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Plants in the Alpine House or Cold Frame: Christmas and New Year Colour

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Started by: Colin Dolding

Go to latest contribution by Colin Dolding, 29 January 2010, 17:26. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Colin Dolding 30 December 2009, 15:03top / bottom of page

As usual my Gentiana acaulis 'Coelestina' has flowered for Christmas day with three flowers this year. This is the third year on the trot as well as flowering well at the more normal time! (It was shown at Chesterfield and Midland Shows last year).

Is this behaviour normal, as none of the other forms behave this way for me?

It certainly brightens the day as I look out through the sleet at some very snowy Malvern Hills!

Contribution from Martin Rogerson 30 December 2009, 15:17top / bottom of page

Hi Colin, I have a mat of G. acaulis in the garden which usually flowers in January better than it does in spring..this year it decided to do it early December and is now over. I used to think it was mine that was different but maybe this is normal behaviour in our climate.

Martin, Derbyshire

Contribution from Diane Clement 30 December 2009, 20:54top / bottom of page

Hi Colin

This is Gentiana clusii in my crevice garden which started into flower last December, flowered through the snow and continued flowering throughout the year, although only one flower at a time. It was in flower a week ago, although not sure what this weeks cold weather will have done to it.

Contribution from Jim McGregor 02 January 2010, 13:44top / bottom of page

I rely on the dwarf Narcissus for December and January colour. Here are some pictures taken today:

First Narcissus albidus:

Narcissus romieuxii:

and finally a self-sown seedling found in the Alpine House plunge, probably a N. cantabricus type.

Contribution from John Richards 04 January 2010, 16:54top / bottom of page
Gentiana acaulis 'Coelestina'

This fine selection (clone?) often flowers either in the autumn or at Christmas (in a normal year; it has been under snow for three weeks now!). It was raised by Gordon Harrison who had an alpine nursery in Ponteland, where the Newcastle autumn Show is held and the North-east England Group meets.

Contribution from Colin Dolding 05 January 2010, 00:01top / bottom of page

Thank you for the information John and the other photographs from Jim and Diane. Anybody else got any winter colour?

Contribution from Elizabeth Maddock 05 January 2010, 14:05top / bottom of page
Sorry not a lot of colour,here, today.

I suppose it is at least alpine now. Here are my coldframes and greenhouses. Everything is reasonably snug at the moment and I wonder if this weather will improve the quality of flowers. At the front of the house, after shovelling snow, the alpine beds are under a foot or so of snow, so they will be well insulated.

Sorry not a lot of colour,here, today.

Contribution from Luc Gilgemyn 05 January 2010, 17:10top / bottom of page

Hmmm, I don't think the word coldframe has ever been used in a better context...

Only very little snow here in Belgium - but quite cold (-7C at night and -1C at noon).

My winter colour is equally limited to some Narcissi.

Narcissus "Craigton Clanger" is one of them.

Contribution from Colin Dolding 06 January 2010, 12:01top / bottom of page

What little colour I had has vanished under this lot and it is still snowing.

Anyway, the view in front of me is still great. Thank you for all the contributions of colour as well as the snow.

The greenhouse and frames under here somewhere

Once again I failed to bring in the rhodohypoxis pans. They survived -11 last winter unprotected outside so I hope they are getting hardier year by year! It remains to be seen if there will be anything for the shows next year!

Contribution from Giles Reed 06 January 2010, 12:18top / bottom of page
Daphne odora cultivars:

This is the best I can come up with:


Daphne odora cultivars:

D.odora 'Leucanthe'

D.odora 'Aureomarginata'

D.odora 'Mae Jima'

D.odora 'Rubra Variegata'

D.odora 'Rebecca'

D.odora 'Geisha Girl'

Contribution from David Hoare 06 January 2010, 12:43top / bottom of page

Just a thought seeing those Alpine Houses with a depth of snow on. It is advisable to remove it from the roof as the weight can be considerable on aluminium houses and frames, and if it is there for sometime it will cut out light to the plants.

Best Wishes David.

Contribution from Giles Reed 25 January 2010, 16:04top / bottom of page

Daphne papyracea

Contribution from David Nicholson 25 January 2010, 19:45top / bottom of page

Beautiful image Giles (beautiful flower too)

Contribution from Giles Reed 27 January 2010, 22:07top / bottom of page

The first of the D.odora are out too.

Contribution from Giles Reed 29 January 2010, 11:37top / bottom of page

D.bholua 'Limpsfield'

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