ARS Tasmania Newsletter – March 2016

  • Date: 2nd March 2016

IN MY GARDEN by Lesley Gillanders

As summer goes and autumn arrives by dates on the calendar are we sure nature will follow our rules for the garden? Our ideal summer would have been copious rain now and then through the past few months but this did not occur so we coped as best we could with mulching, hand watering with the hose or for those with a sprinkler system constant checking and supervising that they were performing properly.

I was pleased to see that several Dianthus which I had persuaded Ken to plant had produced their flowers in an array of colours - pink, white, carmine striped white, pink with a dark centre and a few reds in various shades. Lilium species and a few hybrids started flowering late last year. As the early ones like L.martagon faded they were overtaken by several species including L.canadense in two forms one yellow the other orange,
L.mackliniae white flushed pink, L.formosanum a large tubular white flower which grows only to 30cm, L.pyrenaicum yellow with a few spots. Eventually the perfume of L.auratum filled the garden with its delightful fragrance from the large white flowers. Practically last came two of my favourites L.speciosum in its pure white form and also the deep carmine form. The other one is L.henryi with lightly reflexed orange flowers.

Clematis integrifolia has blue flowers and set a lot of seed. It is not a climber and generally just sprawls on the ground. Anemone magellanica with creamy white flowers set an equal amount of seed. The Clematis had hairy tassels of seed heads and the Anemone had silky heads of tiny balls of fluff enclosing the seed inside.

Our first flowers in this garden of Xerophyta viscosa have just opened. They have pretty star shaped blooms about 20cm across on 30cm stems. The narrow stiff strap like leaves are upright and the colour of the blooms is an intense bright Cyclamen pink. We originally collected seed of the plant in South Africa years ago and grew it successfully at Longley for years before bringing some seed with us to this garden at Kingston.