was planted in the ground in the greenhouse, near the rear foundations, and it grows so quickly, that I need to cut it back annually almost to the ground. It roots easily from cuttings, and one could attempt growing it in a cold unheated room, porch or conservatory.

I grow far too many South African Oxalis species, but this one is new for me, and even though this is its first year in my collection, I am moving it up on my list of favorites. This pot of Oxalis annae, from Telos Rare Bulbs, has been in bloom since October. Most, if not all of these bulbous Oxalis bloom generally, for a month or so, and then call it a day, producing foliage for the rest of the winter growing season. Since this pot only contains three bulbs, I can't wait to see what pot of perhaps 20 bulbs will produce next year ( if Telos doesn't sell out, again!). Shhhhh...don't buy any.

Just an interesting seed pod assemblage on my pot of Massonia. Another South African bulb, but one which is pollenated by Gerbils in the wild. (?) ( ! ). Gerbils and sex? Who'd a thunk Mr. Gere).

With the price of everything going up, I am now glad that I took the time to dig up some of the many tender bulbs last autumn, such as Dahlias and Alocasia. Here, an Alocasia 'Coffee Cups" is divided, and repotted. So that $35.00 'investment' is truly that! Take THAT MR. Madoff!

The last of my WWF Amaryllis, the new hybrid 'Bogata' blooms displaying it's noteworthy stamens that extend far beyond the flowers. These 'Cybister' crosses are very impressive, and their very 'species' look are more appealing than the big, blousy crosses we see at the supermarkets.

Another view of my alpine troughs, with some protection from the ice and wet snow. Under this plate glass grows Saxifrages, Eritrichium and Primula allionii who prefer dry, cold and frozen conditions without thawing or ice.

Lastly. The rarer Nasturtiums that are bulbous, and appropriate only for the coldest greenhouses, are known for being fussy and finicky, often not emerging for tow or more years, then, when they do, not blooming. This year I have two which decided to start growing again, the more often grown T. tricolor and the stubborn T. azureum. Both look as if they are going to bloom soon, but the foliage is so tiny and interesting, I thought I may post an image earlier, incase the decide to go back to sleep again.....I guess I needed to provide some proof that they exist!


  1. Matt, what a pleasure to stumble on your blog...I think I was making a search for rare Convallerias and your blog about forcing pips caught my attention-wow I'm impressed,so exciting...! Do you have any of Dr.Keith Hammett's Clivias from NZ?You have so many great collections and grow them impeccably and with great style,bravo- I'm speechless and that's RARE lol! Brian

  2. Taking the time to dig up the tender bulbs was worth it. Indeed, some investments are truly that, they give you back more than you put in and are reliable.

    I liked looking at your pictures. I want one of each thanks ;-) I feel like digging up a nice spot in my garden and getting some fresh plants.


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