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Plants in the Garden: December

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Started by: Tim Ingram

Go to latest contribution by Tim Ingram, 30 December 2012, 18:02. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Tim Ingram 11 December 2012, 13:02top / bottom of page

Gardens continually surprise. Perhaps the most exciting tree we planted now some 25 or more years ago is Ginkgo biloba. This has made a fine specimen, fascinating all year long for its 'Maidenhair' leaves and wonderful autumn colours... and now for the first time for its extremely malodorous fruits! I had thought Ginkgo was dioecious (ie: separate male and female trees) but ours, at least to an extent, must be monoecious. The fruits have a strong sweet and sickly smell but apparantly the seed is a delicacy in Japan - has anyone tried it?

Contribution from Tim Ingram 12 December 2012, 19:20top / bottom of page

Can there be a more worthwhile winter plant than Cyclamen hederifolium? Starting with seed from Jim and Jenny Archibald of the silvery marked strain 'Bowles Apollo', I have grown many hundreds of plants and selected the more distinctive forms to plant out in the garden - and even this is only a small cross section of the wonderful variation in this plant.

Cyclamen hederifolium doesn't get it all its own way though - other species like libanoticum (with rather sombre but intriguing leaves), purpurascens, coum (here in a pure silver leaved form, and so valuable for its winter flowers) and graecum (probably the finest of all cyclamen for its leaf forms and relatively hardy but shy flowering in the garden), all make fine garden plants, getting better year by year.

Contribution from Jon Evans 12 December 2012, 21:52top / bottom of page
Wisley in the frost

I spent some time at Wisley on Tuesday (urgent errand in the bookshop), but made the time for a quick walk round the garden. [You needed to walk quickly, it was bitterly cold, even in the middle of the day.]

It has been a while since I used my compact camera, and the battery was completely exhausted, to the point where it had forgotten date, time, and all my settings. So the trip round the garden was a journey of discovery, finding all of the features I usually have set, and restoring them.

Sempervivum

The main interest in the garden was the wonderful patterns made by frost on familiar leaves and structures. It was this sempervivum that first prompted me to get my camera out in the cold.

Sempervivum
Waldsteinia ternata

At the top of the rock garden, the strawberry leaves of Waldsteinia were outlined with frost.

Waldsteinia ternata

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