Sunday, 31 May 2009

Datisca cannabina

Datisca cannabina female
A female plant in the garden here
An amazing large herbaceous perennial from Crete with luxuriant pinnate fresh green leaves on tall arching stems to 7 or 8 ft. The small green flowers appear in long tassels at the ends. Despite its origin, the natural habitat of Datisca is moist and shaded ravines and streamsides, and they grow well in ordinary soils in the UK.
Datisca cannabina male flowers
The male plant
The sexes are separate in this species (it's dioecious) and I believe they are wind pollinated. You can see the pollen in the male flowers and the sticky green stigma of the female.
The plants on offer are two years old and have not flowered yet so if you particularly want one or the other you might have to wait a little while.
1L pots ~ £8

So I said last week to Emma, looking at our garden, 'You know, I believe I'm actually finally quite a good gardener.' She looked aghast at me. She knows I live and breed plants. She knows I read everything I can find on plants, that I have a gargantuan database that started out as a little notebook wish-list of plants more than twenty-five years ago and which now has 12000 entries. She looks about at what I've created here in what is really a very modest suburban garden and she thinks I'm being laughably self-effacing. But I'm not. It's taken this long to get me to the stage where I can look about and think 'I actually feel like I know what I'm doing.' I can't tell you how satisfying that is. I've moved on average once a year since I left home including a year in Australia and several moves to university towns to study ecology. Gardens need a permanent home. It's not a good combination. So I've been through my Gargantuan Plant List and the RHS Plantfinder and noted all the things that I think are worth growing that don't seem to be available locally, or at all in the UK, and I'm going about the business of getting hold of the seeds and stock plants and setting up my very own nursery.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Another gardening blog...

I'm going to be completely honest about this. What I actually wanted was website to advertise my nursery down here in Sussex but have you seen how much getting one of those up and running is likely to set me back?
Then I had this idea that it would be a great if someone (not me, I know nothing about website design) would set up a website like Flickr or Lulu where you could make your own web pages for a perhaps nominal fee, in my case to run as a catalogue with lots of nice pictures of the plants I sell and some sort of checkout system. Apparently no such thing exists.
So running this blog as a catalogue looks to be the next best option.
Anyway, I am one of those unfortunates that thinks that his opinions and observations are likely to be of interest to others, so I'll be taking the opportunity to fill some column inches in the process.