Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Jean Annett


It is with great sadness that I let you know of the passing of Jean Annett aged 84 years. Always a lady, a member of our Alpine Garden Soc. Victorian group for many years. A quiet worker that was always ready and willing to help, she would come up to me and say "Now what can I do to help Viv?"
On our Trough making day as a fund raiser for the group, Jean spent nearly all day in the kitchen washing dishes and serving tea and coffee, while Don was outside on the cement mixer.
Jean loved her garden and the smaller plants, Dodecatheon grew very well for Jean seeding around, and she happily spent most of the day, weeding and planting. Don and Jean had our group over many times to visit their beautiful garden, with a big pot of soup on the stove to feed the people who forgot their lunch.
Thank you for the memories Jean.


Saturday, June 16, 2018


Cyclamen out in June.

What a good time it is to do what is out at the moment, when it is 3deg Celsius out side and what I consider cold. 


Cyclamen fatrense heavily perfumed.


My new booklet on Cyclamen in Slovenia from the University Botanical Faculty, Ljubljana, Slovenia, my birthday present with postage and bank fees about $45.00. Its a study carried out by Joze Bavcon on Cyclamen purpurascens in Slovenia. Sparsely overgrown forest floors in Slovenia, are just covered in Cyclamen purpurascens, can you imagine the perfume.


The reason for the booklet is I needed to find out more about Cyclamen fatrense, now considered an important Slovakian endemic. Its distribution area is small, Mt. Velka Fatra and Mt. Starohorske vrchy in deciduous and mixed forests of beech with firs or spruces in limestone soil. In 1971 Halda and Soyak described it as a new species, but Grey-Wilson 1988 believes that it is just a variety of Cyclamen purpurascens, Joze Bavcon agrees with Grey-Wilson. Cyclamen fatrense grows quite well in our acid soil here in the Dandenongs as Christ Grey-Wilson says it does the same in the United States. The flowers are heavily perfumed and the leaves are a thick dark green, with a maroon back, the flowers can vary from pink to dark pink.


Cyclamen alpinum forma leucanthum  white form.


Cyclamen alpinum forma leucanthum pink form.


Cyclamen elegans


Cyclamen parviflorum


Cyclamen coum from the Cyclamen Society seed. Seed collection number CSE 87055T, 1987 in northern Turkey. The leaves have a real sheen to them and the flowers look like crushed tissue paper.
If you are lucky enough to have a copy of the Genus Cyclamen published by Royal Botanic Gardens Kew it is on page 227.


Two beautiful Cyclamen silver leafed coums out at the moment from Marg T.

Monday, June 11, 2018



Chestnuts Garden



As winter is coming we will be featuring more of the Gardens that we visited with the Alpine Garden Soc UK.
The Leed's garden Jane and Rod gorgeous thatched house, on arrival we were greeted with a cup of tea and biscuits with blue gentians painted on them. How Jane painted them I don't know as she had her arm in plaster on our visit.


Many of the bulbs that the Leeds are famous for growing, had finished flowering by the time we visited this garden but there was still much to see. The garden is divided by a small road running through the middle a strip of land had been purchased at a later date woodland had been created on the other side of the road. 


Arum creticum in flower at the front of this bulb bed.



Old sinks, troughs and pots are on display through out this garden, giving the smaller Alpines places to grow to display them at their best.




In the centre of this beautiful old trough is Vitaliana primuliflora.


At the back of this trough there are flowering pulsatilla and in the centre of this glazed trough is Erigeron aurea and at the front is Androsace rigida a trough full of treasures. 



To see the contents of the troughs you need to click on the photo's to bring them up to the proper size.


Salix Nakamurana  variety Yezoalpina a prostrate creeping willow with long trailing stems, coming from Hokkaido Japan where it clings to steep rocky windswept slopes. Not struggling in this raised bed with lumps of tuffa nearby to keep it happy. Fritillaria flowering at the top.



The yellow Daphne I think is Daphne modesta when going through my old notes this is the name I have written down, and beside the daphne is a Tulbagia in a very deep pot. The lead pot contains the double white Anemonella thalictroides with the double green Anemonella beside it.


Anemonella thalictroides Shoafs Double in one of the terra cotta pots above 




Adonis brevistyla blue up against a brick wall to give it protection.



 Anemonella thalictroides Double Green was growing in one of the troughs.


Glaucidium palmatum pale flower colour in between the mauve and white.


The work area 


The book written by Rod Leeds in 2000, an excellent bulb book full of information and coloured plates. There is also an article on the Leed's garden in Gardens Illustrated this month March issue.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Cyclamen purpurascens fatrense. 


 A bit of confusion over this Cyclamen it has so many names I have always grown it as Cyclamen purpurascens fatrense, it has all been lumped into C.purpurascens, then we have Cyclamen purpurascens subsp. immaculatum as a synonym.
The Czech and Slovak botanists treat Cyclamen Fatra Form with plain green leaves as a distinct taxon.
The flowers are beautifully perfumed, it flowers later than the usual Cyclamen purpurascens for me. I think it may be like Cyclamen colchicum and be counted as a specie one day.
There is a collection of Cyclamen purpurascens at the University Botanic Garden, Ljubljana, Slovenia where Joze Bavcon, has been studying wild populations in Slovenia. At the University Botanic Garden's they have bed upon bed of Cyclamen purpurascens. With his studies and observations Joza Bavcon has published a book of 163 pages, devoted to just Cyclamen purpurascens in English.
What ever this Cyclamen's name, I encourage you to get some seed and see if you can grow this beautiful, perfumed, green leafed Cyclamen.





Sunday, May 27, 2018

Autumn foliage in Canberra 




Colin tells me they are having a beautiful Autumn in Canberra. Colin's favourite, Galanthus are just popping their heads through the soil and it is still dry there and very cold.





Monday, May 14, 2018

Beth Chatto

The sad passing of Beth Chatto, what a wonderful day we had at Beth Chatto's Garden and Nursery, what a wonderful legacy she has left the Gardening world.



The Dry Garden.


Working in the Garden on our arrival.


The Nursery.



Our welcome to her Garden and Nursery.


Two good friends, our condolences to family, colleagues and friends. On behalf of the Alpine Garden Society Victorian Group.







Sunday, May 13, 2018

Exploring Plants of Italy

26th May at 2.00pm 



 Not only does this man grow beautiful dwarf bulbs as is shown here, Jon is going to speak to our group on the 26th May at 2.00pm at the Olinda Community Centre, Olinda-Monbulk Road, Olinda Melways Ref 122 A7. We do hope you will come along and listen to Jon speak about what he saw in Italy and share a cup of tea and afternoon tea with us as we would love to meet you.
Galanthus elwesii an Autumn flowering form (above) and what a strong grower it is, as well as being a beautiful form.

Iris vartanii ex Mt Carmel, Israel raised from seed by Jon 2016 a fast germination of this exquisite Iris Jon says it has interesting blotches on the falls. Otto thinks it is probably the only one in Australia if you or any one grows it in Australia we would love to hear from you.
Iris vartanii from Brian Mathew's book on Iris says  'It is a native of Israel, and probably adjacent Syria, and it flowers from November to January over there and it is flowering May here, it flowers at low altitudes in scrub on rocky hillsides. It is not an very easy plant in cultivation.' It is part of the Iris reticulata group so well done Jon.