Monday, August 24, 2020

Fascicularia bicolor ssp. canaliculata

Fascicularia bicolor ssp. canaliculata
Fascicularia bicolor ssp. canaliculata 

Several years ago a pot grown Fascicularia bicolor ssp. canaliculata was starting to look in need of attention. It had been part of the patio display we feature occasionally however it was time to divide and repot. Looking back we featured this plant six years ago, and its come on well since then.

Deciding on what to do we remembered that as well as being quite happy in a pot or the ground in good conditions, that it also grows as an epiphyte in its natural habitats. As a result we decided to see how it would respond in the adjacent Taxus bacatta tree. We have been asked how we attached it and created a suitable planting spot, but the reality is somewhat simpler. We left the existing rootball intact and lodged it in a three way fork in the branches. 

Several years later (we suspect over ten years but are slightly hazy on the timescale), and it is looking happier than ever, and is gearing up to flower again this year. Other than any leaf litter that builds up this doesn't get any special treatment. 

We have recently decided to try a small plant further up in the tree, hopefully this will establish in the branches too, but time will tell.


Sunday, August 23, 2020

An Afternoon At Luton Hoo

 Luton Hoo is a large stately home and now a Hotel on the edge of Luton. The house was built by the Third Earl of Bute by the architect Robert Adam, whilst the gardens were designed by Capability Brown. The gardens are often said to remain very accurate to Browns design although the passage of time is evident in places.

A view of the house as you approach down the long drive.

We had gone for a belated anniversary celebration, originally planned for April, world events had postponed our visit. But along with tea and cake, we had to have a look round the gardens too.

Views of the formal gardens by the terrace

Although a small pool there were quite large carp in the water.

From the formal garden you pass though a large gateway into the parkland

All round the garden are magnificent trees.

View back to the house
The garden has a lot of large cedrus

There are quite a few areas that hint of the gardens past, such as this aging pergola leading to a leveled area that is now just laid to lawn.

All through the wooded areas are elderly trees, some of which have seen better days. 

Another great cedrus with Mark for scale.

As the gardens are not heavily used by hotel guests we pretty much had the place to ourselves as we walked round. The gardens in places do feel like they need some significant tree work and some replanting, however for a 250 year old design that has been left relatively true to the original it is quite a magical place to walk round.

And of course the purpose of or visit was for afternoon tea!


Thursday, August 20, 2020

Yucca Potosina

When Mark arrived home from work yesterday there was a large parcel waiting for him. Usually Mark has full knowledge of anything we have ordered, and generally is the one selecting and ordering plants for the garden.

But unbeknown to him I had spotted an unusual Yucca available from Hardy Palms, Yucca potosina. Y. potosina is a Mexican Yucca from east/central Mexico, typically from circa 1,500m  (5,000ft) elevation so not without some hardiness. Its not widely available in cultivation so was quite pleased to be able to surprise him with something fairly unusual. 

Yucca potosina
Mark opening up the parcel

Yucca potosina
In the conservatory

Yucca potosina
Ready for potting on.

A large Y. potosina in habitat (source: Wikipedia)

Although not tender, Y. potosina is generally regarded as hardy to around -5C for younger plants, with more hardiness for more established specimens. As such in our garden this will be kept in a pot and moved for winter.


Monday, August 17, 2020

Conservatory Update


We haven't shared an update from the conservatory for a while, there has been a lot keeping us busy in the garden itself, and work commitments during Covid have been a little more unpredictable. Still rather than making excuses for the lack of an update, here we are with a look round in 2020.

Long standing readers will recall the summer of 2013 was quite an eventful time for us, both personally and in the garden. The garden fire was a significant hurdle to overcome, and with it coming at the same time as the house renovation lead to a very busy period for us. The positive from that year was of course the changes we made to our home, significant remodeling of our living space, the addition of the from porch and of course the conservatory that we added to the back of the kitchen.

This space, whilst fairly small (slightly less than 3m deep by 5m wide) has become a haven for us. a place to grow some of the plants that would not enjoy winters in a greenhouse, and also a tropical spot for us in winter. With the back of our home being north facing, we don't usually get too hot in summer, which is a typical complaint of many conservatory's.