Friday, April 29, 2016

Plants needing little attention.

Alyssum? from Gentiana Nursery Olinda, a small shrub reeking of honey, but the bee's never go near it, the odd hover fly will occasionally land but not for long so consequently it does not seem to set any seed. It flowers all year even in the coldest of months and grows in full sun to a height of approximately 30 cm. photo above and below. I do cut it back, but not hard, I'm not sure how Craig propagates it as it never seems to have any suitable growth without flowers on it, but it is a very easy and accommodating plant, the flowers are very similar to the annual Alyssum but this is soundly perennial and much taller.

Nerine pudica from the Gordon's above and below. Another bulb that loves full sun, but will tolerate a little shade during the day. I have found the bulbs like to be buried, without their tops sticking out of the soil unlike all of the larger Nerine hybrids. Nerine pudica comes from the Paarl Rock of South Africa, this hugh granite rock is formed  by three rounded outcrops that make up Paarl Mountains, it is said to be rare in the wild. They grow to about 25cm in height and have white flowers with a pink stripe that give the flower a pink tinge, they multiply very well and are easy to grow flowering in April. I see Stephen Ryan has them for sale and he grows the bulbs with the neck exposed, the opposite to me.

Oxalis hirta 'Mauve' I shudder at the name Oxalis as they can spread disastrously. But I do find that
O. hirta seems to stay where it is put, it does not creep under the rocks and spread itself around, this Oxalis just smothers its self in flowers every year. I grow most of my Oxalis in pots as I am always concerned they will spread out of control, but O. hirta was already in the garden. Another South African bulb, going dormant in the summer months and needing full sun to do well as with most of the Oxalis we can grow in this country. Of course we can not have the really choice Oxalis like O. adenophylla O. enneaphylla and O. erythrorhiza all from Argentina, Chile and Patagonia as they are not allowed into the country and these are much more difficult to grow.

Oxalis hirta magenta pink flowers.

When Marg Taras came back from her last trip to Poland and France she bought back seed of this lovely Ipomoea 'Purple Haze', white throated, purplish blue trumpet flowers, flowering each morning and greeting me in the glass house as I walk in. It has come up too late to plant into the garden, because it loves the warmth so hopefully it will set seed that I can spread around. It is an annual.

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