Accent Plants

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Accent Plants

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:32 pm

I have quite a few unusual plants but not many good photo's yet. Here are some. This first one is my smallest Hosta that is the result of me crossing Yakushima Mizu plants and selecting the smallest seedling from hundreds of offspring. The leaf form is different from the parent as it is narrower and much shorter. Shown about twice lifesize.
This one is Ledebouria socialis a South African bulb, in a Dan Barton pot

This is Ophiopogon planiscapus Nigrescens - Black Mondo Grass

And the one below is Equisetum, a dwarf scouring rush in a Japanese pot that resembles a section of bamboo.

This is a delightful tiny fern, that I've lost the identity of, in a Walsall Studio Ceramics pot

Last one is Sempervivum arachnoideum - Cobweb Houseleek. They grow in the Alps on top of rocks and are succulents that can survive freezing. In a Japanese pot. I need to retake this one and get it in focus!

These are all shown sllightly larger than lifesize.

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“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin.

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Re: Accent Plants

Post  Treebeard on Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:10 pm

Hi Kev, what beautiful little accents, I think the Equisetum is my favourite. If I'm not mistaken the unidentified fern is an Adiantium, possibly raddianum, Maidenhair fern.

Chris.

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Re: Accent Plants

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:24 pm

Adiantum raddianum certainly looks like it, thanks Treebeard.

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“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin.

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Re: Accent Plants

Post  fiona on Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:41 pm

Cracking accents, Kev - are you going for kusamono or shitakusa here? Laughing They look as great - if not even better - potted up in the pics as they do in real life.

As a matter of interest, can you identify this little guy for me? It's a fern that grows rampant around me and is usually attached to stone walls where it seems to like the taste of the mortar. It seems to favour direct sunlight which is unusual for ferns around here. I have ones which are only a few centimetres breadth right up to about 20 centimetres. They tend to clump when they get bigger so what looks like a bigger one can in fact be several smaller ones. If you see what I mean.




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Re: Accent Plants

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:17 pm

Shitakusa technically but they are accent plants to me.

I've a feeling that's Asplenium trichomanes. I see it in limestone walls near my home. Haven't tried growing it, yet....

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“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin.

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Re: Accent Plants

Post  fiona on Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:27 pm

I just pick them off the wall, chuck them into a seed tray filled with a compost and sand mix and sit it in the middle of garden. They do their own thing thereafter - no pampering, only a modicum of watering and no feeding. They seem almost indestructible and I swear to goodness when I go back to the wall two days later, in the space where I created a gap, four new ferns have sprung up to fill it.

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Re: Accent Plants

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:30 pm

Naughty naughty, plod can have you for that. I like the challenge and usually propagate from collected spore. That way I get hundreds of tiny ferns from one leaf with mature sporangia.

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“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin.

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Re: Accent Plants

Post  fiona on Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:46 pm

Kev Bailey wrote: mature sporangia.
I think I've got a cream for that Laughing

Plods around here only tend to be interested in the sort of flora that has green palmate leaves and is being grown under high-intensity lighting in someone's attic.

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Re: Accent Plants

Post  fiona on Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:49 pm

But more sensibly, how do you actually do that (propagating from fern spores) and what sort of timescale are we talking to get a decent size fern?

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Re: Accent Plants

Post  Kev Bailey on Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:03 am

It's supposed to be very complicated but I've had great success following a method an old gardener friend showed me. Take a frond that has spots underneath that have started to change colour from green to brown or black. These are the sporangia (spore cases) and once they dry they pop and release spores that are microscopic and dust like. This is best done in a paper bag. They are then shaken over a seed tray of damp peat. The whole thing is placed in a polythene bag and left for a year under a greenhouse bench or any sheltered protected spot. I'll not bore you with the whole prothallium and sexual reproduction phase. Suffice it to say that if kept just damp they will eventually sprout from the slimy green mat, that the spores have developed into, tiny fernlets that can be potted up and will then develop rapidly. Lots of lovely ferns in 18 months.

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“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin.

Kev Bailey
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Re: Accent Plants

Post  fiona on Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:16 am

That sounds like my sort of thing. I'm good at putting things under benches and neglecting them. Is there an optimum time of year for collecting the spores? My very scant understanding is that ferns produce sporangia on leaves that are about to die (presumably they start to dry up as part of this) and this can happen all through a growing season

Righto. Your mentioning slimy green mats has reminded me that I have a fridge to clean before bed.

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Re: Accent Plants

Post  Kev Bailey on Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:21 am

Different species mature at different times. Just keep an eye on the leaves from midsummer onward and you'll notice when the dots under leaves start to mature. There are some other interesting ways to propagate ferns. I'll write an article sometime.

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“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin.

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Re: Accent Plants

Post  Treebeard on Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:56 pm

A couple of my own simple accents-

The first one is an Oxalis. This grows like a weed everywhere, but is still attractive nonetheless...


this one is saxifraga cappa blanca, I think it's a John Pitt pot.


Chris.

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Re: Accent Plants

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