Spring Shoots Anew
05 July 2014 - by Lizzy Browne

We’re itching to get planting in the Edible Jungle but  dust-bowl-like conditions are causing a delay. It’s months since we’ve had any  real rain and even though the 5-day Met Office forecast keeps promising showers,  they simply don’t materialize. The weather yet again is leading us all over the  shop. We’re just glad we don’t have a lawn.

Exotic Vertical Garden

I’ve replanted the Exotic Vertical Garden. Despite good  intentions of keeping the plants alive over winter it was a lost cause in a  greenhouse that went down to –6.6 degrees centigrade, but Hey Ho. New planting  opportunities etc. Had all the plants survived I wouldn’t have had space for  these lovely Bromeliads.

There are a couple of gaps left for Colocasia ‘Black Magic’ but  I daren’t put these in yet as they’re only little and just last week we had a  shocking frost. -6 degrees centigrade!! We shouldn’t forget we could be caught  out by frosts right up until June.

This Mother Blackbird is making good use of a dead Cordyline  before it goes onto our very expensive compost heap. We also thought the Wrens  might raise another family in the nest they built last year in our pay hut. They  inspected the nest several times earlier this spring and did what birds do all  over our till (that’s probably not good Feng Shui), but obviously decided  against it.

Canna 'Taney'

Dahlia imperialis

Musa Basjoo

Lots of plants that we’d left in the ground over winter and  given up for dead are reappearing. Canna Taney is sending up good, strong  shoots. Dahlia imperialis, the tree dahlia likewise. Musa basjoo are very much  alive. Even Hedychium gardnerianum (Kaffir lily) has what appears to be growth  on the tuber (perhaps its just mould). Pittosoprum ‘County Park’, one of my  favourite evergreens is recovering from the winter damage and I think will look  as good as new in a month or so, and Purple Oxalis, once considered so tender  that it used to be sold as a house plant is continuing its slow but steady march  across the border.

Hedychium gardnerianum

Pittosporum tenuifolium 'County Park'

Oxalis triangularis subsp. triangularis

Cordylines are also sprouting new shoots.

Cordyline australis

So who says these plants aren’t hardy? What does hardy mean? I’m  confused. I think I’ll go water some plants.

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