SoS 27/02

Autumn supposedly begins here in the southern hemisphere on the first of March, but I’d venture that it actually began a couple of weeks ago. For a start after a pretty bad summer (grey skies, not much sun and warmth, rain and windy windy, all because of El Nina)…

…our liquid ambers (giants they are) began to turn well before the approach of said date and they normally begin to colour-up end March-April. In addition, the poplars down the road are shedding yellow leaves, AND we’ve had some cooooold nights.

But now to some eager plants.

We have Muscari with months to go before spring. I wish the leaves would stop growing at this height, and let the flower spikes thrust through. Instead, we have months of leaf-growing (18-24 inches) and they end up looking messy. So I twist the excess foliage into a wreath and surround the plant with its own growth.

Next we have the start of either an eager spring Crocus or a Fritillaria. My handwritten label says a Fritillaria, but is it? Should I tell them we’re entering autumn?

Next one is a new autumn bulb (Acis Autumnalis) which in the catalogue, looked quite sweet.

Then an image of two of my pots of auriculas (Maggie and Jorvik). You can see that Maggie likes summer which is odd as she flowered well in spring. Jorvik has thrown a bud spike and I’m surprised at that as well. Do auriculas often do a second flowering in late summer?

And finally, can anyone tell me what this lovely shrub is? I like the bold white berries and think it would really suit our mainly white garden. Saw it on a dog walk.


Oooh, and questions for those who grow Phalaenopsis orchids with panache. I hope Jon won’t mind a break in the rules. Happy to stand in the naughty corner if required.

I have four and they are beginning to show growth on stems that flowered last year. Can I pot them on? Into what medium? And feed them with what? At the moment they’re pot-bound in sphagnum moss with a base of blue metal chips which was what they came from the shop in. Thank you in advance.


Please have a ‘coddywomple’ (To travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination) through some wonderful international gardens via Mr P’s SoS.