|Meconopsis suberba looking unfazed by the dip in temperature. But then his mum's from halfway up K2 so he's used to a bit of cold weather.|
|Notholirion thomsonianum is growing by the day. Frost is clearly not an issue!|
I had gone out to do the morning rounds (I've been up since 2am due to chronic insomnia and night sweats - my pillow was so wet it was like someone had emptied a bucket of water over my head - thank god I don't have to go to work today) but I digress. So it was no surprise that I was first in the queue at the PO depot when it opened at 7am. Turns out it was a Tricyrtis hirta "Miyazaki" I'd ordered from Ebay. It's a beautiful specimen and even had a flower on it which fell off before I could very quietly get my photographic gear out of the bedroom. Still, not bad for a couple of quid and it's quite an unusual hirta hybrid, unusual in the sense that I'm sure mine had black spots but when I google it, it appears very varied, which it shouldn't be, they should all be genetically identical ... (does some quick research) ... Ah, it appears to be a named variant of T. hirta, and variants of variants are also called "Miyazaki". So that's clear then. You could read this http://www.paghat.com/toadlily2.html but it just confused me. Anyway, here's the little darling, sadly sans bloom:
The cold doesn't seem to have done any damage, although I did have the polyhut zipped up for the night but it's so draughty and crap that if Joseph Paxton were to travel forward in time 159 years he would cry, and not in the good way.
|The good news is the Lathyrus chloranthus appear to be hardy, to a degree at least|
|Even a regal Pelargonium wondered what all the fuss was about|
Anyway, today was meant to be about planting Lilies and surprise, surprise, a juno iris and a Frit from the Romit Valley in Tajikistan. Well, it's from seed collected there.
It seems like months ago that I was struggling with four containers from The Very Expensive Garden Centre having been seduced by van Meuwen's half-price collection of 4x5 Asiatic hybrid Lily bulbs so I must have put the order in even longer ago but they arrived yesterday, all the way from Holland, mostly looking wonderfully healthy and already showing an inch of growth so It's just as well I have somewhere to plant them and took delivery of 150 litres of compost from Dobies mail order service weeks ago! (Which made moving around the roof even harder, what with all the plants and stuff. One of the Lilies is rather unfortunately called "Tiger Woods". So that's not a brand new introduction then!
|Yes, there they are. I lined the basket with polythene and slashed holed in it, as well as punching holes in the two metal containers and then filling then bottom of each with gravel.|
Also arriving with the same postman, who DID ring the bell!, was another small, in size at least, order from Paul Christian that the Royal Mail had managed to lose and so as soon as the 15-day "sorry, black hole" period had elapsed the great man himself duly dispatched a replacement order with no fuss and including the Irises orchioides (juno) and stolonifera (regalia) as well as Notholirion bulbiferum - a star of a plant - and Fritillaria bucharica because it wouldn't be an order from me without a Frit.
But back to the Lilies. I mixed up a compost of the Dobies base, perlite so that if it does dry out it doesn't become a cube of Weetabix never to be rehydrated and a season's worth of slow release food granules.
|Take some decent quality compost|
|Add , er, some, perlite|
|Don't forget to feed them|
|Et voila! We're ready to plant|
|Don't forget plenty of drainage, you don't want rotten bulbs|
|The sizeable bulbs came individually bagged by variety|
|The bulbs had begun to sprout with roots like tentacles and the sizeable shoots made for a delicate cargo, one or two losing that main shoot but with time to catch up before next July!|
|Planted too close together, of course, but who has a container that can contain five bulbs (the recommended) 10 inches apart?|
|And sit back and wait for green shoots followed, with luck, by this:|
|I've already covered planting junos in past posts, be careful not to break the chunky root(s) off the bottom but if you do it's not the end of the world; they'll grow back|
|And that just leaves squirrel-proofing!|