Friday, December 21, 2018

December 2018 
The garden is still looking good, as we have had lovely low temperatures and plenty of rain, so that
the flowers are not burnt and the foliage is still looking good.

Dryas octopetala Bunfight Pam K. 2013.

Saxifraga Kathlene Pinsett import New Zealand.

Saxifraga snowdrift import New Zealand.

Aquilegia cazorlensis syn Aquilegia pyrenacia above and below seed collected Cazorla Spain, a beautiful delicate Aquilegia the leaves are finally cut and the flowers are quite small compared to Aquilegia pyrenacia, a treasure. Semi Shade 30cm high.

Dianthus gratianopolitanus BF Helen W. 2009

Saponaria Bressingham Hybrid import New Zealand. Bred by Alan Bloom Horticulturist  of Bressingham Nursery Author of Alpines for trouble free gardening.

Saponaria ocymoides Aaron Seed.

Iris juncea from Spain, Ottos Garden in a Sunny position.

Oxalis Matthew Forrest these Oxalis are notoriously difficult to grow, in Otto's glass house.

Oxalis adenophylla growing in Otto's glass House from Essie Huxley the legendary Tasmanian Gardener.

An easy bulb for a sunny position Ornithogalum dubia New Zealand seed 2004, I find this species is not a nuisance, it does not self sow for me.

On behalf of the Alpine Garden Soc I would like to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a great gardening year for 2019. Happy seed raising.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Gardens Visited

Ramonda x regis-ferdinandii 

Our next meeting is a talk presented by Will and Fermi on Gardens visited on their last trip Overseas. Starting 8.00pm, 24th November at the Olinda Community Centre next door to the Olinda Swimming pool, Olinda-Monbulk Road, Olinda. One of the gardens visited by Will and Fermi was the Gothenburg Botanical Gardens, (Goteborg) Sweden.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


 Wisley Glass house;  The tuffa wall filled with plants that do not like it too wet and the rock retaining wall opposite covered in colourful Alpine plants. The two gardeners were weeding and replanting the tuffa wall, while we watched on. What a job.

Tanakaea radicans from the Saxifragaceae family very rare in gardens and in woodlands of Japan of which it is native. The plant is dioecious meaning there are male and female plants, the female plant does not produce runners or stolons while the male plant does. The creamy white flowers are Astilbe like but only getting to approx 10cm high. This was growing with Ramonda and other choice plants in a trough in Ireland. One to look out for, for those who order seed from Japan.
Farrer writes of it "Tanakaea radicans is a most pleasant little Japanese plant for light rich woodland soil in a comfortable cool corner, where, if it is happy, it will soon throw out runners freely from its main tuft of fringed-looking elliptic-pointed toothed leaves, leathery and richly green, from which ascend in summer stems of 6 inches, ending in loose fluffy spires of white blooms like those of a miniature Spiraea."
I notice Edrom Nursery in Scotland sometimes has it for sale and it is also listed in flora of China as Tanakaea omeiensis but the article does not mention about the plant being dioecious.

Rhododendron trichostomum Collingwood Ingram a little dwarf Rhododendron from Otto, one of his cuttings he gave me that is growing into a lovely little bush.

Allium karataviense the Turkestan onion from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and in Aaron's Glass house, the leaves are as lovely as the flower which last for quite some time.

Allium peninsulare is a North American species of wild onion also growing in Aaron's glass house, Raised from North American Rock Garden Soc seed.

Allium siskiyouense a flat leafed Allium also from North America known as the Siskiyou onion. Native to the Klamath Mountains and nearby ranges of Northern California and Oregon. CNPS rated as a rare plant, flowering in Aarons glass house.

Camassia leichtlinii Alba in Aarons garden. 

Leopoldina weissii 2/2010 Kirt Vickery seed.

Paris polyphylla variety Yunnanensis seed collected in China by Terry Smyth on a visit to China. Collection number 96248 in 1996. Luckily I passed a piece on to Aaron and he still grows it. It is a beautiful Paris and not very tall only reaching about 60cm.

Thymus serpyllum Elfin growing along Aarons sunny rock wall, the Thyme is about a meter in length.

Ornithogalum bungei Archibald seed 0738230 5/2003 very different to Otto's form, and flowering much later.

Aethionema pulchellum Grandiflorum flowering in a well drained position in Aarons garden an underrated genus of dwarf shrubs.

Linum ? lost name in Aarons rock garden about 30cm high, it gently seeds around and is a lovely little shrub for the rock garden.

