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29 November


When we move some of the more tender tree ferns into an outbuilding for winter we wrap the trunks with cling film to keep the humidity in and help prevent them drying out. See more of our over wintered plants here.
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28 November

Agave bracteosa

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27 November

Syneilesis palmata
Syneilesis palmata 
Syneilesis palmata is an unusual perennial that comes from China. It starts into growth in spring with the emergence of the leaves from the rhizome, as illustrated in the photo above. It spreads out slowly beneath the soil surface and gradually bulks up over time. The leaves are folded up as the emerge with a thick coating of silky fine white hairs giving it the unique fluffy appearance you can see in the photo. As the leaves unfold they lose these hair but continue to look extremely striking. We have found it fairly easy to grow and it likes to be grown in moist well drained open soil.
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26 November

Kalopanax septemlobus The 'Duckfoot' leaf form
Ok, I can't really think of many plants are called duckfoot (apart from one variety of Hedera) but with it's distinctively well dissected leaves and shape, they remind me of the webbed feet of ducks. And funny enough this unofficial name is more widely used than I thought (as an easy adjective when making enquiries on nurseries). This seems to be the most desirable of all the leaf forms, with availability constantly low hence can be tricky to find. 
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22 November

Magnolia denudata 'McCracken's Variegated'
Magnolia denudata 'McCracken's Variegated' is just about to start shedding its leaves in our Garden this year. 
Magnolia denudata 'McCracken's Variegated' has a mottled and striped cream pattern covering roughlyt 40% of surface. It was introduced by Pat McCracken of McCracken Nursery in Raleigh North Carolina USA.
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21 November

Aloe Polyphylla a fibonacci sequence in nature.
Aloe Polyphylla
I know we have featured this plant a few times before, but theres a reason for the repeat entry, its just so beautiful. Easily one of the most eye catching plants in the garden with its spiral leaf formation, almost like a fractal fibonacci sequence.
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20 November

 Euphorbia deflexa

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19 November

Ginkgo biloba 'Variegata' showing its autumn colour
Ginkgo biloba 'Variegata' showing off its lovely autumn colour before the leaves all fall.
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18 November

Monstera deliciosa variegata
One of my favourite plants, and one that so far has never ventured into the garden, this Monstera deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant) came home with us from our trip to Madeira last year. As some point we will probably take some cuttings, but for now we enjoy having it live in our study.
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17 November

Summer on the Patio

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15 November

Arisaema ringens

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14 November

Delosperma sutherlandii 'Peach Star' - Ice plant blooms tend to be bright and intense but I was especially attracted to the subtle shade of this one, as well as the succulent foliage that is almost tempting to burst with your fingers. A new plant for us this year, I hope it thrives and expand out to cover a bigger area so I get a better display of peach, daisy like flowers in the spring.

Delosperma sutherlandii 'Peach Star'
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13 November

Lomatia ferruginea
Lomatia ferruginea - this Chilean protea has been hardy enough in our garden and I love it so much I'm going to plant out a couple more! The fern like foliage is distinctive and very attractive, and the flowers, I'll let the photos speak for itself...
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12 November

Smilax aspera
Smilax aspera - a wonderful, very exotic looking climber with vicious stems to help support itself as it climbs or scrambles away. It has glossy, heart shaped, narrow leaves with white blotchings that makes it look like it comes from tropical climates. This plant is evergreen and I find that it remains looking good all through winter. Be careful in handling the plants when training and tidying it up as the spines are sharp and recurved and could easily cause deep scratches with every false move. Keep an eye on where it clings on too as well, and prize unwanted growth off carefully to avoid shredding neighbouring plants. If you're used to maintaining ornamental (and not so ornamental) brambles (Rubus) you should be well prepared in taking care of this one.  
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11 November

Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Argus'
 Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Argus'

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10 November

A clump of Cotula hispida glistening with some morning dew
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9 November

Tropical Plants at Atocha Railway Station in Madrid
Atocha Station in Madrid is the largest railway station in Madrid, and the site of Madrid's first railway station which was inaugurated on 9 February 1851 under the name Estación de Mediodía. See more photos from our visit to Madrid.

After the building was largely destroyed by fire, it was rebuilt and reopened in 1892. The architect for the replacement, in a wrought iron renewal style was Alberto de Palacio Elissagne, who collaborated with Gustave Eiffel. This complex of railway tracks expanded through the years. In 1985, a project of complete remodeling began, based on designs by Rafael Moneo. In 1992, the original building was taken out of service as a terminal, and converted into a concourse with shops, cafés, and a nightclub. Like the Orsay Museum in Paris, the concourse has been given a new function, this time a stunning 4,000 m² covered tropical garden. 
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8 November


A deserted view inside the Palm House at Kew Gardens.
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7 November

Looking down onto the lush vegetation below in The Palm House, Kew Gardens

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6 November

Overlap, 1994 Elm, David Nash

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5 November

Variegated lemon at the Tropical Nursery at Kew Gardens

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3 November

Behind the scenes at the Kew Tropical Nursery

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2 November

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1 November

Red and Black Dome, 2006 Yew by David Nash in the Temperate House at Kew Gardens

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