Return of some borderline plants

Jim McKenney
Sat, 26 May 2007 08:24:18 PDT
Whenever a purportedly tender plant survives the winter outside, it's a bit
like finding money blowing down the street. 

While weeding the garden this morning I had a nice surprise: three
borderline hardy plants have reappeared and are growing well. One, Begonia
sutherlandii, is known to be reliable in some parts of the greater
Washington, D.C. area. In my garden there have been several failures, but I
think I've finally found a good place for it. It's now in its third year

Another is the gesneriad Sinningia  leucotricha,  This I've had for decades;
it survived here as a houseplant because it is winter dormant, and it was
that characteristic which prompted me to try it outside.  The emerging
sprout at this point looks like a huge, silvery, hairy four leaf clover. I
have this planted in the rain shadow of the roof overhang, and the foliage
remains in good condition well into the summer. 

Also emerging in strength is a plant received as Scilla natalensis. This has
not bloomed yet, and I'm hoping it really does turn out to be Merwilla
plumbea - to use the new name. Looking at the pictures on the wiki, I
decided that the flowering scapes must be about three feet high. Does that
sound right?

I ate breakfast and read the paper out on the deck this morning: the roses
on the pergola are coming into bloom and now and then I was enveloped in a
cloud of rose fragrance. I thought for a moment about the poor souls
struggling to get to some holiday destination in a car engulfed in congested
traffic. I'm staying put and have no regrets whatsoever. Please pass me
another slice of the lemon cake and say, didn't I just hear a veery?

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where the first water lily
buds are above water. 
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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