Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cattleya luteola

The egg yellow of this small species is a sure eye-catching despite the blooms are not so large as other cattleyas. A Full of energy for the new year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Frosty days and Greetings!

Well, in the last days we had snow and a lot of fun, but also a very could night, the 18th December with -6°C for a couple of hours. I'll find some deaths in my garden this Spring, for sure!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Encyclia vitellina

Encyclias flowers are quite different in the colors but also in the blooming time, someone also smell (at least to me) a little bit. The pictured below is Encyclia cordigera blooming in June.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Last week I was in Sicily for a meeting and I visited Catania, inclusive Etna volcano an Palermo. About Etna and Palermo I'll post some pictures as soon I have more time to organize my slides. The Botany Garden of Palermo is simply gorgeous!
These couple of pictures from Catania are performed with my iPhone.

Arriving in Catania, on the background the Etna volcano, bottom right the so-called "Piana di Catania" with the citrus growers.

Just a couple of containers...

but the result ist quite nice!

Even if you have the best self-control, you cannot resist, Sicilian cuisine is simply unbelievable!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Winterprotection banksia

I did it, now it's your turn Banksias to try to overwinter! Banksias, as well other proteaceae from Australia or from South Africa will take some degrees below 0°C without problems, the major troubles are due to waterlogged soil in Winter. For this reason a performed movable rain protection for the Wintertime. Additionally the young plants are protected with geotextile.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Poncirus trifoliata

Since I planted a Poncirus on the border of my property, regularly in fall I will be questioned from passers-by about this tree. After they known that the species belongs to citrus family, hundred percent of the interlocutors cannot believe that the fruits are not edible. So to avoid that they try one, I describe how disgusting was my first and last try to eat one!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Rock Garden

I'm quite prude about this part of my rock garden that I totally renewed last year. It is planted essentially with spring blooming corm plants like a small collection of wild tulip species and crocuses, but there also some plants perennial and shrubs.

Friday, November 5, 2010


A late blooming Crocus cartwrightianus in the rock garden. It is regarded to be the wild form of saffron crocus.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Grevillea victoriae

Wow, this was a "coup de foudre!". This morning I received the new issue of Gardens Illustrated and I find a large image with the magnific inflorescence of Grevillea victoriae. This has become a new must for my garden.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Laelia lucasiana

This small species belong to the group of lithophilic Laelias, it's means that in nature they grow on rock and usually in the full sun at moderate to high altitudes. I have quite good experiences with a soilless substrate just using small pieces of lava (4-10 mm). Usually it blooms in September in my latitude bud this year....

Monday, November 1, 2010

Camellia oleifera

The mild weather of these weeks (although we experienced a lot of rain) has a positive influence of the development of Camellia oleifera flowers. But if you look more carefully on the bottom of the flower you will see a quite less welcome guest to my garden. Despite regular controlling my lilies and also Cardiocrinum giganteum leaves are sometimes eaten by these hungry red lily beatles.


Both Amorphophallus rivieri (right) and Sauromatus obesus are hardy in USDA zone 8, but at least Amorphophallus will flourish much better if kept frost-free and dry over winter. The majority of the pictured A. rivieri are small non-flowering tubers.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


This year my Stanophea are blooming very late in the season. This one is S. tigrina with a very intensive smell especially late in the afternoon.

This specimen is from an unknown species or cultivar that I bought as S. tigrina. It begin to smell late in the morning and has a intense yellow color.

This is a Stanophea oculata with delicate light yellow flowers. It has bloomed a couple of weeks before S. tigrina.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Crocus sativus

Growing in pots doesn't work! Crocus sativus need open ground, sunny and well drained soil. Plant the corms in very fertile organic soil with masses of bonfire ash ridged up over corms at least 20 cm deep. I dig them to go in the airing cupboard for the summer months. The reason they go into the airing cupboard is because the Spanish Saffron Industry research board has indemnified that an optimum storage temperature of 30deg.C for 6 weeks results in multiple flowers.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pancratium canariensis

From the Canary Islands come this beautiful member of the Amaryllidaceae. The growing season begin in September with the emerging of the Inflorescences. After blooming has ceased, the leaves begin to grow. In april-may, after the leaves turn yellow, the bulb go dormant and will not be resumed before the next fall.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fascicularia bicolor

The new rosettes of Fascicularia bicolor are more or less two years old as they begin to flower. First sign is the discoloration of the leaves, first just spotted in red than homogeneously red. A couple of weeks later in the center of the rosette the flowers are visible. They open gradually, the single flower last just a few days. On a mature specimen you can have more than ten rosettes blooming simultaneously.

Protea repens white flowers

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fall-blooming anemones

Anemone × hybrida 'Prinz Heinrich'

Anemone × hybrida 'Honorine Jobert'

Anemone × hybrida 'Königin Charlotte'

Anemone × hybrida "Splendens"

Friday, September 24, 2010


Haemanthus are bulbous plants from the Amaryllis family from South Africa with flowering period in September/October and the main vegetative period in winter, having a long rest period in late spring and summer. Some, like Haemantus coccineus resist to a couple of degree minus, so they are in-between zone 8 and 9.

During the rest period in summer the pots need to be completely dry.

After the first raining days in September, the bulbs break their dormancy the compost being completely dry. It's just the atmospheric humidity that made the difference.
Full flowering.

Full developed leaves in winter.
Leaves are degenerating and the bulbs prepare itself for the rest period.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

European pond turtle Emys orbicularis

Basking adult female of Emys orbicularis.

Juvenile animal in spring after hibernation in water.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Watsonia pillansii

Watsonia aletroides

Watsonia longifolia

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sinocalycalycanthus raulstonii Hartlage Wine

Usually this shrub bloom in my area in April-May. You can imagine my wonder last week as I found a couple of new blooms!

Gardenia thumbergia

This beautiful south African Gardenia is reputed to by hardy to zone 7 but only in very dry climate. For this reason I keep my specimen in a large container. Sometimes mites are a lasting problem colonizing leafs and blooms.