Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Eranthis cilicica

 I have much more success with Eranthis cilicica than Eranthis hyemalis. It is such a joy to me when they push their noses through the soil and unfurl their ruff, with these lovely bright yellow flowers on top. Its feels like I have never seen them before, I'm sure gardeners know what I am saying.  I grow them in a trough with Hepatica japonica and Hacquetia epipactis Thor, their leaves shading them in summer, they are watered all through the months of summer.
Eranthis cilicica leaves have many divisions, sometimes tinged with bronze as you can see on the last photo. Coming from Turkey, Iraq to Afghanistan in a variety of habitats, in alpine pastures, hill slopes and the outskirts of woodland areas. Many botanists consider E. cilicica to be a synonym E. hyemalis, but it is separated by the more finely divided foliage, shorter stature and larger flowers. The hybrid between Eranthis hyemalis and Eranthis cilicica is Eranthis x tubergenii. We would not have Eranthis x tubergenii at all if we didn't have E. cilicica and E. hyemalis these two species hybridise to produce Eranthis x tubergenii with large flowers and it is scarce as propagation is only by division.
It dates from before 1924 when the great plantsman E.A. Bowles called it Eranthis 'Tubergen' for C.G. van Tubergen  who first introduced this interspecific cross about 1923.
I do not think Eranthis x tubergenii is in Australia.

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.