Diary - Mar 2006
I can’t remember when it was so late in March by the time I completed my first good watering. Plants that were waking up and getting ready to flower in late February just seemed to stand still during that cold spell and are only now opening their buds. At last, except for the Lithops, all have been watered. I spray the Lithops overhead on warm mornings to help stimulate root growth and to remind them that it is time to waken. Some of the young plants have shed their old skins and have had some water, but most still have a lot of moisture to absorb from last years growth.
The Echevaria leaves are particularly colourful this year. The long cold dry winter suits them very well and they are already busy producing lots of flower stems. When I use Echevaria glauca as bedding plants they are just dug up in the Autumn and overwintered dry rooted. These have now been potted up to give them a start before planting outdoors once more at the end of the month. With the water shortage this year succulents could have a large part to play in our summer gardens.
At this time of year I wouldn’t be without the Aloes and Gasteria. Their flowers, though small, come in such abundance that they are a real joy. The only snag is that as they die back they drop everywhere and litter the greenhouse. This gets me on to the other job which I have started but have yet to finish – a thorough cleaning of floor, shelves, trays, pots and everything else in the greenhouse.
I am also trying to reorganise my greenhouse so that I can fit in more Lithops. The new design won’t leave space for an Espostoa ritteri which is about three feet tall and really needs to be planted in a greenhouse border. If anyone would like to take pity on this plant and give it a home I should be very grateful. It is about fifteen years old so should eventually flower if given a good root run. Otherwise it will be planted out in my garden this Summer and will have to take its chance of survival next winter. An Oreocereus celsianus suffered this fate last year and surprisingly has survived the winter and is looking fine.
Back to Diary Index