Saturday, July 15, 2006
Hope I got the name right, this plant had an even longer name a few years back. A great favourite of Roy Elliott I first got this in the mid 70s. When I restarted my collection in the 90s it was one of the first plants I got. A cushion (actually it is a campanula relative which runs slightly so if the main cushion goes it can sometimes be recovered, I even divided an 8 inch pan after ants built their nest in the middle of a plant) which in July is covered for 2-3 weeks with flowers, it's moment of glory.
A bit of a hooray moment, this is Silene hookeri. There are many imposters going around, especially in seed exchanges, but this is the true plant. Sowed this year I had about 6 plants in flower, all slightly different, this one is the darkest. Hopefully I will have some seed to keep these going as they really are lovely, about 2 inches and sprawling less than the rather poor small flowered forms I was able to but from nurseries.
Alstroemeria hookeri...probably. I got this from wild collected seed and while it's similar to the normal hookeri (about 6-8inches tall) the ground colour isn't pale salmon and green, this one is a sort of faded red velvet colour. After moving from the last greenhouse I thought I had lost all of these..they have a habit of escaping from the pot, the fleshy tuber like roots come out through the pot holes and into the sand, when you lift the pot the roots sever and the bits in the sand don't have growth points. I seem to have lost a yellow one (so that wasn't hookeri) but the "normal" hookeri and several of this one have survived. I'm tryin them under unshaded glass to keep them more compact and they do look better this year.
Time pressure has meant I've got a bit behind on both the web page and the blog. But the pictures have been taken so I'm going to catch up on the blog. The plant left is Anchusa caespitosa, something that set the alpine world afire (well just a bit) back in the 60s. Then it became common and now it seems difficult to get again. Problem is that it grows very fast out of character under glass unless you are careful and I don't think it would survive outdoors here. Still a small plant but still a stunner.