A shrub that eventually gets to about a meter, too tall for the rock garden but I love it, Deutzia x elegantissima Rosealind  from Ken & Lesley Gillanders Nursery when they were selling plants from their Tasmanian Nursery. The flowers are also scented.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Otto and his plants

Otto has sent me some photos of the very rare plants flowering and growing in his garden at the moment. The beautiful Shortia uniflora Grandiflora growing in Otto's garden in a very cool position where it is not allowed to dry out and is kept moist at all times, flowered this year for the first time. The flower is quite large for the size of the plant and small leaves it was displayed on our bench about 4 weeks ago.

 Another beautiful plant in the glass house is Ophrys tenthredinifera with Dionysia flowering in the back ground.

Iris acutiloba in bud in Otto's Garden.

Iris acutiloba open and in full flower.

Otto has moved his rare and difficult Oncocyclus Iris to Ferny Creek Hort Soc. to make the most of the well drained soil, hot sunny conditions and good air flow in this garden. The small one on the left of this clump is Iris Thor it is an old hybrid between an Oncocyclus and a Regelia Iris made by the Dutch firm van Tubergen.

 The larger clump of Iris in the above photo is Iris kirkwoodiae calcarea that had 8 flowering stems which I think shocked everyone. These are close up photo's taken by Jon who kindly lent them to us. I'm afraid I couldn't choose which ones to put in so I have included them all. The markings and colouring of this Iris are extraordinary. Well done Otto and thank you to Jon for his beautiful photography.

Click on photo's to see the details of these Iris flowers.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Convallaria and Rock Garden plants.

Convallaria majalis Flore Plena in flower at Margs garden, on the cool shady side of the house.

Convallaria majalis and Convallaria majalis variegata below both in Margs garden.

Convallaria majalis Rosea I have in large drifts I never poo poo these easy plants as they always put on a magnificent display, and there is always someone who cannot grow any of the Lily of the Valley.

Aquilegia canadensis nana a lovely little Aquilegia only 10cm high and will grow and seed right up against the house where very little else will grow.
If ever you can find the three little printed leaflets put out by Walter E. TH. Ingwersen and Will Ingwersen on "The Genus Aquilegia" the Hand-list published about 1949 no date on the leaflet, grab them, they are full of descriptive information. A lot of the Aquilegia described in these leaflets, I don't know if they are in cultivation any more. Apparently there were discoveries in Russia that had not been described yet, and since its publication there will be all the Aquilegia's in China.

Dianthus Whatfield Wisp covered in flower and Dianthus sp. Japan below.

Dianthus pavonius from seed, one I grow in a trough it does get a little large for a trough, but I don't want to loose it as it is the true form. The flowers are bearded and the colour varies from purple through to pale pink with the buff reverse on the backs of the petals. Which is how you tell you have the genuine thing. From Italy, France and Switzerland, click on photo to see the beard.

Gypsophila repens a lovely little underrated ground cover with deep pink flowers, fading to pale pink and leaves are a soft grey green, spreads to approx. 60-80cm wide by 10cm high. From central and Southern Europe amongst mountain rocks, an easy little Rock Garden plant.

Phlox adsurgens Wagon Wheels from a Tasmanian friend.

Leiophyllum buxifolium in full flower, a house warming gift from Otto when we moved in to this house. Likes morning sun.

Geranium sanguineum var striatum next to an unnamed Veronica. 

The Rock garden in full colour, which always makes me smile, when I had my nursery people would say "Oh I don't want any thing in yellow, I only grow flowers of White, pink and blue" and I grow every colour under the rainbow and love them all.

Linum x Gemmell's hybrid from seed so may be a little different when grown from original plant. A hybrid between L. elegans and L. campanulatum and that lovely large white flowering bush beside it is Ptilotrichum spinosum from Spain, which we found growing in Grazalema, but not nearly as good as this, just loves this position full sun. Smells of honey, flowers all year and available from Craig at Gentiana Nursery.

A lovely little shrubby Thyme I collected seed of in Spain.

 Semiaquilegia ecalcarata does well in my garden seeding gently, semi shade and a plant that I love, the little nodding spurless flowers are so quaint and old fashioned. Over the years there has been a lot of controversy about its name, but it is listed in the Encyclopaedia of Alpines so I feel confident that we can use this name. In 1989 the Botanist Maximowicz found it growing in eastern Kansu and named it, but it had been described and named by Sprague & Hutch previously. Also Miss Eastwood in 1891 had found a spurless Aquilegia at the head of Johnston Canyon in Colorado which she named A.ecalcarata but luckily this was renamed to A.micrantha var. mancosana, no wonder they keep renaming plants as more records are found of plant name, makes it very confusing for the rest of us though.

Semiaquilegia adoxioides raised by Aaron as Semiaquilegia Linnett Lavender. But as usual that is not a legitimate name it is just simply Semiaquilegia adoxioides about 10-12 cm high just as lovely as ecalcarata only white-pale lavender, scarcely spurred flowers. found in China, Korea and southern Japan at medium altitudes.