November 16, 2008

Late Bloomers

Back in February, while attending the World Orchid Grand Prix in Tokyo, you may remember my complaining that my Coelogyne cristata has never bloomed, especially since I purchased one 6 years ago when I first saw the mega-plant in the Tokyo Dome. Well, readers posted what I should do ( basically, provide more fertilizer, and repot, more water, etc....and look what I found today while taking a quick stroll through the greenhouse- only a handful of stalks, but finally, it did bloom. Perhaps next year, I will fertilize it more, and see what happens. The plant spent the summer outside, where the unusually proficient summer thunderstorms drenched the plant daily. I think I should have fertilized it more frequently, but I mixed up a weak manure tea with pidgeon poop and duck shavings. Just playing.

Haemanthus albiflos - getting bigger and blooming on schedule in the greenhouse.

This plant blooms the first week of December for me, so actually, it is blooming a couple of weeks early. This South African is easy to grow, and rewards one with these distinctive shaving-brush like blossoms.

Camellia sassanqua

One often associates Camellias with February and March, but there are some species which bloom in the Autumn. Camellia sassanqua , this particular variety lost its label, can handle some frost, so I leave some pots near the front of the greenhouse along with other plants which look best in the fall, and which can handle some light frosts. With temperatures falling this week into the low 20's, I moved everything in under glass. Officially, winter is about to arrive.

Fergus watches the last of the potted tubs outside the greenhouse get prepared to be moved in for the winter. I think he is hoping for a mouse to appear.

Another annual fall bloomer, my trusty Cyrtanthis alatus x, which I divided this year into a dozen plants. Three divisions have buds, which always surprises me since Cyrtanthis dislike root disturbance. That said, so to Nerine, and I have had nearly 100% bloom this year, a year when I disturbed and divided all of my bulbs. Maybe the disturbance actually stimulates some to flower?

November 6, 2008

Massachusetts Orchid Society Show

LAst weekend ( halloween weekend here), our local Orchid society held its annual show at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, Massachusetts, an hours drive from Boston. Many wonderful orchids were on display, and I was impressed with the quality and variety of species that were shown. The Orchid Society is one group which I am not a member of, I think I passed through my 'orchid phase' a few years ago, but I encourage others to consider joining - this particular chapter is interesting because it meets on weeknights rather than on weekends, which fits my calendar more conveniently.

November 1, 2008

Narcissus viridiflora

Another autumn flowering Narcissus, the green flowered Narcissus viridiflora is currently in bloom. Every fall I seem to want to post a photo of this plant, I guess I like it. With a scent a bit like cloves ( or nail polish remover!), this jem has begun to product more bulbs, and my onetime purchase of 2 bulbs, has grown to 7, which is nice.

Not much of a plant, I suppose, but still a nice, annual, visitor. It wouldn't be Halloween without it! I still love it, even though is grows slowly. How could one not love a green Daffodil, especially when in blooms in the fall?

This Oxalis lupinifolius ( I think, the tag is missing), is a shy bloomer. But the pale pink color, which is difficult to photograph, is pure and light. The foliage is certainly Lupine-like, and looks nice in a bulb pan for most of the winter, although it only blooms briefly in October.

More shy ( and rarer yet) is this beauty, Oxalis monophylla. A single-leaved Oxalis ( or monofoliate form) which I have had in the collection for four years, growing in pure sand. It finally sent up a couple of flowers which open ever so briefly when the sun is out. This species is rather uncommon, in both collections and in herbariums.

Oxalis monophylla, a unifoliate species of Oxalis from South Africa.

The maples I ordered after visiting the NYBG arrived from Forest Farm quickly, I was able to get all but one on my wish list. Now, all I need to do is to decide where I will plant them.