ARS Tasmania Newsletter – May 2016

  • Date: 9th May 2016

IN MY GARDEN by Lesley Gillanders

The garden is going to sleep for the oncoming winter but these few warm sunny days tend to
persuade us otherwise. Some of the deciduous shrubs have already lost their leaves like Maples and
Cornus. The Cherries are still holding on but showing some tints of gold.
Ken has replaced the bird netting over the Cyclamen in the garden under the Cherries. He has
made wire hoops to hold it above the ground. It is difficult to weed but the blackbirds keep away from
it. Galanthus reginae-olgae is in this bed. Originally we planted a neat clump of them but it was pre-net
time and the blackbirds churned them up along with Narcissus cyclamineus and Anemone blanda,
even tossing some down onto the patio. Ken has planted a few Galanthus in the rock garden and
hopefully they will increase again.

Last month I mentioned our plant of the bright yellow Daphne jesoensis and it was pictured in
the Newsletter. This was growing well but unfortunately it suddenly died and we have it no more with
no prospects of sourcing another one. Campanula saxifraga flowered earlier and Ken pruned the old
flowering stems when they faded. Now it has put up another flower stem. The individual flower buds
are pinkish mauve on the outside fading to white as they develop into 3cm funnel shaped upright
facing blooms. These are held on opposite sides of the main stem giving it a flat appearance.
In the bulb bed Crocus cartwrightianus is open with its brilliant red stigma. This is allied to the
Saffron Crocus C.sativus whose stigmas sell for many dollars. When we were in Iran we bought a little
packet of them, at a market, for the equivalent of 50 cents. Crocus banaticus, once known as
C.iridiflorus, flowered from seed this year. It is most attractive with the three outer petals normal size
and the three inner petals being quite small. The flowers are a deep blue-purple - very striking.
Gladiolus cruentus has bright red flowers which are just opening now. They multiply well so Ken has
divided the clump and planted some in another area where they have settled in and are also
increasing.

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