Lily Lion Heart

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Autumnal Equinox

Fall is my favourite time of year. I love the fall flowers, the light of the sky, cooler temperatures, and the vibrant hues of the fall leaves changing colour. Below are some harbingers of fall, with a few extras from the garden and greenhouse.

Crocus banaticus

Colchicum sp.

Sternbergia lutea

Gentiana andrewsii

Primula capitata

Briggsia muscicola

Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender'

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Captivating Cyclamen

Last year I acquired a cold greenhouse, much to my delight.  My friend Barry Parker asked me if I wanted a couple of Cyclamen species and I said 'Why not'. They are C. graecum and C. mirabile. I grew both these Cyclamen in my cool greenhouse for the winter. Well now they are blooming, and are captivating. Cyclamen graecum comes from SE Greece, the Peloponnese. The tuber is quite round, and the foliage and flowers emerge at the same time. The leaves show great variation in their marbling pattern which makes it a highly desirable Cyclamen to grow. The flowers vary from pale to dark pink with three magenta veins at the base of the flower. The flowers of C. mirabile (from Turkey) are much smaller, and charming. This species has just started to bloom. Thank you Barry, for these lovely additions to my greenhouse.

C. graecum

C. mirabile

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Whimsical, Weird and Wonderful Woodland Plants

On Sept. 2nd my friend Vincent and I took a road trip to Lost Horizons Nursery in Acton, ON. This nursery is the epitome of quietude, gentle breezes, trickling water, woodlands, wildlife and plants galore. The stock beds, and display gardens are delightful, not to mention the hoop houses, and grounds where are the sales plants are. We both lost ourselves here for almost 4 hours simply enjoying the sensory overload of images, colours , textures and shapes. It is truly an artists palette.  Naturally, I left my good SLR camera at home so I used my Blackberry to take some pictures, of which the qu\lity isn't as good. This time of year is lovely as many things are in fruit displaying their wares, while others have just begin blooming. The transition that occurs this time of year is remarkable.  A trip to this nursery is a must for the connoisseur. There is always something to see, and more importantly something to buy.

Arisaema serratum berries

Arum italicum berries

Anemonopsis macrophylla

Gentiana sino-ornata 'Kingfisher'

Deinanthe bifida

Actaea dahurica

Actaea dahurica

Actaea 'Misty Blue' berries

Diphylleia cymosa berries

Phytolacca sp. berries

Phytolacca americana 'Silberstein'

Paeonia caucasica Fruit

Paeonia sp. fruit

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Lysionotus sangzhiensis

L. sangzhiensis is a beautiful Gesneriad from China. There are 25 species of Lysionotus , of which 23 come from China. China has stunning Old World Gesneriads that are beautiful houseplants, and some can be grown outdoors depending on the Zone you live in. 
I received mine as a gift from friend and nurseryman Harvey Wrightman many years ago. I decided one year a few years back, to grow it outdoors as it hardy from Zone 7-9. I am in Zone 6 but thought if I mulch it, and cover with a cloche it could work. Lo and behold it did.  I took a great risk as this Gesneriad is rare, not to mention difficult to find a source for. Every August it blooms with lovely tubular 2" long mauve flowers with beautiful purple, and pale yellow striping in the throat. It remains evergreen year round. I have decided this year (well perhaps) to grow it in pot culture in my cool greenhouse for the winter. It is slow growing and forms underground stolons. The plant comes from NW Hunan and SE Sichuan in rocks in forests c. 700-1400 m.  It likes a humusy moist soil in part shade.