Thursday 26 January 2012

Australian Mystery - a Regal to celebrate Australia Day

Australian Mystery - Regal Pelargonium
Those of you who know me will know that most of my immediate family live in Australia - my family having emigrated in the 60's and I elected to stay here in the UK.  I do, therefore, have strong links to Australia and visit as often as I can.

So, to celebrate Australia Day, here is the Regal Pelargonium Australian Mystery.  It flowers prolifically with unusual shaped blooms that have mauve upper petals and white lower.  Australian Mystery was introduced by Swanlands Nursery in 1990.

Happy Australia Day and love to all my family and friends in Australia.

Saturday 21 January 2012

Bold Carmine - Dwarf Zonal Pelargonium and more tales of the Mole

Bold Carmine - Dwarf Zonal Pelargonium
Bold Carmine is Dwarf Zonal Pelargonium with double deep pink flowers on a strong growing dwarf plant.   Dark green leaves with a faint zone.    Hybridised by John Gibbons, who uses the prefix Bold for his raisings, Bold Carmine was introduced in 1996 by Swanland Nurseries.

I have written about the mole in my garden before.  Since it arrived a couple of years ago it has confined itself to my vegetable garden and the border by the fence, with occasional attempts to come up in one of the greenhouses.   This year, however, it has ventured onto the lawn.  Fortunately it has not made any molehills, but has made a criss cross pattern of ridges across the lawn.  This morning we found this huge hole in the middle of the lawn. I imagine a hungry fox heard/felt the mole burrowing underneath and wanted a tasty snack. 

Monday 16 January 2012

Bode's Peppermint - Scented Pelargonium

Bode's Peppermint
I know I've said it before, and I am sure to say it again but - there is nothing like walking into the greenhouse during the cold winter months and brushing past the scented leaf pelargoniums.  They might not have flowers - in fact they shouldn't have really at this time of year, (I always have some, but take care to remove them before they become mouldy with botrytis), but they disperse a really lovely summery scent into the air.

Bode's Peppermint has a pretty pale lilac flower with strong feathered markings on the top two petals.
The leaves are deeply cut and have a strong scent.  Also known as Bode's Peppermint Rose, the plant is a species cross between 'Old Fashioned Rose' and 'Pungent Peppermint' and was introduced by Fred Bode in the USA in 1955.

I have to admit, I don't have Bode's Peppermint, and my photograph was taken at the National Collection of Pelargoniums held at Fibrex Nursery in Warwickshire.    

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Pelargonium iocastum

Low growing and prostrate growth habit Pelargonium iocastum has rounded green unzoned leaves which are sometimes shallowly lobed.    The flowers are a pale purple colour with darker feathering.
P. iocastum is found in the extreme south-western Cape Province, growing mainly in high mountains, but also at lower altitudes.  Because much of the higher altitude is covered in snow occasionally during the winter months, it flowers between September and January, later than usual for pelargoniums in the Cape.

The meaning of the name ‘iocastum’ is not known.

The plant is easy to propagate from seeds or cuttings and requires a well drained, moist compost.  It also requires cooler conditions that usual for pelargoniums.