Sunday, January 25, 2015

Second mild winter (until now)

After the winter 2013-2014, with minimum temperatures in my garden of only minus 3°C, everybody would be tempted to try with even more tropical plants. But a clever gardener known that one single night may destroy the work of an entire year. So in May 2014 I just transformed the "pots and containers room" into an Australian corner basically Grevillea species with some other plants. I had planned this since I got plants from The Desert Northwest Nursery (

The alpha and omega if you would like to be successful with the cultivation of proteaceae is the soil. It must be very very free draining and with an acidity of 5 to 6 pH. To simulate the bush in Australia or South Africa I use sand, lava, pumice, charcoal, and some soil (it is important to incorporate some organic material, so the pH will be more stable).   

Well, the Summer and Fall 2014 were very rainy in Switzerland, it was like what I experienced more than once in Cornwall…. At least I had not the stress to water the young plants. After a week, the plants still trying to acclimatize in the new soil.    

Theoretically now my northwest garden corner is finished,  I have to adjust only some details. Right my last tentative with a tree fern, if I lost this one too, than my garden is not the right place. 

These are the first flowers of Grevillea miqueliana subsp. moroka. 

Winter 2013-2014 warmer than expected and more from 2014

Well in December 2013 I was sure that I had to take the least pictures of my Anigozanthus Hybrid. In fact these Hybrids can just take a couples of °C under zero for a few days. But this winter was so mild that, knowing it in advance, I had better to spare my time and not protect the subtropical plants at all. Well, everyone knows better, after...

Next picture shows the Anigozanthus in May 2014.

In the background on the right you may recognize a Banksia serrata and a Hakea nodosa with mass of pods. Interestingly these pods do not shed the seed until stimulated by some external conditions, like bushfire.

Ok, this as nothing to do with plants, but still (in the background you see a big cherry tree from the next-door neighbor garden. This is the so-called "Patrouille Suisse" from the Swiss army. At Magadino (Locarno) airport, not far away from my house, it was a big air show Cielo aperto over two weekends to celebrate the 75 years of the airport and the 100 years of the Swiss aircraft. 

Even days without sun, and plenty of rain, the Botanical Garden Isole di Brissago is worth a visit. Last May perhaps due to the mild Winter the Telopea speciosissima was gorgeous. This picture shows one of the plants with some inflorescences at the end of the flowering period.

Back in my garden, still raining, the first flowers of Lilium pyrenaicum are not shy at all and they show their beautiful structures.

This is the south wall of the house of my news next-door neighbors. They virtually do not need any heater system, as the house is extremely well insulated. But the picture should shows the 2014 flowering wonder of my Hesperaloe parviflora.  On the same picture there is Amaryllis belladonna. Quite interestingly, Amarillis in known to need a lot of warmth and sun. Well the Summer 2014 was all, but not warm and sunny!