Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I seem to have amassed a confection of bromeliads over the past few years. They're just a bit collectable! They are extremely adaptable plants, and range from moss-looking plants (Tillandsias uesnoides in Sarasota) to gigantic triffids (Puya raimondii).I've found a few to be fairly tough, but not fully cold hardy in a London winter.  

This one is a hybrid called 'SueƱos'. It is thought that the parents are Aechmea recurvata and Aechmea gamosepala. It's a real gem of a plant, and had survived a number of years outdoors, until the winter before last when I nearly lost it completely. Fortunately I managed to salvage a couple of offsets and restart it. From now on it will be my pet, cosied away in the garage over winter. You may not be able to tell from the pic, the plant is about 15cm tall.

This is Aechmea gamosepala, one of the commonest bromeliads in subtropical climates. It's fairly tough here too, but a heavy frost will usually bleach the ends of the leaves. I love the flowers on this one.
This is a Tillandsia aeranthos (stapled to an apple tree), which decided to flower recently, despite having been through -9C unprotected last winter.

These two Tillandsia bergeri have been outdoors for years, gradually offsetting/branching and a few flowers this year. I believe one to be a larger form, bought from Croston Cactus. The smaller is what I believe to be the typical form. Who knows? You can also see a Billbergia nutans flower, originating from a plant living in the hollow of the apple tree.

A typical winter scene!
Even out of flower they look cool!

The name's Pond....

It's been a while since my last post, and the next couple of blogs are likely to be the last for a bit longer. What can I say? Time is fleeting.

I managed to get my pond installed just before I went on my mad holiday trip (see earlier post). Here it is today, several weeks after having been installed;

I dug down a bit and the pond is three sleepers high, so the water is pretty deep. Thanks to Owen (a.k.a. Mad Chicken Man!) for advice on the sleepers, the information was very useful and much appreciated. The water seems to be nice and clear, and the lilies are flourishing in their new home.

I wonder if anyone knows why the Albizia 'Summer Chocolate' fades to that coppery colour during the summer? Do others do that? I rather like the purple leaves as they emerge.

I make no apologies for posting even more waterlily pictures...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Mesembryanthemum of the day

The Livingstone Daisy is a family favourite. There are family photos from way back which featured these in the background. In hot weather like this they look superb. 

Just to add - it's worth opening in a bigger window if you're on a fast connection.

Sorry if it burnt your retinas.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Open Gardens

It seems the quintessential English garden never really died (perhaps I was going to the wrong gardens?). These pictures are from a couple of weeks ago, when I went on a dash around eight gardens over the course of a Saturday and Sunday. This involved driving up to North London and down to the New Forest area down in Hampshire. They are in no order, and will remain un-credited, unless anyone particularly wants to know where these gardens are.

Starting the tradition of a Cream Tea and a slice of cake...

A traditional English cup of tea.
This garden was no-where near the seaside!
The first evening opening I have been too. A great time of day to see a garden.

After much cake eating over the open garden weekend, I've just sent off for a pilchard-based diet scheme. I'll let you know how I get on...