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Midland Diary Discussion: 29 May 2010

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Started by: Diane Clement

Midland Diary No 28 - May in the Garden

Go to latest contribution by John Kitt, 03 June 2010, 23:55. Go to bottom of this page.

Contribution from Diane Clement 30 May 2010, 09:23top / bottom of page


 Following the harsh winter, I have had some surprising survivors, and some losses.  But by late May the winter is almost forgotten, and the garden is looking good, with an unexpected blue bonus


My new diary entry is here:

Midland Diary No 28 - May in the Garden

Please add any comments in this discussion thread


Contribution from David Pilling 30 May 2010, 11:56top / bottom of page
winter losses

I lost plants this year by making the mistake of leaving them on high shelves in the greenhouse. On the bottom shelf in contact with the base they would have survived. Min. temp. at the top of the greenhouse was -5, at the bottom 0. Leaving stuff up in the air is a way of letting frost get to the roots.

A similar fate befell plants in large pots outside compared to those in the ground.

It was interesting to see which supposedly not very hardy plants survived. Things growing in tied up plastic bags seemed to survive well - no evaporation.

As to meconopsis lingholm, the seedlings "damp off" in the greenhouse, but are easy if put outside somewhere away from the sun. I have read a suggestion heat is the problem.

I've seen the same effect with primula capitata and begonia grandis.

Contribution from Denise Bridges 01 June 2010, 18:28top / bottom of page

Wow, you have some beautiful plants there Diane. I really like the Mecanopsis. I too have tried growing them in our garden with no success. I have bought them down from Jack Drakes nursery in Scotland, and planted them out in our Midlands garden, but they never survive to the following year.

I too have lost lots of Cyclamen this winter, C. hederifolium and C. cilicium in pots outside and C. cyrium, C. africanum, C. balearicum and C. pseudibericum, which were in a frost free greenhouse. Strangely though, my Lewisias, which were outside in 9cm pots are all now flowering, better than ever, and my Helleborus vesicarius, which is also in a large pot (I usually put it in the greenhouse for winter) was accidently left outside, and that plant also flowered beautifully this year. I think the latter plants survived because although the winter was extremely cold, it was relatively dry.

Enjoying your Diary log Diane.....keep 'em coming.

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Contribution from Diane Clement

Hi Denise, thanks for your comments. Yes, it’s a shame about all the cyclamen losses, I’m surprised you lost any in a frost free house.  Cc pseudibericum, cyprium and balearicum survived with me in an unheated frame. Admittedly they had fleece over them, but the pots did freeze solid.  Lewisias are a different story, tough as old boots!!


Contribution from John Kitt 02 June 2010, 06:33top / bottom of page
Southern Hemisphere comment

Thankyou for these excellent sources of information. As a new member I am constantly reading these contributions and discussions by well informed members. It is something of a mental exercise to translate your seasons to our conditions and so to be prepared for two seasons away.I trust I wont have to deal with FROZEN pots in Tasmania this winter. As a new member and to the art/science and torture of growing Alpines I marvel at the sources of information available on the internet and wonder how you acquired your vast expertise before this modern communication facility.

Contribution from Diane Clement 03 June 2010, 23:11top / bottom of page

Hi John

It?s nice to hear your comments from the other side of the world. I hope you won?t have any frozen pots this winter, but it is surprising that many plants can survive this treatment.

Yes, the internet has brought an incredible transformation to many of our lives. I personally find it invaluable (and addictive) and use it daily to look up information and to make contact with like minded people. What do you like to grow in Tasmania?

Contribution from John Kitt 03 June 2010, 23:55top / bottom of page

Hi Diane

Thank you for your comments. I have been a keen general gardener for some years but have only recently been attempting to grow "alpines". I am intoxicated by the beauty and variety of plants that seem to fall into this category and it is something of a challenge NOT to try to to grow them all!

We have a wonderful source of bulbs/seeds in Marcus Harvey in Tasmania so I am leaning that way which includes an interest in cyclamen. I would also like to try a couple of Tasmanian endemics but I have so much to learn - so I am reading everything I can find and trying to be PATIENT.

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