Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Cyclamen hederifolium - who needs flowers!

The display of Cyclamen hederifolium has been tremendous this year and even though the flowers are now going over, the foliage is coming to the peak which will be maintained throughout the Winter and Spring!

By roguing out 'ordinary' leaf forms, the  'specials' are now starting to dominate the scene. Here's a fine pure silver leaf form and some flowers! They are the last you are going to see.....

I had a very successful show plant - 'arrowhead silver leaf' form many years ago and distributed many 1,000's of seeds via Jim Archibald and the exchanges. A pretty good % come true, often with a green flash at the tip.

It looks like the pure silver/pewter influence is now showing amongst some of the seedlings

This old specimen  is one of my favourite forms with comparatively large leaves, quite angular and with green flashes at the points!

Nothing new of course, the C. hederifolium 'Lysander' strain packs a foliage punch with it's angular pointed leaves and sheer variety! Here's some with a lot of silver influence....

Through pale green with equisite markings

To deeper greens and what could be quite dull and ordinary? The serrated edge and intricate markings give these two forms quite a presence!

C. hederifolium crassifolium appears somewhat midway between the type species and C. confusum with thicker foliage - the silveriness here is exceptional

And finally, C. hederifolium 'Fairy Rings' showing the four contrasting zones quite nicely and a pointed leaf as well!

Of course the delights of Cyclamen coum are just around the corner, as this patch of mixed seedlings demonstrates!

And soon it will be Spring (honest).  Here's a lovely (ex wild) silver leaf  form of Cyclamen persicum

 Maybe I'll photograph some flowers next?

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Autumn Treasures at Holymoorside

A talk to the Chesterfield AGS group covering the Spring Treasures at Kew, lined up a few Autumn treasures courtesy of Ju Bramley, my host for the day. It was getting a bit late for many of them but there were still quite a few fresh flowers in bloom - and the sun came out now and then!!

Lets start with Crocus cancellatus ssp cancellatus which refused to open properly but looks pretty good from the outside!

The ever popular Crocus goulimyi from the Pelopponese in a nice bicoloured form

 Crocus goulimyi var leucanthus was at it's best, a couple of pots of the 'normal' white form

Crocus goulimyi 'Mani form' quite distinct with sharply pointed petals

Crocus boryi or is it C. laevigatus?

Crocus laevigatus - with smaller flowers this looks spot on?

Crocus mathewii had sadly had it's day, many of them by the look of spent flowers, The white flowers with deep purple throat are utterly gorgeous and seem to grow very well in pots here!

Not so bad from a side view either!

Have I saved the best until last? Crocus robertianus freshly open and a very pale sumptuous flower!

Oxalis massoniana was throwing out a few flowers as it emerged from it's long Summer rest!

Crocus treasures indeed, the garden was slumbering but looking as though it would be spectacular in the Spring.... 

Saturday, 6 October 2012

AGS Loughborough Autumn Show

Loughborough autumn show and a resurrection of the blog! I'll be generous with images, short on words as that's the only way this is going to happen, In general it's the pictures you want to see too! Apologies where exhibitor's plants are missing too!

Here's the Farrer medal plant - Sternbergia sicula, courtesy of Bob and Rannveig Wallis.

Closely contested by the best Cyclamen - this mighty exhibit of Cyclamen graecum subsp anatolicum from Martyn Denny,

A couple of Certificates of merit....  Firstly Colchicum alpinum (Jim Mcgregor)

Secondly, Oxalis perdicaria 'Citrino' (Keith and Rachel Lever)

Another impressive Sternbergia sicula (Ian Robertson)

Aruncus aethusifolius - how about that for Autumn colour!

A splash of silver from Lupinus lepidus.

And a silver orientated 'arrangement' (Anne Vale)

Autumn show means Autumn Gentians and these three were my pick of the bunch....

Utterly adorable - Gentiana farreri 'Silken Star group' (Keith and Rachel Lever) whichever way you look at it?

A Gentiana sino ornata hybrid (Anne Vale)

And Gentiana 'Braemar' (David Boyd)

Autumn shows also mean berries (or fruits cones etc...) The trophy for best best pan in cone seed or fruit or autumn coloured foliage went to this mouthwatering (hmm not sure I'd eat the berries though?)  pan of Gaultheria crassa 'John Saxton' (Keith and Rachel Lever)

Then there's Gaultheria mucronata 'Mother of Pearl'

And how about this Aussie 'bowl of oranges' from Harry Roberts? Ground cover believe it or not!

Nertera granadensis 'Astrid'

A trio of Crocus... Starting with Crocus goulimyi.

Crocus kotschyanus.

And the mouth watering blooms of Crocus mathewii

Colchicums aplenty including the sumptuous goblets of Colchicum speciosum album

Cleaning up on the prizes in the Novice section was this Colchicum autumnale album for Andrew ward (best plant and best bulbous plant)

And how about this gorgeous pink Colchicum cupanii ssp glossophyllum

Petrocosmea are popular plants nowadays and here's a trio to whet your appetite?

Petrocosmea aff lodioides

Petrocosmea forrestii

Petrocosmea minor

Plenty of Cyclamen of course and despite the smallest of flowers, Cyclamen intaminatum can pack a punch when covered like this (Robert Amos)

The beauty of Cyclamen graecum is often in the foliage and the densely flowers pans can obscure the beauty of the leaves (goodness me, isn't that terrible). Here's some good examples of the variation!

I'll end with my favourite Autumn onion - Allium callimischon ssp haemostictum - check out thosae lovely spotted flowers in the closer view!

Don't forget to check out the main AGS website for more images, full class results and a whole lot more -  here